NJ TRANSIT BEGINS RULE MAKING PROCESS TO STRENGTHEN PROTECTIONS FOR TRANSIT WORKERS
Proposed Rules Could Allow For Suspension of Transit Privileges For Individuals Assaulting Employees; Proposed Regulations Outline Procedure and Due Process for Appeals
December 14, 2022
NEWARK, NJ – In accordance with a new state law signed earlier this year, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors today approved the start of the process to enact new regulations designed to strengthen protections for transit workers. The proposed regulations would establish a procedure by which NJ TRANSIT would be able to administratively suspend ridership privileges for individuals who assault transit employees while also creating due process for offenders to appeal proposed suspensions.
“The safety of NJ TRANSIT employees is always our top priority,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “Individuals who commit an assault against a transit worker will face serious consequences, including the possibility of losing the privilege to ride the transit system. Let these proposed regulations be a clear message that this behavior will not be tolerated on NJ TRANSIT services.”
“There is nothing more important than ensuring our employees are safe and protected while carrying out their duties in service to the riding public,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett, “These new proposed regulations should serve as powerful deterrents against an assault on our valued employees, particularly after the dedication and commitment they all demonstrated through the pandemic for all those who depend on public transit.”
“This is an important step in enhancing our ability to ensure the safety of our agency’s front line employees and should serve as a warning to those wishing to do our employees harm,” said New Jersey Transit Police Chief Christopher Trucillo. “We will ensure any acts of violence committed against our employees or customers are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
In January 2022, Governor Phil Murphy signed the Motorbus and Passenger Rail Service Employee Violence Protection Act (VPA), which enables NJ TRANSIT to administratively suspend ridership privileges for up to one calendar year for any individual who assaults an operational employee. If the individual uses a deadly weapon during the commission of an assault, that person may be suspended from the transit system for life.
The proposed regulations would create progressive sanctions (where the length of the suspension would increase with each ensuing offense) and provide due process to individuals facing a suspension. The proposed rules would also set procedures for the creation of a Ridership Appeal Board, when necessary, to review initial determinations made by NJ TRANSIT.
The proposed regulations will be published in the NJ Register for a public comment period of 60 days, after which, NJ TRANSIT will incorporate public feedback into the proposed rules before presenting the final regulations to the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors for adoption.
About NJ TRANSIT
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 925,000 weekday trips on 253 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 166 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.