By Amber Starr
America’s third largest provider of bus, rail and light rail transit-New Jersey Transit, recently purchased 772 clean diesel commuter coaches through an agreement with Motor Coach Industries. The $395 million agreement will begin the six year delivery of the clean diesel commuter coaches in 2016. New Jersey’s coach fleet is one of the largest in North America with the acquisition allowing New Jersey to improve air quality throughout the region.
Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of Diesel Technology Forum notes the importance of selecting clean diesel technology, commenting “This acquisition is a very strong statement about the value and benefits of new clean diesel technology in a competitive green technology space. It recognizes that clean diesel technology offers the best combination of environmental performance, resource flexibility, efficiency, affordability, and reliability.”
Currently, diesel is the predominant power source for public transit with 75 percent of national fleet buses powered by diesel or diesel-hybrid. The new clean diesel commuter coaches will replace existing older model commuter coaches, and are estimated to boost seating capacity by six percent. Commuter coaches 2010 and newer equipped with an engine that meets the most stringent EPA emissions guidelines have saved 14.2 million gallons of fuel, and reduced 150,000 tons of carbon emissions.
The new clean diesel commuter coaches will feature technological advancements in engine design, exhaust and after-treatment, producing virtually zero emissions. “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.” Analysis by the Clean Air Task Force has shown the reduction in major emissions by clean diesel technology over the past decade, and with the new fleet of clean diesel commuter coaches arriving in 2016, New Jersey Transit and Motor Coach Industries are sure those numbers will continue to decline while air quality improves.