NJ TRANSIT Unveils 100% Zero-Emissions Bus Plan
NJ TRANSIT Unveils 100% Zero-Emissions Bus Plan

NJ TRANSIT continues to aggressively advance its zero-emissions bus program with the release of its roadmap to a 100% zero-emission bus fleet, which highlights several key efforts in recent weeks, including the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) from qualified consulting firms for the Bus Garage Modernization Program and the application submitted for federal funding to acquire additional battery-electric buses to be used in the Newark region. NJ TRANSIT also remains on track for the launch of the deployment of eight electric buses in Camden by the end of this year.

“NJ TRANSIT remains wholly committed to transitioning to a 100% zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040, aligned with Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “While we have laid out aggressive plans to achieve this milestone, we are moving forward deliberatively by leveraging relationships with our peer agencies, both nationally and internationally, to learn from their experiences and ensure our success.”

In September 2020, NJ TRANSIT’s board 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 Fall 2021 and will support the Camden electric bus deployment.

In February 2021, NJ TRANSIT released of an RFP for the purchase of eight battery-powered electric buses, to be introduced as part of an early deployment in the City of Camden. The Camden limited deployment will enable NJ TRANSIT to study the unique benefits and challenges of using zero-emissions vehicles in a real-world setting.

The Camden demonstration 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 pilot project will also review the infrastructure resources and work required to modernize the agency’s bus garages to accept new charging stations, and the significantly greater power feeds needed to energize them. The pilot 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.

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.

Bus Garage Modernization

Infrastructure is a critical component of NJ TRANSIT’s zero-emissions bus program, and that begins with bus garage modernization. The goal of the garage modernization project is to completely renovate and transform existing bus garages to handle future zero-emissions buses.

NJ TRANSIT is requesting proposals from qualified consulting firms to conduct Conceptual Design, Preliminary, and Final, as well as Engineering and Construction Assistance services, for the Bus Garage Modernization Program. The proposed upgrades involve the transitioning of the garage infrastructure to support battery electric buses and other zero-emissions technologies.

The Program will be completed in three major stages:

  • Stage 1 includes 100% design for eight charging stations at Hilton garage, 10% design at all other garages as well as a systemwide survey of all 16 garages to document existing conditions.
  • Stage 2 includes additional modernization design at Newton Avenue Garage and modernization design of the following four garages: Wayne Garage, Hamilton Garage, Hilton Garage and Greenville Garage.
  • Stage 3 includes final design for Hamilton, Hilton, Newton, Greenville, Wayne Garages and the development of the Operations & Maintenance and Technology Plan.

The submission deadline for the RFP is July 13 with a selection to be made later this summer.

NJ TRANSIT remains on track to meet:

  • By Dec. 31, 2024: at least 10% of new bus purchases will be zero emissions buses.
  • By Dec. 31, 2026: at least 50% of new bus purchases will be zero emissions buses.
  • By Dec. 31, 2032: 100% of new bus purchases will be zero emissions buses.