U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, along with Congressman Albio Sires (N.J.-08) and Donald Payne, Jr. (N.J.-10) announced NJ TRANSIT (NJT) was awarded $7,074,310 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to purchase up to eight, zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, and to build the necessary recharging, refueling and maintenance facilities.
“These green buses will help modernize our state’s public transportation system, increase service for thousands of commuters, and improve air quality in areas of our state with some of the highest asthma rates,” said Sen. Menendez, ranking member of the Senate’s transit subcommittee. “Investing in this greener, cleaner technology benefits public health, strengthens our economy, reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, and improves residents’ quality of life.”
“This bus fleet will go a long way toward providing New Jersey residents and commuters with better access to modern, efficient, and more sustainable public transportation, particularly in communities of color that are disproportionally impacted by environmental pollutants,” said Sen. Booker. “Investing in infrastructure that makes our communities healthier, commuters’ lives easier, and strengthens our local economy is a win for all New Jerseyans.”
“Providing access to public transportation is the key to reducing traffic congestion and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. This grant award to help New Jersey purchase green buses is well deserved assistance from the federal government,” said Rep. Sires. “More green transportation infrastructure will help keep our air clean, take traffic off our roads, and keep our residents healthy.”
“These buses will be a tremendous benefit to my district and northern New Jersey,” said Rep. Payne. “They will improve the way in which residents travel, protect the environment, and save money on fuel costs. I am glad the Department of Transportation awarded New Jersey TRANSIT this grant and I hope to hear of more grants in the future.”
This federal funding will allow NJT to purchase eight, 40-foot, battery-electric buses (BEB), which will operate from the Hilton Garage in Maplewood. The buses will expand service along bus line No. 25, which runs through Newark and Irvington.
“This grant will help us further diversify our bus fleet with Battery-Electric Buses serving Newark and Irvington, enabling us to increase service in a densely populated area while improving air quality. NJ TRANSIT will apply best practices learned from the electric bus pilot scheduled to launch in Camden in the middle of next year,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett. “As we replace hundreds of buses to improve reliability and keep New Jersey moving, we are aggressively pursuing the electrification of our bus fleet. From an economic and environmental justice perspective, our goal is for NJ TRANSIT to be a nationwide leader in electrification as we move toward a zero-emissions bus fleet. I’m grateful to the USDOT for their continued assistance and support, especially Acting FTA Administrator K. Jane Williams for helping us advance this goal. I also want to thank our New Jersey Congressional Delegation for continuing to advocate on behalf of NJ TRANSIT.”
In December, Sen. Menendez and Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (N.J.-11) visited Hilton Garage where they announced over $17 million to purchase new articulated buses to accommodate growing ridership in North Jersey. In 2018, Sens. Menendez and Booker and Congressman Donald Norcross (N.J.-01) announced $1.5 million to purchase green buses in Camden.
In February, Sens. Menendez and Booker introduced the Clean Economy Act, a bold piece of legislation that would put the United States on a path to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050. Reps. Sires and Payne cosponsored similar legislation in the House.
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