New Jersey Transit Will Ban Riders Who Assault Workers

As part of a bill passed to protect transit operators from violence and abuse, NJ Transit is creating a policy for banning violent passengers, permanently in some cases.

1 minute read

December 18, 2022, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

White NJ Transit bus


NJ Transit is developing a new policy that will ban riders who assault drivers or other NJ Transit employees, with a lifetime ban possible for assault with a deadly weapon.

As Larry Higgs reports on, the policy is part of a law passed last year, the Motorbus and Passenger Rail Service Employee Violence Protection Act (VPA), that also raised fines for assaulting transit workers. “The policy would be similar to a national ‘no fly list’ law that airlines are seeking to bar violent passengers, beyond stiff fines and penalties the Federal Aviation Administration implemented in the wake of assaults on flight crews,” Higgs explains.

The law was a response to heightened violence against transit operators during the pandemic, when drivers often faced abuse when attempting to enforce masking policies. “NJ Transit reported 82 assaults of bus operators between January and September 2021 and 52 assaults of rail crews, according to the ATU. In January 2021, a 21-year-old woman punched and spit in the face of a NJ Transit bus driver. In October 2021 a passenger on an NJ Transit train threatened a conductor with a knife after the conductor asked him to put on a mask.”

The NJ Transit board will vote on the final policy next year.

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