N.J. Commuters Are Spared Fare Hike in Murphy’s Recovery Budget

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New Jersey Transit commuter bus and train fares will hold at 2016 rates in Governor Phil Murphy’s state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, according to a senior administration official.

Murphy, a 63-year-old Democrat running for a second term, will introduce his $44.8 billion fiscal 2022 budget on Tuesday. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss spending details in advance of Murphy’s presentation, said it would be the governor’s fourth straight year without proposing higher fares.

In lieu of fare increases, NJ Transit has filled budget gaps with cash shifts from capital projects and a clean-energy fund. The governor has criticized those practices. Murphy has also failed to shift the agency completely to a dedicated revenue source, as he has favored, rather than a yearly unpredictable allocation from the state’s general fund.

Administration officials said Murphy will disclose more details about the agency’s funding on Tuesday. The governor has pledged to improve NJ Transit after years of budget cuts and a decline in safety, reliability and staffing under his predecessor, two-term Republican Chris Christie.

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