New Jersey Transit’s board of directors has unanimously approved a 15% fare increase for bus and train riders, the first time its rates will rise in nearly 10 years.

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The increase approved Wednesday will take effect July 1. It’s intended to help close a more than $100 million budget gap for the upcoming fiscal year, agency officials said. It also calls for annual, regular fare increases of 3% in subsequent years.

NJ Transit has said it initially reduced some of its projected budget gaps by making $44 million in cost reductions, along with an additional $52 million in revenue enhancements. Agency officials also noted that the plan does not call for service level reductions.

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