Menendez, Lautenberg Announce $46.3 Million in FTA Funding Obligated to NJ Transit for 84 Natural Gas Buses

Menendez, Lautenberg Announce $46.3 Million in FTA Funding Obligated to NJ Transit for 84 Natural Gas Buses

NJ Transit now able to put contract out to bid to double its natural gas fleet reducing emissions, fuel costs

Newark, NJ - U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today announced a $46,296,000 U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant has now been obligated to NJ Transit. The agency is now able to put the contract out to bid for the purchase of 84 compressed natural gas buses.

"This funding will allow NJ Transit to double its fleet of natural gas buses, which run on a cleaner and cheaper fuel," said Senator Menendez, chairman of the Housing, Transportation, and Community Development Subcommittee of the Senate Banking Committee. "These buses will lower NJ Transit's fuel bill by over $1 million per year and lower asthma-causing air pollution at the same time."

"This federal funding will help modernize New Jersey's transit system with clean and efficient buses that help reduce air pollution and traffic on our congested roads," said Senator Lautenberg, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, which funds the FTA. "Our state depends on a safe, reliable transportation system, and this federal transit investment is a win for commuters, businesses and the environment."

In addition to purchasing the 84 buses, these funds will also be used for the maintenance, operation, and storage of the buses at the Howell Garage, 1251 Route 9 North, Howell, N.J.

Senator Menendez underscored the importance of strong partnerships at the federal and state level, saying his staff worked closely with NJ Transit on their applications for the funds and that he advocated on behalf of the investment to ensure it received due consideration at the FTA.

This funding was originally announced in July as part of a total of more than $76 million in FTA grants to funding three transit projects in New Jersey. The other grants were $27.3 million to purchase 37 new hybrid cruiser buses to run to and from southern New Jersey and New York City, and $2.6 million to begin implementing Bus Rapid Transit service between Camden County and Center City Philadelphia.

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.

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