With the Department of Human Services (DHS) serving more than one million New Jersey residents, a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Nicholas Chiaravalloti and Valerie Vainieri Huttle would require the department to hire a coordinator to oversee transportation services provided to clients. The legislation recently passed the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee.
DHS’ clients, many of whom are elderly or living with a disability, depend on their diverse array of services for vocational training, healthcare, housing, education, trips to essential stores, and much more. Transportation provided by DHS helps them access these critical services and activities.
The bill (A-2441) requires the department to reestablish the role of Transportation Planning Coordinator by hiring someone with experience in the transportation industry and any other qualifications needed to manage and oversee those transportation services.
The coordinator’s responsibilities would include ensuring the efficacy and efficiency of transportation services provided to clients; overseeing the transportation providers contracted by the department to confirm compliance with all applicable laws; monitoring and reporting any driver or vehicle issues; maintaining proper records; reviewing and resolving complaints regarding those transportation services; and more.
Upon the legislation advancing, Assembly sponsors Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex), Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson) and Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) issued the following joint statement:
“Many of our most vulnerable residents rely on the services provided by the Department of Human Services to complete essential activities, obtain critical support, and improve their daily lives. If clients do not receive the transportation they need to access these services, it can have a significantly harmful impact on their health and well-being. Employing a Transportation Planning Coordinator will help the department ensure reliable transportation for the many New Jerseyans who need it.”