EDISON - New Jersey Transit bus and rail riders are paying more to commute.

Fares rose Thursday by about 9 percent, the fifth NJ Transit fare increase since 2002.

NJ Transit officials say the increases are needed to close a $60 million budget gap that remained even after the agency cut $40 million.

The increases follow service cuts that took effect on bus and train routes in September.

One-way fares on Northeast Corridor trains between Trenton and New York are $1.25 more, or $16.75. A monthly ticket on that route is up 9 percent, from $440 to $480.

Commuters in New Jersey take nearly 1 million trips on the state transit agency's trains, buses and light rail cars each week.