NJ Transit train late? You should get a refund, lawmakers say
Even as efforts continue to improve service on NJ Transit, cancellations and delays on many rail lines continue.
Last week alone, a train stranded 1,500 people in a tunnel for two hours because the locomotive lost power, multiple trains got stuck for more than 90 minutes because the Portal Bridge was impassable, and a train derailed in the Hudson River tunnel for more than an hour.
Now an effort is underway to hold the agency financially accountable for significant delays that take place due to mechanical problems or difficulties.
Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz, R-Union, is sponsoring a measure that calls for NJ Transit to give a full refund to all travelers who are stuck on a delayed rail or light rail train for more than an hour.
“They’ve had it. They’re fed up with the delays with the overcrowding, with the cancellations," she said.
“Passengers are suffering and yet NJ Transit doesn’t seem to be suffering, so what we’re trying to do is put their feet to the fire."
She said monthly pass holders would get a prorated amount refunded while single-ticket holders would get their money back.
She noted if there’s a police event that causes a train to be delayed, there would not be a refund.
Munoz said her proposal is about fairness.
“When you look at a train schedule, you expect the train to get there when it’s scheduled and you expect to arrive at your destination when it’s scheduled and that’s simply not happening.”
She pointed out this problem doesn’t just affect commuters who work in New York City.
“I live in a town with two hospitals. People get off the train every day with scrubs on going to work and they’re late for work. They’re fed up; they’ve had it.”
The measure, which is awaiting action in the Assembly Transportation committee, is co-sponsored by Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco, R-Morris.
When NJ Transit was asked to respond, a spokesman said they can't comment on pending legislation.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com