Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill Thursday morning reforming New Jersey Transit’s oversight and governance after the measure received unanimous approval in both chambers of the state Legislature on Monday.
Senate Bill 630 will overhaul the agency’s board of directors, require meetings for schedule changes, such as the suspension of the Atlantic City line, and broaden the scope of documents the agency will have to publicly disclose.
“This puts into work one simple concept: New Jersey Transit works for commuters and not the other way around,” Murphy said.
Murphy on Thursday was flanked by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-37th District; Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, both R-21st District; NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett; and Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti.
“NJ Transit will now be able to direct its efforts more efficiently and effectively to improve safety, reliability and services for its customers,” Murphy added.
Also included in the bill are several recommendations laid out in the 166-page NJ Transit audit ordered by Murphy that was released in October.
For one, a full-time customer advocate will be created. It will also enact revisions to NJ Transit’s procurement and contracting process.
“This is not a panacea. The signing of this bill will not make sure that all the trains run on time and buses are operative as fully as they should be,” said Weinberg, one of the key sponsors of the bill. “But it is a big step forward. It is a step forward for the commuters to show that we, the governor, your legislature, have been listening to what you’ve been saying.”
NJ Transit has 90 days from today to restructure the new board as outlined in S630, which will consist of at least one rail and bus commuter, a representative of both the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and the Delaware Valley Planning Commission, four public members with “transportation policy experience” and two nonvoting union representatives from the largest NJ Transit bus and rail employee unions.