[First Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 6013






      The Assembly Appropriations Committee reports favorably a committee substitute for Assembly Bill No. 6013 (1R).

      As substituted, this bill, named the “Motorbus and Passenger Rail Service Employee Violence Prevention Act,” upgrades the penalty for all assaults on a motorbus service employee or autobus operator, the operator’s supervisor, and a rail passenger employee to, at minimum, third degree aggravated assault.

     The bill empowers the New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit), motorbus companies, and all rail passenger service providers to prohibits riders from accessing their transportation services for up to one year if the person commits assault on a motorbus service employee, including autobus company employees, or a rail passenger employee.  If a deadly weapon was used during the assault, the rider may be prohibited from accessing transportation services for life.  The bill requires that NJ Transit and motorbus companies equip each bus and rail and light rail vehicle with a radio or other communication system that allows the operator to alert the company or NJ Transit, as appropriate, and appropriate law enforcement agencies when the operator is in distress.  The bill requires NJ Transit and motorbus companies to take measures to help protect employees.  The bill also requires NJ Transit and motorbus companies to provide resources to assist bus operators and rail employees that have been assaulted and to provide periodic training to bus operators and rail employees.



      The Office of Legislative Services estimates the bill would result in an indeterminate increase in State expenditures and revenues.  The New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) would incur expenses from the bill’s requirements to provide de-escalation training, establish a program to assist and support employees that have been a victim of assault, and equip each bus and rail with a communication system that allows the operator to alert NJ Transit or a law enforcement agency when the operator is in distress.  The bill also upgrades the penalty for assault on bus and rail service employees to a third degree aggravated assault.  The State could gain revenues by way of fines imposed on individuals convicted of this crime; however, the State’s ability to collect criminal fines and penalties has historically been limited.