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NJ TRANSIT SERVICES ARE AN EASY WAY TO ‘GO GREEN’ FOR EARTH DAY AND EVERY DAY

April 21, 2021

NEWARK, NJ – On Earth Day 2021, which is officially recognized on April 22 this year, NJ TRANSIT reminds everyone that mass transit offers a simple way to reduce your carbon footprint.   NJ TRANSIT also continues to reduce its own carbon footprint through actions such as advancing our battery-electric bus program, efficiency upgrades at its maintenance facilities, deployment of solar generation and other low-carbon forms of electricity generation and the use of alternative-fueled vehicles. 

“For NJ TRANSIT, Earth Day is an annual reminder about how important public transportation is to the environment. It’s so important, we’ve dedicated a core goal in our 10-Year Strategic Plan (NJT2030) to promoting a more sustainable future for our planet,” said President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “Our efforts on bus electrification are already well underway, and we’re on track to fully transitioning to a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040, aligned with Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan, beginning in Camden where we will launch our first electric bus demonstration project by the end of this year.”

Zero Emissions Bus Program

In February 2021, NJ TRANSIT released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the purchase of eight battery-electric buses, an early limited deployment in Camden. The acquisition of the buses is part of an overall effort by Governor Murphy’s Administration to combat the impacts of climate change by transitioning to zero-emissions vehicles. The Camden limited deployment will enable NJ TRANSIT to study the unique benefits and challenges of using zero-emissions vehicles in a real-world setting.

In September 2020, NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors approved a $3.235 million contract to renovate the Newton Avenue Bus Garage with electric vehicle charging stations and other associated infrastructure modifications. That project is expected to be completed in December of this year.

Environmental Benefits of Riding NJ TRANSIT

NJT-Sustainability-CO2-by-ModeAccording to the a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory report from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), it is estimated that New Jersey’s transportation sector (including personal vehicles and trucks) accounts for 40.0 million metric tons CO2 equivalent (MMTCO2e), which is 41 percent of the gross GHG emissions statewide. The majority of transportation emissions, nearly three quarters, comes from personal vehicles.  The Federal Transit Administration estimates a single occupied vehicle emits 0.0.96 pounds of CO2 per passenger-mile.  The chart highlights public transportation emissions through its various modes normalized on a per passenger-mile basis. 

The total emissions released from

NJ TRANSIT’s operations represents about 1.62% of the total transportation sector and produces 60 percent less in GHG emissions per passenger-mile than the average person driving alone, demonstrating its efficiency. 

NJ TRANSIT’s role in reducing emissions can be even more significant and can lead to even greater benefits as the more passengers who ride mass transit, the lower the emissions per passenger-mile.

In addition to efficiency benefits, there are land-use benefits of transit on GHG emissions.  Public transportation promotes compact developments; businesses, retail space, schools, and living areas are constructed within close proximity.  Land use that prioritizes public transportation, including Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), promotes walking and cycling due to the close distance of travelled areas and access to transportation options.  Compact development tends to emerge near transportation systems —bus depots, rail terminals, and light rail stations.  For instance, NJ TRANSIT’s Hudson-Bergen Light Rail serves the high-density areas of Jersey City and Hoboken and connects people from across the region to ferries, PATH, trains and buses.

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)

NJ TRANSIT has renewed its focus on Transit-Oriented Development, and is encouraging its local community partners interested in new development to learn more about opportunities with the agency to foster great, economically and environmentally sustainable places centered at its transportation facilities.

Under President & CEO Kevin Corbett and with the support of NJ Department of Transportation Commissioner and Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, NJ TRANSIT is working to ensure the communities it serves get the most out of mass transit. By integrating mixed use developments to the organization’s rail stations and bus lines via transit-oriented design, municipalities can enhance their residents’ quality of life by providing not just local neighborhood amenities, but also easy access via NJ TRANSIT to the incredible resources available in the Garden State.

NJ TRANSIT is actively advancing TOD projects across its system, including projects in Aberdeen, Matawan, Somerville, Hoboken, Jersey City, Woodbridge and other communities throughout the Garden State. Municipal leaders interested in learning more about how NJ TRANSIT can support their community with Transit-Oriented Development should contact NJ TRANSIT.

To promote transit-oriented development opportunities on and near NJ TRANSIT properties, NJ TRANSIT has developed a website to host project documents for prospective developer partners and members of the community to access at https://www.njtransitdevelopment.com.

Earth Day is celebrated annually worldwide to show support for environmental protection. The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970.

About NJ TRANSIT

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 925,000 weekday trips on 253 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 166 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.