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Tracks Paved with Gold

Biz BriefsAlready the nation’s largest statewide public transit agency, NJ Transit could add another superlative to its résumé: collector of the highest fares among commuter railroads. That would happen, says the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers, if the agency’s board were to approve a proposed 9.6 percent increase. According to an analysis by the Chatham-based passengers’ group, a monthly pass for a 48-mile ride between New York City and Princeton would rise to $331 from $301, while a pass for the 27-mile ride between New York City and Metuchen would increase to $246 from $224. Metro-North Railroad had the second-highest monthly fares, with a pass for the 51-mile ride between New York City and Fairfield, Conn., costing $308.

Newark-based NJ Transit began holding public hearings last week in locations across the state and in New York on the fare hike, which will go into effect in June if approved next month by the agency’s board members. The agency says the proposed increase, which was announced last month, is needed to help pay for expanded services to accommodate a growing ridership, as well as inflation and other rising costs.

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