Low-cost pilot program to enhance social, economic mobility among Mercer County residents
TRENTON, N.J. – Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today announced that Trenton-based Isles, Inc. (Isles) seeks support to implement an electric vehicle program to help residents impacted by air pollution gain access to sustainable transportation solutions that advance New Jersey’s climate goals.
Isles is a community development and environmental organization fostering self-reliance and healthy, sustainable communities. With assistance from the City of Trenton, they seek electric vehicle (EV) vendors to provide low-cost transportation through the Green Options for Trenton (GOTrenton!) program. With community stakeholders, the program will improve residents’ access to jobs, healthcare, nutritious food, and other essential resources. The City will be installing 20 low-cost public charging stations throughout Trenton, available to residents daily.
“By partnering with community organizations, GOTrenton! will provide more jobs for residents, boost the city’s economy, and pave the way for a cleaner, more breathable city,” Mayor Reed Gusciora said. “While the program will assist residents’ social mobility, it will also improve their health and financial outlooks. We’re supporting our residents in accessing community benefits as well as reducing exposure to harmful pollutants—truly a win-win program."
“Car and bus emissions are primary drivers of unhealthy air quality, leading to a host of health issues,” Isles CEO Sean Jackson said. “With support from an industry partner and the City of Trenton, we look forward to electric vehicles offering residents improved mobility and safe access to community supports, including food, employment, and social services—all while protecting public health.”
Funded in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the GOTrenton! pilot is the first of its kind in the state.
“DEP is pleased to help programs like this come to life to ensure that all communities have access to clean, electric transportation,” Bureau Chief Melissa Evanego said. “Isles’ ongoing engagement and thoughtful inclusion of the community and stakeholders will ensure that it fits the community’s needs.”
About 30% of Trenton households report to be car-free, and 21% report carpooling as their only transportation method, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The GOTrenton! program is designed to offer residents low-cost, sustainable transportation options promoting day-to-day mobility and independence. Vendors are asked to provide quotes for transportation services including:
- Carsharing, allowing residents to reserve EVs
- Ridesharing, employing local residents to serve as drivers
- Shuttle services, supporting residents in accessing community points (i.e., jobs, social services, grocery stores and farmers markets, training, and education, etc.) across the city
Car and bus emissions are primary drivers of unhealthy air quality. High exposure to toxic pollutants in the city continues harming Trenton children, who experience asthma at rates four times higher than the country’s average. Trenton also experiences, on average, 100 days of unhealthy air quality annually, which increases each year. Life expectancy of an adult living in Trenton is about 13 years less compared to an adult living in Princeton, just eight miles north. With Trenton accounting for 42% of total greenhouse gas emissions – the largest municipal contributor in New Jersey – the GOTrenton!initiative aims to transition as many gasoline-powered vehicles off the road as possible.
For view the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the project, visit https://nj-trenton.civicplus.com/bids.aspx?bidID=519.