Dear Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, and Speaker Coughlin,
Nearly 50% of greenhouse gas emissions in New Jersey come from the transportation sector and a majority of that comes from light-duty vehicles like the standard family car. In a state filled with commuters, pollution from so many cars on the road seriously increases the risk of asthma and heart attacks for the most vulnerable New Jerseyans. Children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing conditions are especially at risk, but all of us are at increased risk for developing lung and heart disease and cancer.
Families and individuals living in our urban communities, especially low-income and environmental justice communities who face disproportionate amounts of pollution from industry and transportation, face the worst health outcomes. At the same time, our state is facing increasing risk from the impacts of climate change.
You can take immediate steps to protect the health of New Jerseyans across the state. For years, NJ Transit has struggled with underfunding and misallocation of funds, resulting in crumbling infrastructure and reduced service, and higher costs for riders. A high-quality public transit system that is reliable, accessible, and affordable for everyone will produce less greenhouse gas emissions per passenger mile than single-occupancy vehicles. Just one person making the switch to public transportation can cut carbon emissions by more than 4,800 pounds per year. But increasing ridership of mass transit isn’t enough. Electrification of public transportation run on clean and renewable energy will further cut emissions and create jobs through large-scale infrastructure projects across the state.
However, the reality is that New Jersey is a commuter state that relies on individual vehicles, and we need to ensure electric vehicles are available and affordable for everyone. Every mile converted to electric from a light-duty vehicle is 70% cleaner than a gas-powered mile. Electric vehicle technology has long surpassed its golf cart reputation and is ready to hit the road en masse. EVs can travel up to 200 miles on a single charge, more than enough to get the average commuter to and from work. The state needs to invest in electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure along highly traveled routes and rideshare and carshare programs in urban areas to combat “range anxiety” and encourage EV adoption, as well as offer rebates for EV purchases.
We ask you to:
- Fully fund NJ Transit for operations and capital projects.
- Electrify New Jersey’s transportation system including NJ Transit.
- Invest in personal electric vehicles, carshare and rideshare programs, and statewide infrastructure.
- Prioritize environmental justice communities in the transition to electrified transportation.
Tell Governor Murphy and our elected leaders that we need to electrify New Jersey’s transportation.