• Bill introduced for NJT to provide all service free during summer months

  • Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.
Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

Moderators: lensovet, Kaback9, nick11a

  by MedicSutton
I actually remember being a young kid in the 80’s being on one of the Coast Line NYE trains. Someone lit off a couple packs of firecrackers in our car among other things. It was a pretty savage trip. Glad I survived :P
lensovet wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 5:34 pm
Tom V wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 12:27 pm I totally don't get this every one for free, but I did start a thread a few months back regarding SEPTA's Senior pass which is free to all Senior Citizens.

https://www.septa.org/fares/discount/se ... -info.html

I think NJ Transit, and Port Authority for PATH and EWR Airtrain, should enact something similar. Free NJ Transit Bus/Rail/Light Rail etc.. to everyone 65 and over. I would also include disabled Veterans into the program.
Hell, I just wish NJT had passes for seniors. Why on earth should old people have to pay with exact change to get their discount on buses? Buses that don't even accept modern forms of payments like debit cards or apple pay ffs.
Lensovet - I agree that Senior Citizens should have some type of low-price flash
pass or a card entitling a low-price ride of a dollar or less. My thought of leaving senior
fares as they are were specifically for NJT Rail…MACTRAXX
  by Dcell
This idea is very good and should go year round. The proposal should be modified, to any one earning $100,000 or less is entitled to free bus light rail or train travel year round. Also anyone living in an Abbott school district also should be entitled to free NJTransit service. Those making above $100,000 should pay.
  by R36 Combine Coach
When Illinois had its seniors ride free program, the program was repealed after large numbers of executives and
managers over 65 were riding every day to and from work, and the CTA realized it was losing more money to
seniors than fare dodgers.
  by rcthompson04
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Sun May 22, 2022 9:29 pm When Illinois had its seniors ride free program, the program was repealed after large numbers of executives and
managers over 65 were riding every day to and from work, and the CTA realized it was losing more money to
seniors than fare dodgers.
I see a lot of seniors riding SEPTA Regional Rail who look like they are going to Market Street offices.
  by steve coraggio
An absolutely absurd idea to provide all free service during the summer months. If a bill has ben proposed for this it can be found on the NJ legislative website, and instructs on how to fund a bill or pending legislation. NJ has that much money? Being sarcastic here. Photobug 56 is right NJT should reduce the fares to 50% for this. A clueless legislator , also wrote to your state senators and assemblymen/women in your opposition to this proposal.
  by Dcell
Think about this, Fare collection costs NJT about 20 cents for every $1 taken it. That's salaries and Garda services in collecting cash at ticket agents. With no tickets to sell or check, it is realistic to reduce 1 in 3 train on board personnel while still maintaining safe operations. No ticket checkers on light rail either. Free ridership on all modes truly is the Way To Go.
  by eolesen
If their cost of handling cash is that high, and I doubt that you're wrong on the overhead cost, what is NJT doing to force more people to use cashless options?

I'm told that the smartphone adoption rate on Metra is over 80% amongst daily users. Occasional riders are encouraged to use the mobile app instead of buying cash tickets on board by the train crew. Otherwise, they're charging a $5 penalty for onboard payments.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

EO - Both NJT and Metra charge the $5 penalty for tickets bought on board for these two main reasons -
1 - When there is an open ticket office with an agent on duty -
2 - When there is a Ticket Vending Machine available (All NJT stations have at least one TVM)
Metra does NOT (thankfully) penalize riders at stations WITHOUT an OPEN ticket office or a TVM available...

Rail systems can sharply reduce - but not totally eliminate - the handling of cash on board trains.
Penalty charges of $5 and more (LIRR and MNCR charge between $5.75 and $6.50) ARE a deterrent when
tickets can be bought in advance from an agent or TVM before boarding trains...

Dcell - On-board Train Crew members provide a sense of security aboard trains - If you reduce the amount
of train crew members - and roving fare inspectors on Light Rail - there may be more problems such as
vandalism to equipment (example) that would make any monetary savings moot...Think about it...
  by Dcell
NJ could be the National Leader in providing free public transportation. Just fund the service from the state taxes and end the inefficient and expensive mechanism of ticket sales and fare collection. Again, we would keep conductors for safe operation of trains and the cops. A few hundred dollars more in annual taxes is worth a free transit system.
  by nomis
Maybe a starting place will be to have free in State trips for stage college and community college students?

In Connecticut, The student is charged $20 per semester and the state picks up the rest. Buses and rail are included, as well as Amtrak shuttles. https://ctrides.com/u-pass-ct/
  by F40
As someone who has had first hand experience of a train breaking down before South Amboy when trying to enjoy a nice day at the beach (it was the 1st gen ALP46) causing a 2 hour delay, I second that NJT's equipment woes are sources for fodder against NJT, deterring riders. They should never have collected our fares. And you hope not to have an inexperienced, overachieving "Gen Z'er" who doesn't know what good service is vs bad and still collect tickets in these situations.

Anyway, when running any type of promotion, you can't assume every rider results in "x" amount of "lost revenue," as you never know how many people were attracted by the discount fares in the first place. It's like the DD Perks App. I would never buy their new $5 sandwiches if they did not provide a free beverage reward for you to try it out. And making the "free beverage" probably costs the store no more than 50 cents, and they got their $5 they never would have had otherwise.

I certainly feel NJT can do better at encouraging more riders, and it can be done in a number of ways, discounted "round trip" tickets, esp on low ridership lines or by time of day, and by expanding free parking, or enhancing their schedules. At these gas prices, the trips I usually make are just beginning to break even (including depreciation, maintenance etc). That does not bode well when gas is and becomes cheaper.