NJ TRANSIT unveiled an informational campaign called “RIDE KIND” designed to remind and encourage customers to treat all their fellow customers and NJ TRANSIT employees with kindness and respect, according to the agency's news release.
NJ TRANSIT President/CEO Kevin S. Corbett was joined at Newark Penn Station by representatives of NJ TRANSIT’s unions representing frontline bus operators and rail crews to launch the initiative.
Details of NJ TRANSIT's Campaign
During the campaign, customers will see messaging including posters and signs on board buses and trains, inside stations, and on social media to encourage customers and employees to model ideal transit behaviors.
NJ TRANSIT staff will also hold occasional pop-up events to promote, recognize, and reward acts of kindness across the system.
“RIDE KIND is an excellent way to remind all of our customers to treat everyone on the transit system with respect, both fellow customers and our employees,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “If everyone does their part, we can ensure a safe and pleasant experience.”
How NJ TRANSIT Promotes Safety
NJ TRANSIT has made several advancements to enhance customer and employee safety throughout its system and recently received national recognition for its work.
For the second time in three years, NJ TRANSIT was presented with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Bus Safety and Security Excellence Gold Award in April 2023.
NJ TRANSIT was awarded the 2023 Gold Award for its De-Escalation/Operator Assault training program for front-line bus employees that help them manage difficult situations and minimize the potential for employee assaults. Similar training is also being provided to NJ TRANSIT’s Rail Operations employees.
NJ TRANSIT has also taken steps to strengthen protection for transit workers. In January 2022, Governor Murphy signed the Motorbus and Passenger Rail Service Employee Violence Prevention Act (S4701) to create new tools for protecting transit workers throughout the state.
In addition to upgrading the penalty for all assaults on a motorbus operator or a member of a rail crew, the law also authorizes NJ TRANSIT and other public transit carriers to suspend or prohibit from ridership individuals who commit assaults against employees or otherwise jeopardize the safety and well-being of the riding public.
In 2023, a Superior Court Judge granted NJ TRANSIT’s request to suspend for a period of one year the riding privileges of an individual who had been charged with at least seven separate lewd acts aboard NJ TRANSIT buses in the past two years.
The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors has also approved a plan to begin the rule-making process to administratively suspend ridership privileges for individuals who assault transit employees. Those rules are currently being finalized and will be presented to the Board of Directors for final adoption.
NJ TRANSIT operators are protected employees under the laws of the State of New Jersey. An assault on NJ TRANSIT bus operators and train crews carries the possibility of a prison term of up to five years and fines of up to $15,000.