There is good news from Washington concerning continued federal support for transportation. New Jersey Transit is a direct recipient of Federal Transit Administration funding. This averages close to $1 billion annually to support NJT bus, commuter rail, light rail and para transit systems. It does not include billions more under three CARE COVID-19 relief packages.The FTA announced $182 million in grant selections through the Low or No Emission Discretionary Competitive Grant Program which funds the deployment of transit buses and infrastructure that use advanced propulsion technologies. NJ Transit was one of forty-nine projects in 46 states that will receive funding through the program.
NJ Transit will receive $5.159 million in funds to purchase articulated battery-electric buses to replace older diesel transit buses on a route between Newark and Irvington. The project will enable NJT to expand service in environmental justice communities without adversely impacting air quality in densely populated Northern New Jersey. NJ Transit bus taxpayers and commuters will reap the benefits.
FTA’s Low-No Program supports transit agencies in purchasing or leasing low- or no-emission buses and other transit vehicles that use advanced technologies such as battery electric and fuel-cell power to provide cleaner, more energy efficient transit service in communities across the country.
(Larry Penner is a transportation advocate, historian and writer who previously worked for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office.)