Despite fare increases by New York’s Metropolitan Transportaiton Authority (the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North, and local transit in New York City) that went into effect at the end of 2010, most New Jersey riders still pay more for a train ride than their counterparts elsewhere.
A study by Lackawanna Coalition member John Bobsin indicates that all rail fares on New Jersey Transit (except for the Atlantic City Rail Line, where fares are lower) are higher than comparable fares in such other commuter-rail cities as Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago. This holds for monthly commutation fares as well as all single-trip fares.
With the recent fare increase in New York, single-trip fares at peak commuting times are slightly higher than in New Jersey. At other times (midday, evenings and weekends), fares in New York are substantially lower, due to last year’s increase of 47% or more on “off-peak” rail fares on NJT.
The Lackawanna Coalition has questioned the cost-effectiveness of such a large fare increase, especially at times when trains have room for more riders and highways are not crowded, and has called for a return of discounted off-peak rail fares in New Jersey.