As a Reporter who worked in NJN’s Newark Bureau for ten years, I have done my fair share of NJ Transit fare increase stories. NJ is after all “a corridor state” ( see, I told you I know the lingo ) and mass transit is an essential part of life in North J.
The same goes for toll hike stories. I have covered those as well. These types of stories require what we call in the biz “MOS” which stands for “Man On the Street” interviews. So, every time there is a fare increase or a toll hike we throw a bunch of people on the air who I would argue quite predictably do not like the proposed change.
So, it was a bit of a mystery to me when I heard that the DRPA had been polling to determine if people wanted toll hikes. Apparently in November 2007, the DRPA paid $26,450 to Zogby International to poll toll payers on their feelings about hikes. Lemme guess…they didn’t want them. But the DRPA went forward with them anyway. So why poll?
The money came out of that now infamous economic development pot which is supposedly not going to be tapped any longer. Although the clarification on that is the DRPA will not refill it once it is empty, but will continue to spend what remains. Glad we are clear now.
I am told by the DRPA that 1200 individuals were polled ( 600 in NJ and 600 in PA because remember – it’s gotta be even ). They also asked what people thought about the current toll structure. Whatever that means.
Programming note: Title of post stems from that embarrassing Tom hanks movie from the 1980’s. Although in the movie, the “pit” was swallowing his money. At the DRPA…it’s yours.
Here is last night’s story without comment.