NJ TRANSIT’s board of directors marked a milestone in the agency’s history by giving approval for the purchase of NJ TRANSIT’s first all-electric buses. The eight zero-emissions buses will be part of a limited deployment in the Camden region based out of the Newton Avenue bus garage and represent NJ TRANSIT’s commitment to transitioning to a 100% zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040, aligned with Gov. Phil Murphy’s Energy Master Plan.
“Our Administration is committed to environmental protection and the adaptation of sustainable technology that improves quality of life for New Jerseyans,” said Governor Murphy. “This purchase is a key step towards fulfilling the goals of the Energy Master Plan and will provide us with data and real-world experience with cutting-edge mass transit equipment. I look forward to seeing these buses hit the road and benefit NJ TRANSIT customers.”
“We are in the midst of transforming our mass transit system into a more sustainable and environmentally friendly solution to mitigate the impacts of climate change,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “The historic actions we take today in approving these battery electric buses will reap benefits not only for the overburdened communities who will see cleaner air, but for our children and grandchildren by systemically creating a new paradigm in the way we choose to power our transit system.”
“As part of my many years of experience with transportation in the region, it is a highlight of my career to be able to advance the future of bus technology,” said NJ TRANSIT Board Vice-Chair Cedrick Fulton. “This is just the start of a next-generation bus network that will be greener, more sustainable and more equitable. This historic action will have a ripple effect for a long time to come.”
“Today’s Board approval marks a historic moment for NJ TRANSIT as we proudly take a significant step forward toward our goal of achieving a 100% zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “Our first-ever battery electric buses will be used as part of a bus demonstration project in Camden that will allow us to thoroughly assess their performance while operating on existing bus routes.”
NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors approved a $9.4 million contract, plus five percent for contingencies, with New Flyer of America for the purchase of eight 40-foot battery electric buses. The contract calls for eight buses to be delivered over a one-year period with options allowing the purchase of up to 75 additional zero-emissions buses.
The Camden project is a first of its kind initiative for NJ TRANSIT, which will test electric buses in real world conditions on specific NJ TRANSIT routes. This will provide invaluable data and information on the effects of weather, passenger volume, road conditions and other factors on electric bus performance, including travel distance available between recharging. The project will also review the infrastructure resources and work required to modernize NJ TRANSIT’s bus garages to accept new charging stations, and the significantly greater power feeds needed to energize them. This project also will help NJ TRANSIT understand how to accomplish the fleet and garage infrastructure upgrades without disrupting the regular daily service our customers rely on.
This project was identified as a capital need in NJ TRANSIT’s 5-Year Capital Plan and is aligned with NJ TRANSIT’s commitment to achieving full transition to 100% zero-emission bus fleet by 2040. This purchase positions NJ TRANSIT to remain on pace to meet the schedule contained in Governor Murphy’s Zero-Emissions-Bus Initiative.
In January 2020, Governor Murphy signed legislation establishing goals to increase the use of zero-emissions vehicles in New Jersey.
It is anticipated that customers may begin using electric buses when a prototype of the new electric bus is scheduled to be delivered in the second quarter of 2022 and the remaining buses in the fourth quarter of 2022.
In September 2020, NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors awarded a $3.235 million contract to Scalfo Electric of Vineland to renovate the Newton Avenue Bus Garage with electric vehicle charging stations and other associated infrastructure modifications. That project is targeted to be completed in the first quarter of 2022, which includes testing and commissioning.
The Hilton Garage in Maplewood is next on NJ TRANSIT’s list for modernization to accommodate battery electric buses to serve the Newark region. The selected consultant will create construction documents for utility power service needs and facility upgrades for an early construction to accommodate up to 16 battery electric buses at Hilton garage. The consultant will also perform site surveys for all 16 existing garages in NJ TRANSIT’s network (inclusive of the Hilton Bus Garage) to document items such as power/utility connections, architecture and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
In June 2021, NJ TRANSIT was awarded $5.15 million from the FTA for the purchase of up to four zero-emissions articulated buses to serve the Newark region on the No. 25 route based out of the Hilton garage in Maplewood.
The transition to zero-emissions vehicles advances one of NJ TRANSIT’s five overarching goals outlined in the 10-year Strategic Plan, NJT2030 to “Promote a More Sustainable Future for Our Planet.”
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