New bill from Beck aims to improve experience for train riders

TRENTON – New Jersey Transit rail passengers need a bill of rights that will entitle them to reliable, on-time transportation as well as courteous service from employees, according to a recently submitted bill from Sen. Jennifer Beck, (R-11), Red Bank.

Penalties for violating the proposed Transit bill of rights would result in a civil penalty up to $1,000, according to the legislation, which was announced recently.

Under the bill’s provisions, a passenger train operator would be required to provide his or her customers with on-time trains, enough trains to accommodate customers, audio or visual announcements about train arrival and departure times, ways to receive electronic updates of service delays of more than 15 minutes, alternate transportation information, safe, heated or cooled train cars, well-trained employees, notices of consumer complaint information, and adequate notice and sufficient opportunity for feedback regarding increases in fares or discontinuation of service.

“There’s a lot more that goes into a rider’s experience on NJT than simply whether or not the train arrives on time,” Beck said in a press release. “Failure of heating or cooling systems on trains, dingy stations, and overcrowding on trains can ruin a commute. Passengers have a right to a minimum level of service when they ride our state’s mass transit system.”

The Office of Consumer Protection would be authorized to investigate potential violations, and refer any matters received to the Attorney General’s Office. The Attorney General would be able to bring an action before the Superior Court to impose the fine.