NJ Transit’s aging bus garage in Wayne is getting a federally funded makeover, including equipment needed to make the switch from diesel-powered to electric buses.
U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker and U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, all D-N.J., announced Friday that NJ Transit received a $14.67 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to modernize and rehabilitate the Wayne Bus Garage.
The 22-year-old garage services 191 buses or about 10% of NJ Transit’s bus fleet and components in the garage are starting to show their age, officials said.
Upgrading and retrofitting bus garages with charging infrastructure to accommodate electric buses is a component of NJ Transit’s strategic plan that was unveiled in June. NJ Transit is testing the feasibility of electric buses with a federally and state funded pilot program of eight buses in Camden.
“The Wayne Bus Garage helps connect commuters to New York City, students to William Paterson (University) and shoppers to Willowbrook (Mall), and plays a critical role in keeping our economy and families moving forward,” said Menendez, a ranking Senate’s mass transit subcommittee member. “Without this federal funding to make necessary upgrades, the garage could fall into dilapidation, which would cause a severe disruption in our state’s transit network.”
This $15 million grant, in combination with a $17 million grant received last year from USDOT to buy new articulated buses — in conjunction with a plan to redesign the bus network — will allow NJ Transit to “better align service with demand and enhance capacity on the routes with the heaviest ridership throughout Northern New Jersey,” said Kevin Corbett, NJ Transit CEO and President.
Federal funding also will fund replacing the roof, preparing the facility for solar electric power, upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, fire detection and suppression systems, and installing energy-efficient lighting.
“We fought for this DOT funding to not only make needed improvements to the garage, but with an eye toward the future as NJT transitions to electric vehicles,” Sherill said.
Booker said modernizing the state’s transit systems with federal investment is critical to keeping the economy moving and improving the quality of life for commuters.
September 16, 2021
September 15, 2021