NJ Transit head says she will strive to keep possible fare hikes 'in single digits'

The head of New Jersey Transit says she'll try to keep potential fare hikes "in the single digits."

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Executive director Ronnie Hakim (HAY'-kihm) told NJ Transit board members Wednesday that an $80 million budget gap is forcing her to look at all options, including fare increases.

NJ Transit last increased fares in 2010. The hikes averaged 22 percent across the system and were accompanied by service cuts, prompting an outcry from commuters.

Hakim says if increases become necessary, her goal is to make them less burdensome for commuters.

The director added that the budget gap exists even after NJ Transit has identified more than $40 million in internal savings, and despite an extra $22 million in state support in Gov. Chris Christie's budget for the next fiscal year.