NJ TRANSIT advances zero-emission bus conversion with design and investment planning study
The study aims to advance NJ TRANSIT’s sustainable transition by creating a set of standard designs and construction specifications for zero-emission fleets and the required equipment, technology and training.
Credit: NJ TRANSIT
NJ TRANSIT has announced that its Board of Directors is continuing to advance its zero-emission bus programme with the awarding of a contract that will focus on bus system design and capital investment planning. The Zero-Emission Bus System Design and Investment Planning Study will develop and create standards and best practices that will be critical as the agency continues to move toward a 100 per cent zero-emission bus fleet.
“NJ TRANSIT, through this study, will set the standards for the transformations in infrastructure, technology, fleet and operations for their transition to zero-emission buses,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “NJ TRANSIT is committed to meeting their aggressive zero-emission bus deployment schedule and milestones.”
“This important study approved by our Board is a significant step forward for our zero-emission bus programme, already well underway,” said NJ TRANSIT President and CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “NJ TRANSIT is committed to a responsible transition to a 100 percent zero-emission bus fleet by 2040. We are leveraging our relationships with national and international peer agencies through APTA and UITP, respectively, to ensure we move forward deliberatively based on global best practices in order to achieve that goal.”
The contract with ZEBGO/NJ, a joint venture of WSP and STV, will identify the investments that are critical to a successful transformation of the bus network. The contract is for $9.4 million, plus five per cent for contingencies, subject to the availability of funds.
The goals of the study include:
- The establishment of the roll-out plan for a 100 per cent zero-emission fleet
- The creation of a ‘playbook’ of practices, standard designs and construction specifications for zero-emission fleets, equipment, technology and training based on global best practices to make New Jersey a benchmark for the industry
- Accelerated advancement of critical capital projects and programmes to jump-start the readiness of infrastructure to receive zero-emission buses.
In October 2021, the agency’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.
The Camden project is a first of its kind initiative for NJ TRANSIT, which will test 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 battery electric bus performance, including travel distance available between re-charging. The project will also review the infrastructure resources and work required to modernise NJ TRANSIT’s bus garages to accept new charging stations, and the significantly greater power feeds needed to energise them.
The Bus Garage Modernization project has been identified as a capital need in NJ TRANSIT’s 5-Year Capital Plan and is aligned with the agency’s commitment to achieving a full transition to a 100 per cent zero-emission bus fleet by 2040.
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