Beck Introduces “Rail Passenger Bill Of Rights”

TRENTON—State Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) has submitted legislation aimed at providing New Jersey Transit rail passengers a better riding experience.

“The Rail Passenger Bill of Rights” has been submitted in response to record numbers of customer complaints regarding New Jersey Transit rail service, despite the agency reporting improved on-time performance.

“New Jersey Transit is making progress under this Administration as evidenced by the last quarterly on time performance report, but riders are still overwhelmingly still displeased with the experience they’re having,” said Beck. “If our goal is to increase ridership, we have to make sure passengers are getting their money’s worth.”

The legislation states that passengers have the right to: reliable and on-time transportation; accurate and timely information about train arrival times and service delays; helpful, courteous service from the operator’s employees; and safe, comfortable, and clean trains and stations. To achieve these goals, the “Bill of Rights” prescribes a variety of remedies including: ensuring enough seats are available for each ticketed passenger, better announcement of service delays, including email and text notifications like those used by airlines, clearer posting of alternate transportation information when service is disrupted, and better maintenance of stations.

Civil penalties for violating the rights set forth by the bill would not exceed $1,000.

“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 continued. “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.”

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