CITY OF NEWARK, NEW JERSEY — On December 14th, the NJ Transit board of directors approved the beginning of the process to pass new regulations aimed to increase protections for transit workers, in compliance with a new state law signed earlier this year.
The proposed regulations would lay out a method through which NJ Transit might administratively suspend ridership privileges for persons who abuse transit workers, and would also provide a means for those individuals to challenge such suspensions in a fair manner.
Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation and chairwoman of the NJ Transit board, said, “The safety of NJ Transit employees is always our top priority.”
Anyone found guilty of assaulting a transit employee could lose their right to use public transportation in the future. Let these proposed regulations serve as a warning that such conduct is not permitted when using NJ Transit’s services.
NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin S. Corbett remarked, “There is nothing more critical than guaranteeing the safety and protection of our personnel while they perform their duties in service to the riding public.”
“After the passion and commitment they all showed during the pandemic for all people who depend on public transit, these new suggested standards should serve as significant deterrents against an assault on our valued staff.”
Police Chief Christopher Trucillo of NJ Transit remarked, “This is an essential step in increasing our abilities to safeguard the safety of our agency’s front-line employees and should serve as a warning to anybody seeking to do our employees harm.
” If there are any violent incidents involving our staff or customers, we will see to it that the perpetrators are held accountable to the greatest extent of the law.
The Motorbus and Passenger Rail Service Employee Violence Protection Act, signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy in January 2022, allows NJ Transit to administratively revoke a passenger’s NJ Transit riding privileges for up to one calendar year if the passenger is found to have assaulted an operational employee.
In the event that a fatal weapon is used during an assault, the offender may be permanently barred from using public transportation.
The proposed rules would provide those facing suspension their day in court and impose progressive sanctions, where the length of the suspension would rise with each subsequent transgression. The proposed regulations would also outline the steps required to establish a ridership appeal board to evaluate NJ Transit’s first judgments if necessary.