First Fare Hikes, Now NJ Transit Riders Will Pay More for Parking

New Jersey Transit is preparing to charge more money for parking spots. The cash-strapped agency says its plan to privatize eighty-one parking lots at train stations and bus stops will raise an estimated $100 million dollars.

The agency has narrowed the field of competing companies to seven. The winning firm will be chosen in May and offered a 30-to-50 year lease. It will then control 60 percent of the parking spots in New Jersey Transit's system.

Prices are expected to rise at lots that already charge drivers to park. And fourteen free lots covered by the plan are likely to begin collecting fees. The increases come on top of a 25 percent fare hike in May for New Jersey Transit train and interstate bus commuters.

Critics say the agency is sacrificing steady income for a large up-front payment. For more, go Transportation Nation.