NJ TRANSIT’s board took another step in the transition to a zero-emissions bus fleet with the awarding of a contract 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.
“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 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.
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.
Some of the possible improvements at the garages include expanding the footprint of the facilities, roof strengthening for solar systems and power equipment, upgrading the power supply, and installing new technologies, including bus charging equipment.
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.
In January 2020, Gov. Murphy signed S2252/A4819, which 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% zero-emission buses, escalating to 50% by December 2026, and 100% by December 2032.