NJ Transit Bus Purchase Highlights Diesel Benefits

July 20, 2015

The $395 million agreement for the purchase of 772 clean diesel commuter coaches by New Jersey Transit is yet another example of major transit agencies recognizing the economic, safety and environmental benefits of advanced clean diesel technology, said Allen Schaeffer, the executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum

“Through this acquisition of the latest clean diesel technology, New Jersey Transit has made a substantial investment in clean transportation technology that will ensure affordable, efficient, clean and reliable public transportation services for the citizens of New Jersey.  These buses will also play a key role toward improving air quality in the region through gains in ridership and also the environmental performance of these new coaches as they are put in service,” said Schaeffer. 

“New Jersey’s coach fleet is among the largest in North America, so this acquisition is a very strong statement about the value and benefits of new clean diesel technology in a competitive green technology space.  With an array of fuel and technology options, New Jersey Transit selected coaches powered by clean diesel engines for its growing services to outlying cities and suburban areas.

“It recognizes that clean diesel technology offers the best combination of environmental performance, resource flexibility, efficiency, affordability, and reliability - all of which are key considerations for the lowest cost and best service on these heavily-trafficked corridors.”

The six-year delivery schedule for the 772 new clean diesel Commuter Coaches is scheduled to begin in 2016. 

“Businesses and governments are increasingly finding that thanks to the tremendous environmental progress made on diesel engines, they can improve their environmental performance without the higher acquisition, facility and fueling station investments required for alternative fuels like natural gas,” Schaeffer said.

Diesel & Diesel Hybrid Buses Account for 75% of Public Transit Fleets

“Because of its combination of safety, reliability and efficiency, diesel is the predominant power source for public transit, school and intercity bus services nationwide,” Schaeffer said.  Among public transit agencies, Schaeffer said diesel and diesel-hybrid buses account for about 75 percent of the national fleet. 

New Jersey Already Benefiting From New Diesel Technology With Reduction

Of 300,000 Tons of NOx & 150,000 Tons of Carbon Emissions

According to research commissioned by the Diesel Technology Forum, just under 41,000 heavy duty vehicles in operation throughout New Jersey come with an engine that meets the strictest U.S. EPA emissions standards set beginning with model year 2010 and have eliminated 300,000 tons of NOx - an ozone precursor - while saving 14.2 million gallons of fuel and reducing 150,000 tons of carbon emissions.

“The new clean diesel bus technology of today is the result of an interconnected system of clean fuels, advanced engine design and exhaust and aftertreatment technologies working together to reduce emissions to near-zero levels. New clean diesel buses have reduced both NOx and particulate matter emissions by 98 percent compared to 1988 buses,” Schaeffer said. 

“These new coaches will also have the potential to fuel with a blend of advanced renewable biodiesel fuels, which is a further step being taken by many fleets to reduce their carbon footprints and petroleum consumption.  Biofuel use along with hybrid electric clean diesel buses provides additional options for fleets and transit agencies to contribute to a sustainable transportation future.  As a result, we expect clean diesel to be the technology of choice for the U.S. public transportation fleet for decades to come.”

EPA Regulations Have Virtually Eliminated Emissions From New Diesel Buses & Trucks

Diesel power systems have been undergoing revolutionary technological advancements that have already achieved dramatic reductions in emissions for urban buses and highway engines. Advances in emissions-control systems and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD), biodiesel and renewable diesel are helping clean diesel engines achieve emissions performance equivalent to compressed natural gas (CNG) and other alternatives.

“Today, EPA regulations have virtually eliminated emissions from new diesel buses. These new buses will utilize state of the art particulate filters and advanced selective catalytic reduction technology to cut smog-forming emissions to near zero levels,” Schaeffer said.

Clean Air Task Force Emissions Study

Schaeffer said an analysis by the Clean Air Task Force illustrated the major emissions gains clean diesel buses have achieved.  The analysis shows the air quality benefits of replacing older buses with newer clean diesel technology and a comparison of clean diesel and CNG buses.