Thanksgiving Travel and Transit Tips

20 Nov

It looks like the roads will be very busy this Thanksgiving weekend. The 2015 AAA report predicts that 46.9 million people will be traveling this Thanksgiving weekend. This represents an increase compared to last year and the highest level in seven years. Gas prices are at their lowest level since 2008 so driving is expected to be the most popular mode of travel.  AAA also predicts a decrease in in other modes of transportation such as trains and buses.


If you plan to drive this Thanksgiving weekend here are some safety tips:

  • Get plenty of rest before you start your trip
  • Make sure that everyone is buckled up.
  • Keep your focus on the road, and don’t drive distracted
  • Expect traffic and be patient.
  • Make sure your car is ready, tires inflated, windshield wipers work, have a tune-up before you plan to travel
  • Check the weather, road and traffic conditions
  • Keep a first aid kit in your car
  • Carry an emergency kit in case of inclement weather, flashlight, bottled water, blankets, food, flares, snow shovel, jumper cables, ice scraper.
  • Carry a portable phone charger in case you run out of battery and your car breaks down

If you are planning to travel by train or bus, these are the Thanksgiving schedules:

Northeast Corridor Rail will be operating on Weekend/Holidays Schedule. Rail Schedule available here.

Mercer County Bus Service

The following buses will operate on a Sunday Schedule: 600, 601, 605, 606, 607, 608, 609, and 613.

There will be no service on: 603, 610, 611, 612, 619, and 624 buses.

Schedules available here.

Ocean Ride

Will not operate on Thursday, November 26 : Thanksgiving Day and Friday, November 27 Thanksgiving Friday

Riverline will operate on a Sunday Schedule .


Thursday, November 26: Thanksgiving Day – Thanksgiving Parade

Regional Rail, City, and Suburban Transit will operate on a Sunday/Holiday schedule

Routes 204, 205, 310, 312, and 316 will not operate

Friday, November 27Black Friday

City Transit will operate on a Modified Weekday Schedule

Frontier, Victory Divisions, and the Norristown High Speed Line will operate on a Modified Weekday schedule

SEPTA schedules available here.


Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 26, 2015, Saturday Schedule

Day after Thanksgiving – Friday, November 27, 2015, Modified Weekday Schedule

PATH schedules available here. 

Tickets, schedules, and alerts on your mobile phone




Airport Information

Happy and Safe Thanksgiving !

Have You Planned for Your ‘Driving Retirement”?

13 Nov


A recent NPR article had an interview with a 94-year-old that planned for the day when she would stop driving and then did so as planned.  Planning for your “driving retirement” is something that the majority of people don’t even consider.  Some seniors might consider hanging up the keys but they are afraid of losing their independence. Others simply refuse to admit they need to stop driving and most of the time the family has to intervene.


As the woman in the NPR interview  said, planning for it and knowing when to stop driving is very important. For her, that moment came in her 80’s when she noticed her eyesight was declining, making her anxious to drive on the highway.  She also did not want her children to have to go through a difficult conversation with her and possibly make the decision for her, causing friction and possible hurt feelings.  But that happens quite often for other families. It is not an easy conversation to have.

Aging doesn’t guarantee that you will need to stop driving, but giving up driving is a lot less scary if you plan for it.  The steps that will ensure an easier transition to being a non-driver are some of the same tips that will help keep you driving longer.

  1. Keep on moving! Staying active through walking and exercise improves your flexibility and overall mobility.  Physical conditioning has been shown to improve driver performance.  And walking/cycling is a great way to travel for short distance trips and to access the bus or train station.
  1. Be mindful of your health. Driving ability is related more to health than age.  There is no single age that someone needs to stop driving.  Know the signs that it is time to give up driving.
  1. Travel using public transportation. Familiarize yourself with the options where you live and use them long before you need to stop driving.
  1. Sign up for a travel training class. If you aren’t sure how to use public transit, consider signing up for a travel training class.  Greater Mercer TMA offers classes that teach you how to use transit, including a field trip on the bus. Contact GMTMA to sign up for a class!
  1. Learn about Community Transportation options for seniors.  In Mercer County RideProvide and TRADE are available as well as many other municipal options.  Check out the Mercer County Mobility Guide to learn about other options.  In Ocean County, Ocean Ride is available.
  1. Become familiar with other alternatives such as carpooling, taxis and ride-hailing services.
  1. Expand your social connections and find travel buddies. Whether you take transit together or drive together you will be able to help each other out if you transition to a non-driver.
  1. Understand the benefits of not driving. Not driving means saving on the cost of car ownership.  Driving less will also save you money.  It also encourages more biking and walking which will improve your overall health.  

Although it may take some lifestyle adjustment and planning, there are transportation alternatives available for the non-driver. Start by cutting down on driving and replacing some of the trips with other transportation options.  If you do, it will be a lot easier and less stressful to stop driving should that decision need to happen.

