On Eve of Global Climate Summit, Jersey Renews Joins Other State Leaders To Call for Electrification of State Transit Bus Fleets To Fight Air Pollution & Climate Change
Burlingame, CA – Jersey Renews partners, including Environment New Jersey, GreenFaith and Jobs Move America, joined Environment America and Proterra, a cutting-edge electric bus manufacturer in Silicon Valley, in hosting delegations from ten states around the nation for a tour of Proterra’s bus factory, and a discussion on the state of the industry and hastening the transition to zero carbon transportation.
The event was an affiliate event, kicking off the Global Climate Action Summit, an international gathering highlighting the commitment of states, localities and businesses to reduce planet-warming carbon pollution.
“Electric buses aren’t just the ride of the future. They are here right now across the U.S., and Proterra’s expansion shows that this technology is only accelerating,” said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey and a founding member of the Jersey Renews coalition. “The benefits of electric buses are most clear in our urban centers, which for too long have been choked by diesel bus fumes. Electrifying our entire transportation sector means we need to clean up our buses and New Jersey is the perfect place to go electric.”
States and localities throughout the United States are considering a transition of their municipal and state bus fleets to all-electric vehicles. Recently, King County, Washington, which includes the city of Seattle, committed to electrifying its fleet by 2040. Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states are collaborating on policies to reduce carbon pollution from the transportation sector, and this year they have been hosting listening sessions on the Transportation and Climate Initiative throughout the region. From coast to coast, the country is primed to transition to all electric vehicles, including school and municipal buses. Jersey Renews coalition members testified at a NJ Transit board meeting earlier this summer on the need to move to electrifying NJ Transit’s bus fleet, and to build on the commitment to bring Proterra electric buses to serve NJ Transit’s fleet in Camden.
“Diesel buses threaten our families’ well-being by contributing to a number of health concerns, including asthma and cancer,’ said Alana Miller, policy analyst at Frontier Group and coauthor of the report Electric Buses: Clean Transportation for Healthier Neighborhoods and Cleaner Air, “Our report shows that all-electric buses are an increasingly viable solution.”
Proterra is a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles, enabling bus fleet operators to significantly reduce operating costs while delivering clean transportation to local communities across North America. With more than 670 vehicles sold to over 90 different municipal, university, airport, federal and commercial transit agencies in 41 U.S. states and Canadian provinces, Proterra is committed to providing state of the art, high performance vehicles to meet today’s growing market demand.
“We welcome the opportunity to share our expertise on electric buses with such a diverse group of officials from around the nation today,” said Ryan Popple, President of Proterra. “We look forward to building a cleaner, healthier future together.”
Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of Greenfaith, and a founding member of the Jersey Renews coalition, said, “Clean air and a safe climate are sacred gifts. That means dirty transportation has to go. Electric buses and cars represent a future that’s about life. They’re a moral imperative, and we can’t get them on the road fast enough.”
“As transit authorities on both sides of the Hudson mull over how to modernize their bus fleets, we look forward to a world where people of color, women, the formerly incarcerated, and impoverished communities have a first shot at good manufacturing jobs, better air quality, and an accessible transportation system,” said Omer Khwaja, Campaign Director, Jobs to Move America New York.
“The health impacts of air pollution and climate change are affecting our communities now, and it’s getting harder and harder to ignore,” said O’Malley. “States and cities across the country are tackling the problem of polluting vehicles, and they are working towards a zero carbon transportation future. We need New Jersey and NJ Transit to join this revolution.”