48:12-108. Transportation of bicycles as baggage; penalty for refusal
The holder of a ticket issued by any railroad company entitling him to transportation on its railroad or ferries as a passenger shall have the right in lieu of other baggage, to the transportation as baggage without further charge of one bicycle to and from the place designated in such ticket. Such transportation shall be on the same train or boat with the passenger where facilities for the transportation of baggage then exist on such train or boat.
The passenger shall remove any lantern from such bicycle but not any usual bicycle bell or cyclometer nor need he crate, cover or otherwise protect the bicycle. No railroad company transporting bicycles pursuant to this section shall be liable for damage done to any bell, cyclometer or like attachments.
Any railroad company refusing to accept for transportation or to transport bicycles as baggage as required by this section shall pay to such passenger ten dollars for each offense, to be recovered in an action at law in any court of competent jurisdiction.
The archaic language in the statute makes me believe that it dates back a hundred years or so; back when the League of American Wheelmen (former name of the League of American Bicyclists) and its local chapters were a political force to be reckoned with.
Still, I'm curious. Does this mean that NJ TRANSIT has a statutory responsibility to transport one's bicycle, free of charge at ALL TIMES? Also, does the statute require ferry companies to do the same? Are ferry companies exempt since all that I'm aware of operate services that cross state lines or are they require so long as the service connects to a New Jersey port?
This law, as old as it may be, is still on the books, so it would seem to still have some teeth. I'm sure there is something in the statutes that organized NJ TRANSIT that exempts it from this statute, however other passenger trains services (tourist) and ferry services are probably still on the hook for this. Maybe we all have 10 bucks coming our way!
Are there any legal scholars out there who might know the answer?