With Spring finally arriving in New Jersey, TMA's across the state are busy working to improve mobility and sustainability - in sunshine and rain. In this issue, we share with how they are accomplishing these tasks.
SJTA’s Community Shuttles Expand Access to
the South Jersey Employers
Cross County Connection
Over the past five years the public transportation network of South Jersey has quietly been expanding. South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA) began operating three new shuttle bus routes – the English Creek-Tilton Road, Rt. 54/40, and Pureland East-West Community Shuttles. All three shuttles were planned and developed through a private/public partnership that included SJTA, NJ TRANSIT, Cross County Connection TMA, United Way of Gloucester County, social service providers, local community groups, as well as the Atlantic and Gloucester County governments. The primary purpose of the community shuttles are to get people to and from work and help local employers attract and retain talent.
The English Creek-Tilton Road Community Shuttle serves over 5,000 households and 400 businesses in Northfield and Egg Harbor Township, including the AtlantiCare Health Park. The Route 54/40 Community Shuttle operates in rural western Atlantic County and serves the communities of Beuna Vista Township, Buena Borough and Hammonton. Gloucester County’s Pureland East-West shuttle serves Williamstown, Glassboro, Mullica Hill, Swedesboro and the Pureland Industrial Complex in Logan Township. In addition to Pureland, the shuttle provides access to other sizable employers, such as Rowan University, Eastern Pro-Pak, and Liscio’s Bakery in Glassboro.
The shuttles are funded through a NJ TRANSIT Grant with matching contributions from the Pascale Sykes Foundation. The Pascale Sykes Foundation supports initiatives that assist lower income working families. They recognize that access to reliable transportation is often a significant barrier to stable employment and economic opportunity for lower income workers.
While these shuttle bus routes will not get the same publicity as larger public transit projects, they have had a positive impact on South Jersey workers and employers. The shuttles handle approximately 5,800 trips each month. Cross County Connection TMA, the primary service planning and marketing agency for the shuttles, sought to leverage the region’s existing public transit network as an asset. Timely and convenient transfers are planned between the shuttles and existing NJ TRANSIT bus and rail service. Passengers will often only have to wait a few minutes to transfer between the shuttles and NJ TRANSIT, a convenience which greatly expands an individual’s access to employment opportunities throughout the region. Fares are kept low, providing an economical means of transportation for lower income residents and others who may not have access to a car. Agreements were also established with NJ TRANSIT that allow passengers to transfer between the services for free or at a discount.
Cross County Connection and SJTA worked together to ensure the shuttle services are flexible and efficient; always ready to adjust to serve a community’s needs. The English Creek shuttle route was expanded in August 2017 to include the newly constructed Oak Tree Plaza in Egg Harbor Township. The 35 acre retail center is expected to create over 400 jobs and features a Walmart Supercenter. It has already become one of the most popular stops on the route. The Pureland service features the “Internal Circulator,” a demand responsive bus that transports employees the last mile between work and the bus stop, located just outside the complex entrance. Passengers simply tell the drivers their place of employment and shift-time. SJTA drivers develop an efficient route on the fly, rather than travelling along a circuitous pre-planned route. This flexibility is a must when serving a unique context such as Pureland, where shift times are varied and job locations are spread out. An estimated 40% of Pureland East-West ridership also utilize the Internal Circulator.
More information regarding the shuttles can be found at Cross County Connection’s website www.driveless.com. You can also contact Cross County Connection TMA at 856-596-8228 to inquire as to how these shuttles, public transit, or options such as carpooling and vanpooling can get your employees to work reliably. Cross County Connection can also provide trip planning assistance for your employees on any shuttle or public transit service in the region. We are eager to help, so contact us!
Street Smart New Providence Kickoff
Union County is home to the latest efforts in the statewide Street Smart campaign. The Borough of New Providence, the New Providence Police Department, TransOptions, county and state representatives and other advocates launched the campaign earlier this month.
Street Smart is a statewide public awareness campaign that combines educational outreach and high-visibility law enforcement to change behaviors as they relate to pedestrian safety. Street Smart New Providence coincides with Distracted Driving Awareness month.
Street Smart’s “check your vital signs” slogan emphasizes safe travel roles and responsibilities to both pedestrians and motorists alike. The vital signs are displayed on tip cards, posters, banners and street signs throughout the community and in local businesses during the campaign as a visual reminder for drivers and pedestrians.
