Thursday, October 9, 2014

Is highway use best for $35M NJ Transit hybrid buses?

When the board of NJ Transit voted unanimously Wednesday to spend up to $35.2 million on a fleet of 37 buses with hybrid diesel-electric engines, cost (averaging $1 million a piece with service contracts and replacement batteries) wasn't the issue. Deployment was.

The Record's Christopher Maag reports that "unlike most hybrids, which are used in stop-and-start urban traffic, the new buses will be devoted to long-haul highway routes."

"Some transit advocates and experts in hybrid engines criticized the decision, saying it was a questionable use for such expensive equipment.

“Putting hybrid buses in cities where they would have the most environmental and health impacts would make the most sense,” said Jenna Chernitz, New Jersey advocate for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign."

But someone who is not shy about criticizing environmental decisions--Jeff Tittel, director of the NJ chapter of the Sierra Club--offered backhanded praise.
“It’s probably the first green thing New Jersey has done in a long time,” he said.

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