New Jersey Transit expanding its de-escalation training for rail and bus workers

Published: October 29, 2019

New Jersey Transit (NJT) is expanding its de-escalation training for front-line employees to include curriculum from Rutgers’ National Transit Institute (NTI), the carrier said in a press release on Monday.

NTI presented a “Train the Trainers” program on conflict de-escalation techniques for bus and rail operations and New Jersey Transit police recently.

“These highly effective techniques will be incorporated into existing internal NJT de-escalation training programs to create a set of best practices for use in real-world situations,” NJT said in its release.

“This new de-escalation training demonstrates our commitment to our front-line employees and to their safety,” said NJT President & CEO Kevin Corbett.

“One of our main missions as a police department is promoting the safety of our customers and crews, and this expansion of our de-escalation training fits squarely in that space,” said NJT Police Chief Christopher Trucillo. “It is always preferable to have situations managed before it rises to the level of police involvement.”

“The best way to help employees at risk of on-the-job assaults is to help them prevent the assault in the first place,” said NJT Employee Court Advocate Michael Rubin. “With this expanded training program our bus operators, conductors, police, and other customer-facing employees will have additional tools at hand to de-escalate situations and protect themselves and their customers from possible assaults.”

All of NJT’s employees who work with the public on buses, trains or as police officers receive training on how to manage difficult situations to minimize the possibility of violence. With the assistance of NTI, the trainings will be more robust and help to reduce assaults on bus operators, conductors, police, and other personnel.

“SMART TD Local 60 applauds N.J. Transit’s efforts in protecting our front-line employees from assaults. NTI’s de-escalation training is a great step in the right direction,” said Jerome C. Johnson, president and alternate delegate of the local and general chairperson of GO-610 (New Jersey Transit). “We look forward to collaborating further with N.J. Transit to reduce assaults and provide training for our brothers and sisters in conflict avoidance.”

NJT is the nation’s largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 925,000 weekday trips on 251 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines, and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 166 rail stations, 62 light rail stations, and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia.