Trenton – The Senate today endorsed a bill authored by Senate President Steve Sweeney that would enhance transportation services for senior citizens and the disabled.
The bill, S-1936, would require the Department of Transportation to advertise the availability of the programs that serve these groups. The information on bus and rail service would have to include costs, the availability of reduced fares and the hours of operation.
“Senior citizens and those with disabilities often rely on public transportation for their daily needs,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “It’s important that they are made aware of all the services that address their needs and are informed of the costs.”
The bill also requires the Transportation Commissioner to advertise which public transportation facilities have been made accessible to persons with disabilities and the availability of other services offered to the public for use by those with disabilities. This includes the Access Link paratransit service operated by the New Jersey Transit Corporation.
“People with disabilities rely on Access Link for their basic transportation needs,” said Senator Sweeney. “During emergencies, their reliance on this service is even more important. Access Link has proven to be a real success in serving a vital need. I believe it should be maintained in emergency conditions so those with disabilities are not left to fend for themselves.”
Currently, NJ Transit bus operations have remained running during most emergency conditions while Access Link has been suspended, causing people with disabilities to be left with no transportation.
The bill was passed by a vote of 38-0.