CAMDEN — The nation's largest statewide public transportation system is getting ready to launch a small fleet of buses that run on battery power.

NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett joined officials and stakeholders in Camden on Tuesday to introduce the agency's first battery electric bus, which should hit the road to provide service in the coming weeks.

“This is an especially important first step as residents in large urban cities such as Camden often disproportionately bear the effects of air pollution," Corbett said.

The project will test eight such buses in "real world conditions on specific NJ Transit routes," the agency noted.

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The current plan is a complete fleet of zero-emission buses by 2040, to be aligned with Gov. Phil Murphy's energy master plan.

“Evidenced by NJ TRANSIT’s introduction of its first battery electric bus, New Jersey continues to serve as a trailblazer in transportation innovation,” Murphy said.

Electric NJ Transit bus (NJ Transit)
Electric NJ Transit bus (NJ Transit)

The test will provide the agency with data related to the effects of weather, passenger volume and road conditions on a battery-powered bus, as well as travel distance available between recharging. The project will also look at ways to modernize NJ Transit's bus garages to accept new charging stations.

The bus should enter into passenger service after it's used for operator training, as well as first responder training, NJ Transit said.

The next spot for a test of electric buses is the Newark region.

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