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No fare hikes, New Jersey governor reassures commuters

NEWARK, N.J. — A day after announcing a budget that includes increased funding for the state’s beleaguered transit system, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has reassured commuters that fares won’t be raised in the next year.

Murphy spoke Wednesday at New Jersey Transit’s monthly board meeting.

He said some of the additional money budgeted for the agency will be used to hire more personnel and ensure that a federally mandated safety system is installed.

NJ Transit has raised fares five times since 2002. Commuters have criticized the agency in recent years for what they see as poor reliability and on-time performance.

Before he left office in January, former Republican Gov. Chris Christie outlined a plan to increase fares beginning in 2020 to help pay for a planned new rail tunnel into New York.

Under his plan, there would have been an added fee every time commuters crossed the Hudson River. It would pay the bill for the new rail tunnel.