After Months of Pandemic, NJ Transit Cops Issue First Mask Fine
NJ Transit cops last week issued their first mask ticket to a passenger who they said had repeatedly refused to wear a mask on his commute from Lakewood.
NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder says that the rider was issued a disorderly conduct summons, which carries a fine of up to $500.
NJ Transit Police Chief Christopher Trucillo told the Board of Directors's customer service meeting on Tuesday that 145 mask-enforcement details monitored compliance last week and the rider was the only one who would not put on a mask, according to NJ.com's coverage of the meeting.
Trucillo said NJ Transit had received several complaints from riders on the Route 139 bus that runs to New York through Old Bridge and an undercover officer eventually found the scofflaw.
Following Gov. Phil Murphy's executive orders, NJ Transit requires all riders to wear a mask for their entire trip and while waiting for a bus, train or light rail.
The board debated whether offenders could be banned from riding for repeat offenses but Trucillo called it a “cumbersome thing to do” that would involve court action.
NJ Transit joined the MTA, PATH, Amtrak and SEPTA to create a "Mask Force" to encourage mask wearing.
MTA and Port Authority police have issued $50 fines for passengers not wearing masks.
NJ Transit implemented its own "Safe NJ" awareness program when full service returned in order to reinforce social distancing to the greatest extent possible, washing hands, placing trash in receptacles and maintaining safe habits.
"We've been proactive in our efforts to educate and communicate the requirement to wear a face covering while on our system through extensive signage, announcements and social media and we have seen the overwhelming majority of customers complying," Snyder said Wednesday.
NT Transit has also put vending machines selling masks, hand sanitizer, wipes and gloves at Newark Penn Station and stations in Hoboken, Summit, Metropark, Secaucus and New Brunswick.