NEW JERSEY – NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett was joined Tuesday by Congressman Donald Norcross along with local, county and state officials and other stakeholders today to introduce the agency’s first battery electric bus that will soon be entering revenue service.
The major milestone is an historic moment for the nation’s largest statewide transit provider and sets the stage for the planned transition to a complete fleet of zero-emission buses by 2040 aligned with Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan. This also reinforces the Murphy Administration’s commitment to New Jersey’s environmental justice communities.
“Evidenced by NJ TRANSIT’s introduction of its first battery electric bus, New Jersey continues to serve as a trailblazer in transportation innovation,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “It’s game-changing developments like these that testify to my Administration’s promotion of transportation alternatives that are not only more affordable and accessible, but more environmentally sustainable, especially for communities overburdened by pollution. Once and for all, these communities will share in the full financial and health benefits of our state’s transition to a clean energy economy.”
“Accessible and reliable public transportation is critical to our continued progress in Camden City and statewide,” said Congressman Donald Norcross. “The unprecedented federal investments in New Jersey’s transition to clean energy – from charging infrastructure to zero-emission buses – is unlocking economic growth, improving the quality of our air, reducing congestion in our downtowns, and ensuring every South Jersey resident can get where they need to go.”
“By transitioning to a clean bus fleet, NJ TRANSIT will improve local air quality in our communities while reducing the emissions that fuel climate change,” said New Jersey Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette. “My Department of Environmental Protection colleagues and I are grateful for the partnership of NJ TRANSIT and the state Department of Transportation in the critical work of reducing and responding to climate change and congratulate them on this important milestone. Together, we will meet this moment.”
“The future is now for NJ TRANSIT, and this bus is just the first step along our transition to a more sustainable transportation system,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “I am proud to be a part of this transformational moment in NJ TRANSIT’s history.”
“This historic achievement puts NJ TRANSIT on a path of sustainability,” said NJ TRANSIT Board Vice-Chair Cedrick T. Fulton. “This is particularly meaningful to me, having worked a majority of my career in bus operations, knowing that we are changing the trajectory of the bus network here in New Jersey.”
“I’m so pleased that the transition to zero-emission buses is beginning right here in South Jersey,” said NJ TRANSIT Board Member Sangeeta Doshi. “This is a reminder that clean air in our cities is a top priority as we continue to make strides in reducing transportation emissions in New Jersey.”
“To increase the efficiency of our fight against climate change, we must begin by incorporating environmentally friendly options into our daily lives, and today NJ TRANSIT has taken a major step forward in achieving this goal,” said New Jersey State Senator Nilsa I. Cruz-Perez. “As a state, we have established ambitious goals to significantly lower our carbon emissions and become a greener place to live. The new zero emissions electric bus offers commuters a healthier and more environmentally friendly way to get around efficiently. On behalf of all Camden residents, we are extremely grateful to host NJ TRANSIT’s first electric bus program.”
“This is yet another historic first for the City of Camden and NJ TRANSIT as we introduce the first battery electric bus into service at the Newton Avenue Bus Garage,” said Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen. “This is a huge milestone towards a zero-emission fleet and a sustainable transportation system. I commend Governor Phil Murphy, Congressman Donald Norcross, and the leadership of NJ TRANSIT for moving in the right direction. It is so important that we reduce emissions throughout New Jersey and in urban communities like Camden.”
“NJ TRANSIT could not be more proud to introduce the first electric bus in our agency’s history that will soon be picking customers up along Camden’s city streets,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “This is an especially important first step as residents in large urban cities such as Camden often disproportionately bear the effects of air pollution.”
The Camden project is a first of its kind initiative for NJ TRANSIT, which will test eight battery 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.
Following the announcement, the bus will be used for bus operator training as well as first responder training and will enter into passenger service in the coming weeks.
NJ TRANSIT’s Zero Emission Timeline
In January 2020, Governor Murphy signed legislation establishing goals to increase the use of zero-emission vehicles in New Jersey.
- By December 31, 2024: At least 10 percent of new bus purchases will be zero-emission buses.
- By December 31, 2026: At least 50 percent of new bus purchases will be zero-emission buses.
- By December 31, 2032: 100 percent of new bus purchases will be zero-emission buses.
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. The eight new charging stations were unveiled in March 2022.
In October 2021, 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 with options allowing the purchase of up to 75 additional zero-emission buses.
Limited Electric Bus Deployment in Newark
The Hilton Garage in Maplewood is next on NJ TRANSIT’s list for modernization to accommodate battery electric buses to serve the Newark region.
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.
In March 2022, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Director’s approved a $4.3 million contract with AECOM of Piscataway, New Jersey 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.
In September 2022, NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors approved the Zero-Emission Bus System Design and Investment Planning Study which will develop and create standards and best practices that will be critical as the agency continues to move toward a 100% zero-emission bus fleet. The $9.4 million contract was awarded to ZEBGO/NJ, a joint venture of WSP and STV to identify the investments needed for a successful transformation of the bus network.
The transition to zero-emission 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.”