New Jersey’s Senate Transportation Committee has approved a bill that would continue reforms of NJ Transit.
The bill, S-2600, continues the legislative transformation initiated with the enactment in 2018 of another Kean-sponsored measure, S-630, providing governance, oversight and accountability reforms at the state-owned public transportation authority.
“New Jersey Transit receives more than a billion dollars per year in taxpayer money, and this legislation continues the evolution required to make NJT better, safer, more reliable, and more affordable,” Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said in a statement. ”NJT has an extensive record of inefficiency and incompetency, ranging from the inability to run the buses and trains on time, to questionable hiring and management practices, staffing and scheduling problems, and lengthy delays implementing mandated safety control systems on trains.
“In the most densely populated state in the nation, the proficient operation of the mass transit system is crucial,” Kean added.
Kean’s bill establishes the Office of Customer Advocate to provide information and independent analysis to the NJ Transit board of directors on the impact that board and NJ Transit actions are having, or are expected to have, on NJ Transit’s customers, and to also provide genuine customer input and feedback to the board of directors, including relaying the needs and concerns of customers to the board of directors, and representing the best interest of NJ Transit’s customers.
“The Legislature is in the middle of a multi-year restructuring of NJ Transit that is necessary to deliver the level of service state commuters demand,” said Kean, a member of the Senate Select Committee on NJ Transit. “Taxpayer money and commuter fares must be invested more responsibly, and the service riders receive must reflect a renewed commitment to the public’s needs and satisfaction.”