A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Patience Down 25% on NJT Trains Due to Fare Hikes

What would ordinarily be idle frustration with summer train delays has turned to anger among NJ Transit commuters. What's making them so mad? The Newark Star-Ledger tries to paint NJT as providing poor service in a recent article, and that's supposed to be why train ridership is down and people are spitting mad. But the fact is the trains are fewer and more crowded and tickets much more costly than the same time last year. Service has been fine, except for a string of recent issues beyond NJT's control. I'm not sure what the Star-Ledger thinks NJT can do to keep people from lying down on the tracks, or what it can do about Amtrak's poor record of maintenance on the Northeast Corridor.

Let's not put NJT on trial here. A tree falling on Amtrak lines is Amtrak's fault. And pedestrian strikes are regrettable but not the culprits here. Those of you who read this blog regularly can well imagine that I am going to blame the Governor for the current level of tension among passengers. Riders are crammed into overly packed trains and paying ungodly sums for the honor, so it should come as no surprise that people are venting when it gets hot and a few things go wrong. Always keep in mind that Christie could have reduced state subsidies more gradually and encouraged the federal government to support public transportation in this the most densely populated state. But he chose shock therapy. Christie wants you to realize it's no Tea Party living in NJ.

The Governor has not only angered the commuting public, he is leading them back to their cars. After all, driving is now only a marginally more expensive option than riding the train. One guy in Aberdeen might have decided to switch to the bus, but what of those who are choosing to drive to Harrison, Jersey City, or even into the city? Mass transit is supposed to be for the "masses", right? It should be adequately subsidized so the Little Guy can get to work and families can go to the show once in a while. Making trains a luxury is a great way to kill public transportation. And killing public transportation isn't progress.


Post a Comment