NEWARK, NJ – Just months after Governor Phil Murphy came to Newark to announce a $ 130 million pledge of $ 130 million in clean transportation projects across the state, NJ Transit is now holding its end to its deal with plans to bring electric buses to the area to bring upright.
With investments in greener mobility services, NJ Transit officials announced this week that the Hilton Garage in Maplewood will be upgraded to accommodate 16 battery-electric buses to serve the Newark area. The plan comes as NJ Transit continues to aggressively advance its goal of having a zero-emission bus fleet by 2040.
“Although we have aggressive plans in place to reach this milestone, we are consciously moving forward using relationships with our peer agencies, both nationally and internationally, to learn from their experiences and ensure our success,” said Kevin Corbett, President and CEO of NJ Transit.
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During a meeting of the Board of Directors’ Energy and Sustainability Committee this week, NJ Transit officials unveiled a roadmap to highlight their efforts to create a zero-emission fleet.
Highlights, including the launch of a call for proposals from qualified consultants for the bus garage modernization program, included plans to use electric buses in Newark with upgrades to the Maplewood garage.
A selected consultant is required at the Maplewood site to prepare construction documents for power services and facility upgrades. The consultant is expected to conduct site surveys for all 16 existing garages in the NJ Transit network to document items such as power / utility connections, architecture, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
NJ Transit also applied for a federal grant to purchase eight articulated electric buses that would run from the Hilton Garage and serve a route in Newark and Irvington.
On April 12, the company applied for a grant from the Federal Transportation Administration’s (FTA) Low or No Emissions Grant Program. The FTA is awarded a total of $ 180 million in grants nationwide under the program.
Should NJ Transit be awarded the federal grant, the state would contribute an additional $ 4.5 million through the Transportation Trust Fund, for a total grant of approximately $ 15 million.
Plans are in place to replace eight 40-foot diesel vehicles operating on Line 25, which runs through Newark and Irvington – communities that NJ Transit has identified as “polluted”.
“The new buses would allow NJ Transit to improve service with the larger buses without negatively impacting air quality,” officials said.
In a letter of support for last year’s FTA grant application, Joseph Fiordaliso, president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, stated that battery-electric buses can be up to eight times more efficient in operation than a diesel bus and a critical power source in an emergency.
“The roadmap to achieving a 100% zero-emission bus fleet by 2040 lays the foundation for NJ Transit’s green fleet of the future,” said Cedrick Fulton, vice chairman of the NJ Transit Board. “Advancing the modernization of NJ Transit’s bus garages and applying for additional federal funding for electric buses are critical steps in achieving this very ambitious and important goal.”