New Jersey is getting more than 76 million dollars in grant money from the Feds to upgrade New Jersey Transit’s bus fleet.

The Federal Transit Administration money will be given for three different projects:  $46 million to purchase 84 new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses that will more than double New Jersey Transit’s CNG bus fleet, reducing emissions and providing fuel cost savings for years to come, $27 million to purchase 37 new hybrid cruiser buses to run to and from southern New Jersey and New York City – these will replace 37 old diesel buses and will provide a more comfortable ride for thousands of commuters, while saving on fuel and reducing emissions, and $2.5 million will go to begin implementing Bus Rapid Transit service between Camden County and Center City Philadelphia – which will result in faster commutes between major employment centers, which in turn will attract additional riders to further offset highway congestion.

During a visit to the Hoboken Bus Terminal, Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff said there are several reasons why NJ Transit is getting the largest single grant of any transit agency in the country.

“First and foremost, New Jersey is probably the most transit-dependent state in the U.S., so we are rightly sending the dollars to where the need is.  Second, the application put together by New Jersey Transit embodied so many of the Obama Administration’s goals for the environment and the economy….These buses will provide cleaner air and lower costs – it’ll keep transit reliable and safe.”

He said since the new buses are going to run on compressed natural gas, or hybrid electric, it’s going to save money, it’s going to save fuel, it’s going to provide clearer air to the citizens of New Jersey and surrounding areas -it’s really a win, win win, and a very efficient use of tax dollars.

Rogoff stressed the upgraded bus fleet “for commuters will mean a more reliable ride, and I think importantly it’s going to be a more desirable bus trip that’s going to help decongest the highways…The big goal in growing transit ridership is to make sure the train and bus choice is a reliable and desirable one – transit becomes more attractive with brand new buses that are running clean fuel, that are less likely to break down, that are going to get you there on time…And since these new vehicles cost less to operate, it’s going to be relieving on the New Jersey Transit operations budget and that plays into what kind of fares they need to access.”