As temperatures begin to drop in New Jersey, TMA's across the state are busy working to improve mobility and sustainability. In this issue, we share with how they are accomplishing these tasks.
Greater Mercer TMA helps
Hightstown Set the Pace
Greater Mercer TMA
Greater Mercer TMA and the Borough of Hightstown collaborated on a new safety campaign called the Neighborhood PACE Car Program. The Borough of Hightstown adopted a resolution on October 1st, 2018 endorsing the citizen-based campaign that aims to make their community safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers by reducing vehicle speed.
Residents can register as a pace car driver, sign a pledge to drive the speed limit, stop for pedestrians in marked crosswalks, yield to pedestrians in unmarked crosswalks at intersections, share the road with pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities, eliminate texting and phone use while driving, display the Pace car magnet on their car, and encourage others to take the pledge. The Pace car magnet communicates the intention to drive the speed limit to other drivers and helps slow down the traffic.
Mayor Quattrone said he was excited about the Pace Car Program coming to the Borough: “With a major state highway going through and serving as the main street in downtown Hightstown, speeding and the lack of respect for crosswalks, pedestrians and bicyclists has been an issue that the Borough has been dealing with for many years. While the Borough works diligently with NJDOT, and our Police Department is vigilant in their duties to curb speeding and the other issues, having the residents participate and display the magnet on their vehicle while they “set the pace through the Borough” lets drivers know that the residents of the Borough are taking these matters seriously and will not tolerate bad driving in Hightstown Borough. I look forward to the participation of our residents and a successful program that will benefit all who visit, live and work in Hightstown, whether by vehicle, bicycle, or walking.”
Hightstown residents can pick up pledge forms and car magnets from the Hightstown Municipal Offices, 156 Bank Street, or the Hightstown Public Library, 114 Franklin Street, Hightstown, NJ 08520.
For a link to the online form, click here!
Cross County Connection -
Improving connectivity one Shuttle at a Time
Cross County Connection
Over the past five years the public transportation network of South
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 IndustrialComplex 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.
More information regarding the shuttles can be found at Cross County
Connection's website www.driveless.com.
STEM Learning Comes to Life for Local High School Students During
Annual Hydrogen Car Challenge
Students raced to the finish line for the 12th annual Hydrogen Car Challenge (H2 Challenge) hosted by TransOptions, at New Providence Middle School. The leading objective of the H2 Challenge is to promote technology in education and foster student interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, (STEM).
11 schools from 4 counties competed this year. Those schools included, Sussex County: High Point Regional High School, Kittatinny Regional High School, Newton High School. Morris County: Boonton, Madison, Morris Knolls and Roxbury High School, Morris County School of Technology. Union County: New Providence and Union County Magnet High School. Middlesex County: Piscataway High School. 39 teams were comprised from over 100 students.
“STEM education is essential in today's competitive technological world and we want to make sure the students in New Jersey are getting the best chance at making a mark on those industries,” said TransOptions President Dan Callas.
“Each year we look forward to hosting the H2 Challenge with support from our sponsors and schools,” said Kristen Tomasicchio, Environmental Education Manager, TransOptions. “H2 is a big part of our ongoing commitment to supporting environmental education, sustainable fuel technology and inspiring students to explore careers in related fields.”
Prior to race day, students were tasked with forming teams, designing a model car, logging their work in a progress journal and learning the process of running their model cars on hydrogen, simulating real-life engineering. The process known as electrolysis powers their model car’s fuel cell stack with hydrogen and allows students to learn more about fuel cell technology.
On race day, Students competed against each other, racing their cars down a 33-foot-long track. Each of the teams were required to present their model car at the judges’ table where a panel of Arconic Engineers scored on craftsmanship and engineering. Each team also presented their progress journal that documented the concepts, designs and development of their model car. Arconic, based in Dover New Jersey, helps transform the way we fly, drive, build and power a smarter energy future.
Several rounds of elimination races took place concluding with the two fastest cars racing against each other to determine the speed competition winner. Prizes were awarded for speed, craftsmanship, engineering and progress Journal at an awards ceremony at the culmination of the competition.
Awards were presented to the winners at the conclusion of the races.
1st Place – “Zoinks: Mystery Machine” by Piscataway High School
2nd Place – "Tardis 4.0" by Kittatinny Regional High School
3rd Place – "Gear Up!" by Piscataway High School
1st Place – "Brick" by Union County Magnet High School
2nd Place – "Team Apex" by High Point Regional High School
3rd Place – "MK2 Free Willy" by Morris Knolls High School
1st Place – "Back Yerdigans" by High Point Regional High School
2nd Place – "Team Apex" by High Point Regional High School
3rd Place – "Baby Shark" by Union County High School
1st Place – "New Providence Seniors" by New Providence High School
2nd Place – "CARY McCARFACE" by Union County High School
3rd Place – "Brick" by Union County High School
The H2 Challenge is one of two hands-on STEM programs offered by TransOptions. The challenge was launched in 2007, and the program is open to high school students only. The program builds on the foundation set by Junior Solar Sprints.
"JSS and H2 are programs that allow my students to think independently, build skills and gets them ready for careers outside of college. H2 fits into Next Generation Science Standards and allows students that might not excel academically and traditional pathways to really become great problem solvers while building their self-esteem, said Denise Glenn, Science Supervisor at Roxbury Township Public Schools.
Data collected by TransOptions over a six year period shows that 87.5 percent of students showed more interest in STEM after participating in JSS. Data also showed that 75% showed interest in majoring in STEM after competing in the challenge.
