NJ Transit’s ridership declined 3 percent last year, reflecting the impact of a major crash, a string of derailments and an agency struggling to maintain a consistently functional level of service.
Combined with the effect of low gas prices and competition from ride-sharing services, NJ Transit was down 7.8 million passenger trips last year as more and more commuters stayed off trains and buses.
The agency blamed low gas prices.
“The decline in ridership NJ TRANSIT experienced is primarily indicative of the ongoing nationwide trend due to inexpensive gasoline prices,” NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said.
NJ Transit tallied 265 million passenger trips in the fiscal year that ended July 31, the lowest number since the 261 million trips recorded in the year that ended July 31, 2013, which included Superstorm Sandy. The October 2012 storm crippled the system for weeks.