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Advocates push for complete NJ transit electric bus transition by 2040

Colleen Wilson | September 12, 2019 | Bergen Record |


Electric buses are coming to NJ Transit, but not soon enough for some.

A Rutgers University physician, bus riders, New Jersey residents and environmental activists told the transit agency’s board at Thursday’s meeting it was imperative to pledge full electrification of buses by 2040, citing health, cost and reliability issues.

“I’m a third-generation Newarker and a mother of three asthmatic children, and I stand here today because this issue of pollution emissions is an environmental justice issue,” said Kim Gaddy, the environmental justice organizer for Clean Water Action. “We can’t escape from the diesel fumes, we live in a diesel death zone that unfortunately causes premature deaths for so many of us who reside here.”

NJ Transit, which operates more than 3,700 buses all told, announced in January it was planning to pilot an electric bus program expected to launch in mid-2021. The pilot program is being designed now to determine eight routes in Camden that will try out the agency’s first battery-powered commuter vehicles.