“We have a long history of working with New Providence through our Safe Routes to School programming and we are looking forward to partnering on another proven safety effort with the Borough,” said TransOptions President, Dan Callas. “Reducing pedestrian crashes and fatalities on our roadways is no easy task and working together on programs such as Street Smart is a great way to drive those numbers down in New Providence and New Jersey as a whole.”
For more information on Street Smart, visit TransOptions.org/street-smart or call TransOptions at (973) 267-7600.
TransOptions’ 2018 Bike to Work Challenge
TransOptions’ 2018 Bike to Work Challenge runs through the entire month of May. The free, friendly competition offers both expert and beginner bicycle riders an extra reason to bike ride this spring amid decreasing stress, traffic congestion, and vehicle emissions. Riders create an online profile at GoForGood.TransOptions.org and track their bicycle commute trips and miles from May 1st to May 31st. Participants who join the challenge are entered to win prizes in seven different categories: Trip Master, Miles Master, Team Prize, Resolute Riders, Rookie Riders, the Role Model Challenge, and a weekly raffle. The Bike to Work Challenge coincides with National Bike Month.
“Participants have told us in the past that a bicycle commute helps them feel energized for work and reduces stress after work,” said Justin Jenkins, TransOptions Program Specialist.
Participants can drive to a Park & Ride and ride the rest of the way to work, bike to a train station or take their bicycle on the bus. Riders can also create teams and invite friends or coworkers to join as a way to add motivation and gain additional chances to win prizes. Teams are also an ideal way for expert riders to mentor, encourage and support novice riders. Commuting every day by bicycle is not required, but every ride gives participants a greater chance of winning bigger prizes.
TransOptions 2018 sponsors for the Bike to Work Challenge includes REI Co-op, Thorlabs, Inc., and Morris Area Freewheelers Bicycle Club, Inc. For more information on the 2018 Bike to Work Challenge, visit GoForGood.TransOptions.org or call TransOptions at (973) 267-7600.
Greater Mercer Trails Plan
Greater Mercer TMA
Greater Mercer TMA (GMTMA) is sponsoring a planning study to support the development of an interconnected network of multi-use (biking and walking) trails and paths in all of Mercer County; the Somerset County Municipality of Montgomery Township; and the Middlesex County municipality of Plainsboro Township.
The effort will involve inventorying existing and planned trails and paths for all jurisdictions in the Greater Mercer study area, gaining input from all relevant stakeholders and creating a plan for an interconnected network of multi-use paths that enable access to transit stations, education, retail and other employment locations and recreation. The vision is for the Greater Mercer to be home to a multiuse trail network that transforms public life by linking communities and the amenities within those communities with a safe, low stress option to motorized travel. WSP, Inc., a leading transportation engineering firm, has been retained for the study. The study, which is now underway, is estimated to be completed in 9-12 months. GMTMA will hold a series of public meetings and is offering an interactive map and survey for public feedback and ideas.
For more information on how the public can participate and upcoming public meeting dates visit www.bit.ly/gmtmatrails .
EZ Ride Shuttle Service Expands to Serve
The Winston at Lyndhurst
Access to public transportation is the mantra for EZ Ride shuttle services. Residents of The Winston at Lyndhurst, located at 120 Chubb Avenue in Lyndhurst, have enthusiastically welcomed the EZ Ride shuttle that links the residential complex to both the Rutherford train station and the Kingsland train station in Lyndhurst.
In addition to the train service on the Main/Bergen Line, residents can also access NJ TRANSIT’S #190 bus service to New York City, which operates approximately every three minutes from the Rutherford train station.
The service will be provided using two minibuses that operate on weekdays during peak commute hours in the morning between 5:30 and 10 am, and in the evening from 4 to 8 pm. The shuttle service could attract new tenants to the complex who choose not to drive or do not own a car, but have a need for public transportation to get to work and back.
“The Winston at Lyndhurst team strives to provide our residents with services and amenities that make their lives easier and more enjoyable,” said Nancy Dianese, Property Manager for the community. “Residents were seeking reliable, and high-frequency service to access public transportation, and we are pleased to partner with EZ Ride to deliver this option.”
A number of businesses take advantage of the shuttle service in Lyndhurst including Barnes & Noble, H-Mart, The Station at Lyndhurst, Vermella at Lyndhurst, and The Union at Lyndhurst.
For additional information about the service or how to set up new shuttle for your facility, please contact: Kinga Skora / (201) 939-4242 ext. 131/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Califon Borough Kicks off Street Smart Pedestrian Safety Campaign
Califon kicked off a Street Smart NJ campaign on Monday, April 23, 2018. “Street Smart NJ” is a statewide pedestrian safety education campaign aimed at reducing pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes. Street Smart NJ is a collaborative effort between public, private and non-profit organizations, funded and managed by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA).
