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Bill aims to make NJ Transit more rider-focused

The New Jersey Senate has signed off on a bill to make NJ Transit more rider-focused.

S-2600 would create an Office of Customer Advocate to provide independent analysis on the impact that board and NJ Transit actions have on customers. It would also provide “genuine customer input and feedback” to NJ Transit’s board.

“In the most densely populated state in the nation, the proficient operation of the mass transit system is crucial,” Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, R-Westfield, said in a statement. “New Jersey Transit receives more than a billion dollars each year in taxpayer money. This legislation continues the evolution required to make NJT better, safer, more reliable, and more affordable.

“NJ Transit 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,” Kean added. “This measure will help get things back on the right track.”

The Office of Legislative Services (OLS) said the bill will likely result in an “indeterminate increase” in state funding to establish the customer advocate office. There will also be smaller cost increases associated with the various board and financial-oriented reforms.

“The magnitude of these costs will depend upon how the required changes are implemented, most notably in the potential size and staffing for the Office of Customer Advocate which is not specifically prescribed in the provisions of the bill,” OLS said.

Kean previously sponsored S-630, a measure enacted in 2018 to provide governance, oversight and accountability reforms at the state-owned public transportation authority.

NJ Transit said it does not comment on legislative matters.

This article was originally posted on Bill aims to make NJ Transit more rider-focused

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