NEWARK — Monday begins a new month with the same problems for NJ Transit commuters.

Word of the #nopaymay protest campaign, which encouraged riders to use their April passes in May spread on Friday via fliers left at NJ Transit stations and on social media after many sought refunds after a month filled with long delays and overcrowded trains.

"I'm absolutely planning on participating. After the mess that was April we need to fight back and that may be the only way how," @steve0423 told New Jersey 101.5 via Twitter.

NJ Transit is not offering free or discounted rides in May. During a legislative oversight hearing at the Statehouse on Friday, executive director Steve Santoro said that he understands that customers are frustrated. Asked by Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, D-Somerset about offering refunds to riders for the “April mess,” Santoro said the question is “complex due to the fiscal impacts.”

“Customers are paying fares, fares are being subsidized by the taxpayers of New Jersey, so all those elements affect any decision that’s going to be made or discussed.”

Zwicker, who said he has heard from many frustrated riders and indirectly touched on the #nopaymay campaign told Santoto it might be a good public relations move to offer some kind of dIscount to “show our constituents and your riders that you really are thinking about them and their livelihoods.”

Amtrak, which maintains and operates the Northeast Corridor, will continue a track inspection and maintenance project this week which NJ Transit said has created an ongoing 15 minute delay weekdays on trains in-and-out of Penn Station New York.

A major summer long infrastructure project was announced by Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman last Thursday that he said would take place on weekends but require two or three "significant" disruptions to weekday service this summer.

Santoro told lawmakers at Friday's hearing his agency received a copy of Amtrak’s repair plan Friday morning. He said he couldn’t immediately assess the potential impact on the schedule but would review the plan over the weekend.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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