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NJ Gov Christie: Workers Shouldn't Ride Free on NJ Transit

Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - 04:21 PM

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was asked Tuesday about his support of a plan to eliminate the free ride benefit for NJ Transit employees. Here's his response.

"All these different kinds of perks that are given to employees just aren't justifiable to the general public. You know we had to raise fares on NJ Transit. We had to raise fares because their fare box had been ignored by the previous administration for their entire time here. YOu know? And artificially used federal stimulus money to keep fares stable. When we came in, NJ Transit was in really bad shape.  So what did we do? We made the hard choice, we bit the bullet, we raised fares. I don't think it's justifiable for me to ask a working man or woman in New Jersey to pay these higher fares and then have employees of NJ Transit get it for free. So there's really nothing more complicated behind it than that."

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Comments [9]

Mike

I can't believe that after a state takeover of mass transit the 1970s in NJ, the State would attack the employees it hired. Many of New Jersey's residents may remember a 200,000 million dollar trust fund that in part was used to offset future fare increases. What ever happened to that? Please answer this Governor?

Nov. 13 2012 03:15 PM
Rhonda

What the article is not telling you is that the pass is considered to be part of the compensation of one's salary. This is factored in for new people, seasoned people, as well as those who retired. Unless you are a political apointee, the jobs usually pay below grade and the money you get from the pass savings is in no way shape or form anywhere you would make in corporate america. Technically - then - employees were lied to. Think about it - whatever the commute will cost going forward is like taking a pay cut. Some people will not be able to continue to work simply because they cannot afford the commute. Thanks to Mr. Christie, NJT employees have not received a raise in 5 years. Let's consider those retired. People count on the pass, it was part of their retirement package - and now it's going to be taken away? Seniors are on fixed incomes and it's usually safer to take public transportation than drive when you are up there in age.

The message is that the state will save 1.6 million dollars are year. What you are not being told is that there are 30 political appointments that Christie endorsed. Those salaries combined are over 5 million dollars per year.

If you want to save money - STOP bringing in politicals and keep your money where it counts - with the working class.

Oct. 11 2012 08:33 PM
DonMon

The so called 'perks' Christie refers to already comes at a price for the middle management who this will affect. These are the few employees who miss many of their children's events, spend more time at NJT than they are supposed to in order to provide customer service, and who will have to cough up an extra $300 or more a month for work without having a raise for the past five years. All the while reporting to upper management, some of whom are Christies' buddies, making over $100,000 and driving to work in their NJT company vehicles.

Obviously, Christie truly believes in the platform he is campaigning for with Romney...The Rich stay Rich, and the Middle Class gets Wiped Out!

Oct. 11 2012 03:14 PM
Cham

Well Governor let's talk about just how uncomplicated this decision really was...your response is it's not justifiable to ask "working" men and women to pay higher fares and have NJT employees ride for free yet, 10,000 NJT agreement employees will continue to "ride for free" not to mention many of these same employees make more in terms of salary than the 1,000 employees you took this so-called perk from. At some point during this uncomplicated decision process someone should have used a calculator and fact driven data. If we are talking equity this is far off the mark.

Oct. 11 2012 10:44 AM
Vito Danelli

This Chris Christie life-form is truly a pompous airbag bully.

It's so easy to pounce on public-sector employees like teachers, isn't it, Governor?

Why don't you talk about the cost of providing Medicaid funding to "undocumented immigrants"? Governor Airbag isn't so tough when it comes to being critical of anything relating to the costs of both LEGAL and ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTION, is he?

Oct. 11 2012 10:41 AM
John B

I heard from someone that works for NJT and they said they believe its very unfair especially for those that live a distance away. First the employees had to take furlough days. Then they haven't had a raise in 5 years. And now some people that live far away and took the job because of the benefit, are now stuck with a monthly bill between $350-400 monthly pass fee. That's a lot of money. I can see how the choice to remove the benefit was not well thought out at all for equal fairness to the employees. Just saying. I'm glad I don't work for them.

Oct. 11 2012 08:27 AM
Nia

But he doesn't mention how many of his friends have gotten jobs at NJT making top dollars. Most if not all were new jobs create to accomodate these friends. He also takes pride in saying how "WE" save NJT. He is part of why the company is the crisis that they are in.

Oct. 11 2012 07:35 AM
Maria Stendor

The governor fails to mention that the union employees still have free rides and that only 1000 people had this"perk"taken away from them. The same people who have not had a raise in five years. This small courtesy helped them with their personal finances. Also,with the "free" ride came the responsibility to provide customer service,support,giving up their seat etc. Do you really think that as paying customer they will do this now!!

Oct. 10 2012 05:38 PM
Brent Brambleton

Fine...take that perk away...just so long as Governor Blimpy either stops using state police helicopters to airlift his rancid carcass everywhere, or pays for them, at fair market value, out of pocket, ahead of time, without having to be forced into doing it.

Oct. 10 2012 11:49 AM

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