POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Menendez bill would improve pedestrian safety, protect transit operators

Thousands of NJ Transit bus drivers are attacked each year while driving, posing a risk for passengers, pedestrians and motorists around them. Sen. Bob Menendez joined union leaders to announce new legislation aimed at improving mass transit safety.

“Our operators are stabbed, shot at, strangled, punched, kicked, brutalized while doing their job, getting our passengers safely to and from one place,” said Ray Greaves, chair of the Amalgamated Transit Union.

“This legislation, which I’ve co-introduced with Sens. Van Holland and Warren, among others, addresses two of the most frequent safety hazards faced by transit operators. The threat of physical violence and the risk of traffic crashes that endanger riders, pedestrians, motorists, and other bystanders,” Menendez said. “Using strategies like driver assistance technology, new barriers to protect operators, de-escalation trainings, and upgrades for buses to reduce risky blind spots.”

If passed, the bill would provide $125 million over five years to make these improvements on all NJ Transit buses.