New Jersey’s Capital Closer to Introducing Self-Driving e-Shuttles for Public Transit

The City of Trenton is closer to implementing an innovative, eco-friendly solution for public transit, becoming the first large-scale urban transit system in the U.S. to use self-driving shuttles. A recent $5 million grant will help advance the Trenton MOVES (Trenton Mobility & Opportunity: Vehicles Equity System) project, bringing affordable rides based on autonomous mini-buses to all the people in the city.
NJDOT and Trenton City officials announced a $5 million grant for the MOVES project 6 photos
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The fact that 70% of the households in Trenton have only one car or no vehicle at all can limit people’s access to better jobs or other opportunities, according to city officials, which is why extended access to transportation is a necessity. Through the Trenton MOVES project, a fleet of 100 autonomous, all-electric shuttles will be ready to serve the 90,000 residents.

The micro-transit system would transport people on demand, picking and dropping them off at about 60 kiosks which are to be built in the city and on the outskirts, reports. This would help students, seniors, state workers, and all other residents get faster and more conveniently to where they need to go, at a low cost. They would also have access to a dedicated app for the micro-transit system.

Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, together with Governor Phil Murphy and New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, has recently announced that the City of Trenton was awarded $5 million by NJDOT, to advance the MOVES project. In addition to NJDOT and the Governor’s Office, Trenton is also working with Princeton University on this mobility project.

In December 2021, Gov. Phil Murphy and NJDOT had introduced a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) from companies regarding the design, build-out, and operation of the future autonomous shuttle system. The deadline for companies interested in participating is February 25, 2022.

This urban transit system using shuttles that are both emissions-free and autonomous would be one of the first of its kind on this large scale and could inspire other states in the U.S. to provide similar transit services for their residents.

Editor's note: Galery showing the Navya self-driving shuttle

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