The Police Department is working in collaboration with HART TMA, the local nonprofit transportation management association, with the support of Borough Council, business, residential, and school communities to encourage four key behaviors to improve safety:
“Heads Up; Phones Down”
“Wait for the Walk”
“Obey Speed Limits”
“Stop for Pedestrians”
From April 23- May 18, 2018, signs, posters, banners, tip cards and other safety messaging materials will be distributed throughout the community to reinforce these messages. E-blasts, social media, school and community presentations will be used to raise additional awareness about pedestrian safety.
“Throughout the safety campaign, police officers will be enforcing town speed limits and interacting with motorists to make sure they know and obey the law and stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk”, said Police Chief Jeff Almer. “We’ll be reminding pedestrians to use crosswalks, cross at intersections, and not jaywalk.”
For more information visit: http://www.harttma.com/bike-ped-programs/street-smart/overview or bestreetsmartnj.com You may also contact Chief Almer, email@example.com
or Tara Shepherd, firstname.lastname@example.org/908-788-5553
RideWise employees become
On Thursday, March 30, the employees of RideWise participated in a training to become certified CarFit technicians to keep senior drivers safe and comfortable behind the wheel.
CarFit, an educational program created by AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), offers older adults the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles "fit" them. Personal mobility is critical for healthy aging. However, as the body changes with age, ill-fitting vehicles can make it uncomfortable and unsafe to drive.
Older drivers are more likely to be killed or seriously injured when a crash does occur due to the greater fragility of their aging bodies. A proper fit in one's car can greatly increase not only the driver's safety but also the safety of others.
CarFit clinics provide important information and education on vehicle safety, comfort and fit in a friendly environment. CarFit is not a driving evaluation. Participants are not graded or judged on their driving. Participant information is kept confidential and is not shared with law enforcement or health care providers.
RideWise is incorporating CarFit into the agency’s current line of community-based programming. The agency is offering one-on-one CarFit checks, by appointment, starting Monday, April 16 at the agency’s office at 360 Grove Street in Bridgewater, New Jersey.
“Hosting a CarFit clinic not only keeps senior drivers safe, it gives us the opportunity to inform older drivers about other mobility options that may be available to them,” said Donna Allison, executive director.
A RideWise employee will conduct the 12-point check, which takes approximately 20 minutes, while the participants stays in the vehicle. Included in the check are: safety belt use, proper seat positioning to avoid airbag injuries, mirror adjustments, head restraint positioning, and more.
CarFit checks are done by appointment during office hours, and can be scheduled by calling (908) 704-1011 or by emailing email@example.com.
NJ Electric Vehicle Conference
Keep Middlesex Moving, TMA
KMM hosted Middlesex County’s the NJ Electric Vehicle Conference this Spring. Approximately 75 people attended the half-day conference which featured two panel discussions. Bert Barron, WCTC Radio Morning Show host and New Jersey Broadcasters Association Radio Hall of Fame Member, moderated the discussions and presentations held at St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick which recently installed EV charging stations for employees’ use.
In a news release, Ronald C. Rak, CEO of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System said, “Saint Peter’s Healthcare System encourages the use of plug-in electric vehicles as a means of increasing our energy security, improving fuel economy, lowering fuel costs, and reducing emissions. Saint Peter’s is a place where human health and community well-being matter.”
Dunbar Birnie, Professor at Rutgers University was the keynote speaker. Panelists Mark Warner of Gabel Associates and Rashad Baw of Domain Computer Services Inc. discussed their insights and experience Plug-in Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations. A second panel featured Jennifer Fogliano of NJTPA, Marta Lefty of Woodbridge Township, Janice Tally of Montclair, Nancy Quirk of Sustainable of NJ discussed implementing charging stations at a municipal level.
KMM’s Executive Director Bill Neary said, “We had hosted the 1st Electric Vehicle conference in 2016 and have since received tremendous interest and enthusiasm shown by our panelists and attendees. Hosting this second conference allows everyone to stay informed on the advancement and updates made in the field of EV's. This conference continues the conversation about EVs in the public and private sectors which we hope will continue to grow.”
St. Peter’s Healthcare System and 1450 WCTC Talk Radio, partnered with KMM to co-sponsor the EV Conference. Funding was also provided by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority.