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New Jersey Transit Is Compiling a “no Ride” List of Customers Who Have Been Hostile Against Employees

Nearly a year after harsher fines were passed, legislation is almost finalised that would provide even more protection to NJ Transit employees who have been abused by a passenger. People found guilty of assaulting a worker may also be banned from using public transportation for a period of at least a year.

The process to prohibit disruptive passengers from public transportation began on Tuesday, and offenders caught with a lethal weapon will be banned for life. Governor Phil Murphy signed this into law about a year ago as part of a package of bills that increased punishment for assaults on transit personnel.

NJ Transit working on a ‘no ride’ list for violent passengers who assault workers

Beyond the severe fines and punishments instituted by the Federal Aviation Administration in response to assaults on flight personnel, airlines are pursuing a national “no fly list” rule to prohibit aggressive customers.

The unanimous vote kicks off a 60-day period for public comment on the policy that set the mechanism for a policy that allows the agency to prohibit customers who assault transport staff for one year, and bar the worst offenders who assault a transit worker with a lethal weapon.

A provision of the Motorbus and Passenger Rail Service Employee Violence Protection Act (VPA) enacted by Governor Phil Murphy in January 2022 allows NJ Transit to administratively revoke passenger privileges under certain circumstances.

Attacks on transit workers who are “targeted because of their job” are now considered aggravated assaults of the third degree, punishable by up to five years in jail and a $15,000 fine.

Previously, the maximum sentence for this felony was 18 months in prison and a fine of up to ,000.
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The operators are the backbone of NJ Transit, so I’m thrilled that we were able to get this resolved, as stated by board member James D. Adams. To spit on them, slap them, or yell at them is just unacceptable. This is a huge, historic change.

This policy will be open for public review and comment for 60 days after it is published in the New Jersey Register. The draught rules will be revised based on public comments and then presented to the NJ Transit Board of Directors for adoption in 2019.

According to Kevin Corbett, CEO of NJ Transit, his company could be among the first in the country to implement such a policy. When asked whether or not other organisations have implemented similar bans, a representative from the American Public Transit Association did not immediately comment.

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Unions representing NJ Transit workers have been engaged in a protracted struggle to have assaults against their members given the legal attention and safeguards that they deserve. Members of the rail conductor and bus driver unions reported that workers were treated more harshly when they had to implement government regulations requiring passengers to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

My sibling group has had to sacrifice a lot for me. What I’ve been told has been really terrifying. Amalgamated Transit Union New Jersey State Council Member and Board Member Karen Thomas expressed satisfaction with the progress being made to ensure their safety. I’m glad we’ve reached this point where our siblings are safe.

NJ Transit working on a ‘no ride’ list for violent passengers who assault workers

An NJ Transit bus driver, who was pregnant at the time, was attacked and robbed by a man with 13 prior felony convictions in January 2019.

The ATU claims that between January and September of 2021, 82 assaults occurred against bus operators and 52 occurred against rail employees on NJ Transit. In An NJ Transit bus driver was attacked and spit in the face by a 21-year-old woman in January of that year.
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A passenger on a NJ Transit train in October 2021 attacked a conductor with a knife when the conductor requested that the rider wear a mask.

Corbett added that other measures taken include installing protective barriers to shield bus drivers and providing staff with an advocate to assist them in navigating the legal system in the case of an assault and working with the court to obtain the maximum sentence allowed by law.

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Marissa Figgs
I write picture books, for middle grade, and young adults, some of which have won prizes, been filmed, or become bestsellers. I've ghostwritten for Pixar and developed teen work for Alloy Entertainment. I think heartfelt writing is the finest. It doesn't have to be personal, but it must be visceral. You want them riveted from the first word, page, or sentence, no matter how painful or unpleasant, and that's my expertise.
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