Materials for the program are funded through grant support provided by Arconic, 3M and Pitsco Education.
North Brunswick Ordinance Permits
EV Charging Stations
The North Brunswick Township Committee adopted an ordinance requiring new construction to dedicate 3% of its parking requirements to electric vehicle charging stations.
KMM’s Executive Director Bill Neary congratulated the committee members for their " clear and clean vision of the future." He added, “at the start of the 20th century, I’m sure wagon manufacturers were telling people not to spend their hard earned cash on new fangled horseless carriages. Today, we don’t have to look too far ahead to see that electric and autonomous vehicles will be commonplace."
For more information on electric vehicles or charging stations, please contact the KMM offices at 721-745-4465.
RideWise Honors Somerset County Partners at 2018 Awards Breakfast
In December 2018, RideWise celebrated the work of 55 Somerset County
corporate, municipal, and nonprofit partners in implementing programs that promote sustainable transportation, commuting alternatives, safety and workplace wellness for their employees.
Forty-eight employers received 2018 New Jersey Smart Workplaces awards. New Jersey Smart Workplaces is a state-wide initiative that recognizes employers for promoting and providing commuting options, information and programs for their employees. Employers are nominated at the Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze level according to the scope and variety of programs offered.
This year, three new worksites made the New Jersey Smart Workplaces list. More than half of the honorees are Platinum recipients. "More and more employers are finding that providing Smart Workplaces incentives and services such as ridesharing, shuttles, and vanpooling are making them more accessible and attractive to new talent,” said Donna Allison, RideWise Executive Director.
RideWise also recognized the Borough of Raritan, the Borough of Manville, and the Borough of Bernardsville for conducting Street Smart NJ campaigns this year. Street Smart NJ is a public education, awareness and behavioral change campaign that promotes safe travel behavior through education and enforcement of pedestrian safety laws.
In addition, the winners of this year’s Drive Less Somerset competition, which encourages individuals to eliminate vehicle trips and drive-alone miles, were honored: AT&T (1st place), Brother International Corp. (2nd place), Citi (3rd place), and Eli Lilly & Company (4th place).
Dr. James W. Hughes, a university professor and Dean Emeritus of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, was the breakfast keynote speaker. Dr. Hughes delivered an engaging presentation on the six major disruptions in the local, as well as national, economy.
Thank you to our sponsors, Dr. James W. Hughes, and our award recipients for your year-round commitment to our mission to connect people and businesses to safe and sustainable travel options in Somerset County.
EZRide Provides Transportation for UPS Workers During the Holiday Season
The world of night-shift workers is invisible to most people but many vital services run around the clock. For delivery companies like UPS and FedEx, life does not stop at 5 p.m. Many of the jobs are entry-level positions and are inaccessible to potential employees without a car. Public transit is unavailable or very limited during overnight hours.
And the holiday season poses additional challenges for UPS as the number of packages handled daily increase from 15.8 million to a peak of 28 million. Nationwide, UPS will hire about 100,000 temporary employees for the crucial holiday season beginning in November. Peak season begins on Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in November, and runs through early January when there is a large wave of returns.
Several UPS locations in New Jersey use EZ Ride shuttle service to help their employees overcome the transportation barrier to employment. EZ Ride dispatches a fleet of six or more minibuses around midnight providing more than a dozen trips every night that link locations such as Staten Island and Edison, East Orange and Parsippany, Edison and Cranbury, and Trenton and Monroe. More than a 100 employees use the service and both the ridership and the number of trips continue to grow. Managing this service is complex as routes and schedules change often, and an acute shortage of drivers poses an additional challenge.
EZ Ride is well positioned to serve this market as we already operate night services using about 10 minibuses that serve Essex County as well as to a lesser extent Union County. More than 400 riders use our service daily – all seven days of the week.
For more information about late night shuttle services, please contact Avnish Gupta 201-939-4242 ext. 118 or email@example.com
Street Smart NJ Campaign improves Pedestrian Safety in Califon Borough
Pedestrian safety was improved in Califon Borough (Hunterdon County) as a result of a month long Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety campaign conducted last spring by the Washington Township Police Department, which serves as the policing agency for Califon Borough; in collaboration with Califon Borough, and goHunterdon, a local non-profit organization. From April 23- May 18, 2018, signs, posters, banners, tip cards and other safety messaging materials were distributed throughout the community to reinforce five key behaviors:
“Heads Up; Phones Down”
“Wait for the Walk”
“Obey Speed Limits”
“Stop for Pedestrians”
E-blasts, social media, school and community presentations were also used to raise additional awareness about pedestrian safety. Throughout the safety campaign, police officers enforced town speed limits and interacted with motorists to make sure they obeyed the “stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk” law.
The campaign’s effectiveness was evaluated through pre- and post- campaign observations and a community impact survey. The observations revealed a seventeen (17) percent increase in the observed use of crosswalks and an eleven (11) percent increase in the number of pedestrians completing crosswalk immediately following the campaign. There was a nine (9) percent increase in motorists traveling at a compliant speed. Sixty five (65) percent of post campaign survey respondents reported that they had heard about pedestrian safety messaging. Seventy five (75) percent of post campaign survey respondents reported having seen Street Smart messaging in town.
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 Califon initiative was the seventh Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety campaign conducted in Hunterdon County. More than 80 communities across the state have participated in Street Smart NJ campaigns since the program’s inception in 2013.
The full evaluation report of Califon Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety campaign