NJ TRANSIT continues advancing its sustainability goals with the Board of Directors’ approval to purchase 19 federally funded battery electric vans for Local and Community-based transportation programs. A portion of the vans will be distributed to community-based services in Essex, Middlesex and Somerset counties as well as NJ TRANSIT’s Access Link service. NJ TRANSIT will utilize eight of the vans for a future pilot program of an on-demand micro transit shuttle service along the Route 9 corridor in Monmouth County.
“The purchase of electric vans through federal dollars continues our commitment to transition to zero-emission vehicles across our fleet and with our community partners,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “NJ TRANSIT is proud to offer sustainable options to help enhance mobility for seniors and people with disabilities throughout the state.”
“Zero-emission vehicles are a critical part of modernizing the transportation network in New Jersey,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “This purchase not only helps our local communities transition to electric vehicles to support the state’s sustainability goals, but it also advances our mission to provide accessible transportation for all New Jerseyans.”
NJ TRANSIT will use a Michigan Department of Transportation procurement for the purchase of 19 battery electric vans that will include lifts for transportation for senior citizens and people with disabilities at a cost not to exceed $3,800,000, plus five percent for contingencies, subject to the availability of funds. Federal funding comes from Federal Transit Administration’s Section 5310 program, the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality programs.
All vehicles being replaced have met their useful life, age and or miles, according to vehicle replacement cycles. Essex County will receive three vans, Middlesex County will receive one van and Somerset County will receive two vans. Access Link will receive four vans. Distribution of one vehicle remains in the grant selection process. NJ TRANSIT encourages other agencies to choose the electric van option and apply for this “green vehicle” to help enhance mobility in their area for seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, job seekers, and rural residents.
In addition, NJ TRANSIT will utilize eight of the electric vans to test the feasibility of operating an on-demand micro transit shuttle service to connect lower-demand residential areas with mainline commuter bus corridors. This type of service can potentially serve residential customers at lower cost, with more operational and customer flexibility than is provided by limited fixed route “branch” services. The micro transit service will operate point-to-point service within two specified zones, along the U.S. Route 9 corridor in Monmouth County, with the possibility of service area expansions and modifications based on results and lessons learned after initial implementation.