U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today announced that NJ Transit has received more than $26 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to purchase 37 hybrid buses to replace older diesel buses.
"This funding will allow NJ Transit to complete the modernization of its bus fleet, which will be significantly more fuel efficient," said Senator Menendez, chairman of the Housing, Transportation, and Community Development Subcommittee of the Senate Banking Committee. "This is the final piece of a $76 million grant that will lower NJ Transit¹s fuel bill by $1.8 million per year and lower asthma-causing air pollution at the same time."
"This federal grant will replace much of our current diesel fleet with new, more energy efficient buses that will help curb emissions and operating costs. This means a cleaner commute for riders, and cleaner communities for New Jersey families," said Senator Lautenberg. "As NJ Transit continues to improve the efficiency and performance of its fleet, we'll keep working to secure smart federal investments in New Jersey's critical transportation systems."
This funding was originally announced in July 2012 as part of a total of more than $76 million in FTA grants to funding three transit projects in New Jersey. The other grants included $46 million to purchase 84 natural gas buses and $2.6 million to begin implementing Bus Rapid Transit service between Camden County and Center City Philadelphia.
As chair of the Senate Banking subcommittee with jurisdiction over public transportation, Senator Menendez and his staff worked closely with NJ Transit on their applications for the funds and he advocated on behalf of the investment to ensure it received due consideration at the FTA.
According to NJ Transit, the new buses purchased with grant funding will save $1.8 million a year in fuel costs due to the increased efficiency of the hybrid buses and because natural gas is about $1.50 cheaper per gallon than diesel fuel. Over the roughly 12-year lifespan of the vehicles, the agency will save more than $20 million.