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General Assembly Advances Bill Expanding Range of Paratransit Services Available to New Jersey Riders

Bill Sponsored by Assemblymen Karabinchak and Calabrese Would Broaden Definition of “Paratransit Services” to Include Several Types of Vehicles 

(TRENTON) – The New Jersey General Assembly voted earlier this week to expand the definition of “paratransit service” under various sections of the law to encompass any transportation service other than fixed route transportation service or motorbus regular route service. Bill A2607, sponsored by Assemblymen Robert Karabinchak and Clinton Calabrese, would expand the range of paratransit service providers available to riders in New Jersey.

“This bill intends to broaden the types of businesses that can compete in the transportation space, which, we anticipate, will cause paratransit costs and operations to become more affordable and effective,” said Assemblyman Karabinchak (D-Middlesex). “Moreover, this promotes equitable access and fosters greater flexibility for individuals who may not currently have convenient and necessary paratransit services.”

Under current law, the definition of “paratransit service” typically excludes private or charter services provided by taxicabs, limousines, or transportation network companies, precluding many businesses from operating in the Garden State. This bill would remove this exclusion from multiple definitions, opening up more avenues for paratransit services statewide.

“Paratransit, or ‘alongside transit,’ is a specialized demand responsive door-to-door transport service for individuals with injuries, impairments, or medical conditions that restrict mobility – frequently individuals with disabilities and the elderly —who are not able to ride fixed-route public transportation,” said Assemblyman Calabrese (D-Bergen, Passaic). “The goal of paratransit service is to ensure that all our residents have access to transit to meet their basic mobility needs despite their disabilities and impairments. With this bill, we aim to increase accessibility to them.”

By broadening the definition of “paratransit service,” current paratransit service operators, including New Jersey Transit, could contract with certain paratransit service providers that are otherwise ineligible under current law. This includes, but is not limited to, the providers of private or charter services via taxicabs, limousines, or transportation network companies.