Bill Text: NJ SJR71 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Creates "Passenger Rail System Study Commission."

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-04-16 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Transportation Committee [SJR71 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-SJR71-Introduced.html

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION

No. 71

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED APRIL 16, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  MICHAEL J. DOHERTY

District 23 (Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Creates "Passenger Rail System Study Commission."

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Joint Resolution creating the "Passenger Rail System Study Commission."

 

Whereas, There may be an overall lack of coordination, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness in the utilization of the passenger rail system in New Jersey together with commuter rail service provided by rail carriers from surrounding states that serve this State; and

Whereas, New Jersey and its neighboring states of New York and Pennsylvania each have separate transportation agencies and separate passenger rail lines and infrastructures which are costly to operate and maintain; and

Whereas, There is a need to conduct a thorough and comprehensive study of the passenger rail system in New Jersey to efficiently and cost-effectively utilize the existing rail infrastructure in coordination with commuter rail service provided by rail carriers from surrounding states; and

Whereas, Passenger rail service could be expanded and improved in the region through the unification, consolidation, merging, sharing, and coordination of transit services among the various transportation agencies in the region; and

Whereas, It is in the public interest and benefit to create a body to examine and study the issues involved in creating a more efficient, cost-effective and viable passenger rail system, and to report the results of this study to the Governor and Legislature, with recommendations, where appropriate; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    There is created a commission to be known as the "Passenger Rail System Study Commission."

 

     2.    The membership shall consist of six public members to be appointed as follows: two members by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, no more than one of whom shall be of the same political party; two members by the President of the Senate, no more than one of whom shall be of the same political party; and two members by the Speaker of the General Assembly, no more than one of whom shall be of the same political party.

 

     3.    The commission shall organize as soon as possible after the appointment of the majority of its members, and shall select a chairperson and vice-chairperson from among its members.  The chairperson shall appoint a secretary, who need not be a member of the commission.  The commission shall meet at the call of the chairperson and hold hearings at the times and in the places it may deem appropriate and necessary to fill its charge.

     The members shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties and within the limits of funds available to the commission.

 

     4.    The commission shall be entitled to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of the employees of any State department, board, bureau, commission, agency, authority, or other entity, as it may require and as may be available, and to employ stenographic and clerical assistance and incur traveling and other miscellaneous expenses as may be necessary in order to perform its duties, within the limits of funds available to it for its purpose.

 

     5.    The purpose of the commission shall be to study and evaluate the passenger rail system in New Jersey and develop recommendations to better utilize the existing rail infrastructure by increasing efficiency and decreasing costs.  The commission shall also identify and define the regional issues and concerns relating to the possible unification, consolidation, merging, sharing, and coordination of passenger rail service with commuter rail service provided by rail carriers from the surrounding states, including, but not limited to the following specific areas:

     a.     All existing passenger rail lines that serve New Jersey.

     b     Rail infrastructure consisting of railroad rights-of-way, tracks, bridges, tunnels, signal, control and power systems, terminals, stations and other facilities, structures and equipment.

     c.     Labor costs related to the operation and maintenance of the passenger rail system.

     d.    Rail system operations relating to scheduling, ticket purchases, and passenger logistics.

     e.     The feasibility of unifying, consolidating, merging, sharing, and coordinating passenger rail service in the region.

     f.     The fiscal, operational, and customer service impacts of any proposed recommendations.

 

     6.    The commission shall prepare and submit a report containing its findings, conclusions, and recommendations to the Governor and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), the Legislature no later than 18 months after the date of its initial meeting.

 

7.  This joint resolution shall take effect immediately and shall expire 30 days after the commission submits its report and recommendations, as prescribed in section 6 of this joint resolution.
STATEMENT

 

      This joint resolution creates a "Passenger Rail System Study Commission (commission)." The purpose of the commission is to study and evaluate the State's passenger rail system and to develop recommendations to better utilize the existing rail infrastructure by increasing efficiency and decreasing costs. The commission is also to identify and define issues and concerns relating to the possible unification, consolidation, merging, sharing, and coordination of passenger rail service with commuter rail service provided by rail carriers from the surrounding states.

      The joint resolution specifies that the membership of the commission is to consist of six public members to be appointed as follows:  two members by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, no more than one of whom shall be of the same political party; two members by the President of the Senate, no more than one of whom shall be of the same political party; and two members by the Speaker of the General Assembly, no more than one of whom shall be of the same political party.

      No later than 18 months after the date of its initial meeting, the commission is to submit a report containing its findings, conclusions, and recommendations to the Governor and Legislature. The commission is to dissolve 30 days after the issuance of its report.

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