NJ Transit plans to put eight electric buses on Camden streets by the end of the year. The project is on target to be completed this fall and it will serve as a taste case. The pilot will be the first to employ electric buses in real-world conditions on NJ Transit routes, providing data on the effects of weather, passenger volume and road conditions. It will also include data on the travel distance between recharging.
According to the New Jersey Herald, the pilot project will also evaluate what is needed to upgrade NJ Transit’s bus garages to use charging stations, as well as the significantly increased energy supplies required to power them.
The Hilton Garage in Maplewood is planned to be upgraded in order to accommodate up to 16 battery-electric buses to operate in the Newark region. A consultant will also conduct a site study for the 16 garages in the NJ Transit’s network. Requests for proposals are due back on July 13, with selection expected later this summer.
Three stages program
The program is expected to be completed in three major stages.
Stage 1 includes 100% design for eight charging stations at the Hilton Garage, 10% design at all other garages and a systemwide survey of all 16 garages to document conditions.
You can read: SEPTA Key Card Travel Wallet to replace paper tickets
Stage 2 includes additional modernization design at Newton Avenue Garage and modernization design of four garages: Wayne Garage, Hamilton Garage, Hilton Garage and Greenville Garage in Jersey City.
Stage 3 includes final design for Hamilton, Hilton, Newton, Greenville and Wayne garages and the development of the Operations & Maintenance and Technology Plan.
Zero-emissions bus fleet
The electric buses program for Camden is part of a road map to a 100% zero-emissions bus fleet which was released last week at the NJ Transit board of directors energy and sustainability committee meeting.
NJ Transit projects to set this bus fleet by 2040 and is applying for federal grants to purchase additional electric buses. The plans are “critical steps to meeting this very ambitious and important goal,” NJ Transit board Vice Chair Cedric T. Fulton said.
The zero-emissions bus fleet is aligned with Gov. Phil Murphy’s energy master plan, CEO Kevin S. Corbett said. The plans are “aggressive” to achieve the milestone, and NJ Transit is using relationships with its peer agencies nationally and internationally to learn and reach the zero-emissions goal, Corbett said.
Environmental justice and equity
Last year, Gov. Phil Murphy released a master plan for drastically reducing greenhouse emissions in the state and set a goal to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050 in an effort to slow catastrophic climate change that is already underway in New Jersey.
“NJ Transit is a major component of New Jersey’s infrastructure, and the electrification of their bus fleet is an important step in achieving environmental justice and equity,” said Jane Cohen, director of the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy. “NJ Transit working aggressively to implement these initiatives is a key step toward reaching Governor Murphy’s clean energy and environmental justice goals.”