Corrections or additions?
This article was prepared for the January 16, 2002 edition of U.S.
1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Riding the Rails, More Than Ever
NJ Transit experienced a decade’s worth of ridership
growth in one day. After the terror attacks of September 11, some
36,000 jobs moved from downtown to midtown, single occupancy vehicles
were banned from the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels during the morning
rush hour, spot checks of trucks and car trunks slowed traffic flow
into the city, and street closings in lower Manhattan backed up cars
all around town.
Commuters who had clung to the independence of traveling into New
York by car for decades gave up. So many switched to the rails that
NJ Transit trains took on the look of Tokyo subways, with an average
of 25,000 people a day standing in the aisles.
In response, NJ Transit is adding seats. It is also citing the effects
of September 11 to justify fare increases. "This is not a cleanup
from a hurricane," NJ Transit Executive Director Jeffrey Warsh
has been quoted as saying. "The world has changed. With that has
come the need for increased resources to deal with not only increased
passenger loads, but security, which is a major driving factor."
A new train schedule took effect on Sunday, September 13. A final
version of the fare increase was announced by the NJ Transit Board
of Directors on Monday, January 7. The new fares kick in on Monday,
Good news for Princeton commuters is that a new train, 3867, will
leave New York at 6:11 p.m. After stopping at Newark Penn Station,
it will stop only at New Brunswick before resuming local stops through
to Trenton. The current 6:11 p.m. train, 3869, will now leave New
York at 6:14 p.m. and make an additional stop at Newark International
Airport Station, the new plane-to-the-train connection.
The 6:20 p.m. train from New York has been dropped from the new
because of low ridership.
During the morning rush hour, a number of trains will depart for New
York five minutes earlier than they did in the previous schedule.
Among the new times for NJ Transit trains — from Princeton
— are 5:31 a.m., 5:54 a.m., 6:12 a.m., 6:57 a.m., and 7:03 a.m.
These trains depart from Hamilton about seven minutes earlier, and
from Trenton about 14 minutes earlier.
Train 3822, which departs Trenton at 6:57 a.m., will not stop at
Junction. Passengers, instead, can use Amtrak Clocker train 624, which
stops at 7:16 a.m. and operates express between MetroPark and Newark.
Train 3824, which had departed from Trenton at 7:16 a.m. will now
depart at 7:12 a.m., and stop at Princeton Junction at 7:25 a.m.
The fare increase, the first since 1991, will raise ticket costs by
an average of 10 percent. A monthly commuter ticket from Princeton
Junction to New York is now $249. A student monthly ticket is $186.50.
A 10-trip is $89, and a weekly is $76. Under the new fare plan, there
will be refunds for unused portions of monthly, weekly, and 10-trip
As a result of tightened security, it is no longer possible to
tickets on Amtrak trains. Tickets can be purchased on NJ Transit
but under the new fare plan, the penalty for doing so — rather
than buying a ticket at the station — is going up from $3 to $5.
NJ Transit’s operating expenses have risen 67 percent since its last
fare hike 12 years ago. A Rutgers University report, released in
said the agency’s operating deficit grew 89 percent over the last
decade, from $300 million in fiscal year 1991 to $569 million in 2001.
In addition to propping up its budget, the money raised by the fare
increases is expected to go, in part, for more rolling stock,
For More Details
is available on the Internet at www.njtransit.com and by phone at
800-772-2222 between 6 a.m. and midnight from North Jersey and at
973-762-5100 from out of state. The South Jersey number, staffed from
6 a.m. to 10 p.m., is 800-582-5946. From Pennsylvania, call
The number for the hearing impaired is 800-772-2287.
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