The NJ TRANSIT board of directors took another step in the transition to a zero-emissions bus fleet with the awarding of a $4 million contract to AECOM to design the infrastructure required for a limited deployment of battery electric buses at Hilton Garage in Maplewood and conduct a survey of current conditions at all 16 NJ TRANSIT bus garages statewide. The survey will help identify the required infrastructure upgrades needed at each garage in later stages of the zero-emissions transition.
“The electrification of NJ TRANSIT’s bus fleet is a critical part of our state’s Energy Master Plan,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “Battling climate change requires bold and innovative steps. With today’s contract award, our state is closer to ensuring that one of the largest bus fleets of any transportation agency is made of 100-percent zero-emissions vehicles.”
“NJ TRANSIT’s transformational bus garage modernization program will include the necessary renovation and construction at our existing bus garages to accommodate a zero-emissions bus fleet, similar to the work we’ve done at our Newton Avenue Bus Garage in Camden,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “This initial phase of the bus garage modernization program represents a significant leap forward in meeting our commitment to transition to a 100-percent zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040, aligned with Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan.”
The contract with AECOM of Piscataway calls for the conceptual, preliminary and final engineering services and construction assistance services for Hilton Garage early construction work required to prepare the facility for a limited deployment of electric buses. The contract also provides for a systemwide bus garage survey to document existing conditions. The contract is for $4,330,348.50, plus five percent for contingencies, subject to the availability of funds.
Modern, state-of-the-art infrastructure is needed to support a zero-emissions bus fleet and ensure a smooth transition. Garage modernization is a prerequisite for operation of a zero-emissions bus fleet. Later stages of the program will include design work for five selected garages for full scale modernization to accommodate zero-emissions buses followed by design work at the remaining 11 garages.
Transitioning to a zero-emission fleet will require a major transformation of infrastructure, routes, and operations. The bus garage modernization project will involve the extensive upgrading of existing garage facilities and infrastructure, including power utilities, to ensure they can accommodate a zero-emissions fleet.
In October of 2021, NJ TRANSIT’s board approved the purchase of eight battery electric buses which will be a part of a limited deployment in the Camden region based out of the Newton Avenue bus garage.
On Jan. 17, Governor Murphy signed S2252/A4819 that established requirements for NJ TRANSIT to move toward zero-emission bus purchases by 2032. Specifically, all NJ TRANSIT bus purchases made on or after December 2024 must include at least 10 percent zero-emission buses, escalating to 50% by December 2026, and 100 percent by December 2032.
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