If you or your loved ones live in Mercer County, contact us to see if they qualify for the Ride Provide Transportation Program, a door-to-door transportation program. With trips to medical appointments, hair salon, shopping, and other social activities, the program offers more flexibility than many other programs.

And as always, stay safe!


Congratulations to the 2015 New Jersey Smart Workplaces Awardees

6 Nov

Friday Oct 23rd we held our 31st Annual Meeting and Luncheon and New Jersey Smart Workplaces Awards at the Hyatt Regency Princeton.  Guest Speaker at the event was Darrin W. Anderson, Sr.,PhD, Deputy Director, New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids and Associate Executive Director, New Jersey YMCA State Alliance.

GMTMA Smart Workplaces Awards

Executive Director Kastrenakes and GMTMA’Board President, Jack Kanarek honored businesses present at the event with the prestigious New Jersey Smart Workplaces (NJSW) award. The awards program is a partnership of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Association and GMTMA and recognizes employers for offering outstanding commuter services to their employees. “GMTMA applauds these employers for providing programs that encourage more sustainable, environmentally-friendly commute options,” said Kastrenakes.

Kanarek remarked on “how impressive it is that so many awardees, even those at the Platinum level, continue to add more options for their employees.”  Electric vehicle charging stations, bike tool stations, and expanded shuttles were noted as examples.

Some other qualifying activities include: regularly promoting commute options to staff, hosting on-site commuter events, providing transit schedules, forming carpools or vanpools, offering teleworking, offering flextime, providing bicycle racks, and offering a pre-tax transit program.

If you think your business qualifies for the NJSW designation, please contact us at, we would be happy to help. You can also go to to register.

The 2015 awardees are:


A-1 Limousine, Albridge Pershing,  Amazon, Bank of America, ETS, Horizon NJ Health, Janssen, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Lakehurst,   Munich Reinsurance,  New Jersey Department of Transportation, NJM Insurance Group, TYCO, Princeton University, Princeton  Healthcare

GOLD: Municipality of Princeton,


BRONZE: Johnson&Johnson


Halloween Pedestrian and Driver Safety Tips

30 Oct

Halloween is just a day away! Now that the days are shorter and most trick-or-treaters are going to be out during the twilight and evening hours, we would like to share a few Halloween safety tips.

Image: Pinar Ince/Shutterstock

Image: Pinar Ince/Shutterstock

For pedestrians
Young children should always trick-or-treat with an adult, older children should trick-or-treat in groups.
Choose the safest routes to walk, try to avoid busy traffic areas, and always walk on the sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks, keep to the left and walk facing traffic. Try to limit the number of street crossings.
Wear light colored clothing with reflective tape or stickers or put reflective tape on the trick-or-treat bag. Children can carry glow sticks to improve visibility.
Make sure the costumes don’t make it hard for children to walk and try to avoid face masks because they reduce visibility. Instead children could use face paint.
Watch for cars turning or pulling out of driveways and don’t cross between parked cars.
Eliminate distractions, keep your head up, and be alert.
Carry a flashlight.

For motorists
Slow down and make sure you pay extra attention in residential neighborhoods.
Watch for children at intersections, crossways, and curbs.
Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
Remember popular times for trick or treating are between 5:30pm and 9:30pm.
Watch for children dressed in dark colored costumes.
Eliminate all distractions and turn headlights on early.
Do not drive while under the influence.
Stay safe and Happy Halloween!


Fall Safety Tips

23 Oct

In October the days are shorter and it is getting dark earlier which means you have to pay extra attention when you are on the road.


Photo credit: gigi_nyc –

When driving:

  • Be careful when the road is covered in wet leaves, they may cause your car to slip.
  • Watch for deer, they are very active between dawn and dusk this time of
  • Pay particular care for bicyclists and pedestrians who can be more difficult to see during low light hours.
  • Adjust your lights to low beam when driving through fog
  • Always wear your seatbelt and do not use electronic devices while driving.

When walking or biking:

  • Make sure you have bright/light clothing, reflective gear, a glow stick, or a reflective band.
  • Cyclists must have lights on the front and rear of their bike. It’s safer and the law!
  • Pedestrians can also carry a flashlight and should always use the sidewalk when available
  • If possible walk/bike in groups to be more visible.

Stay safe and enjoy all the beauty of the fall!

October 18th- 24th is Teen Driver Safety Week

16 Oct

Parents, take some time next week to start the driving risks conversation with your teen. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( NHTSA) designated October 18th to October 24th Teen Driver Safety Week. Teens may be a little, let’s say… apprehensive about the topic, but this NHTSA “5 to Drive” campaign is a good way to make them listen. Statistics show that car crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers, 15 – 19 years old. Many of these fatal car crashes have these causes in common:  cellphone use while driving, speeding, drugs and alcohol, having extra passengers in the car, and not wearing a seat belt.



That is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that parents impose the following rules:

  1. No cell phone use while driving – When you are distracted, your reaction time slows down,  you can’t execute emergency maneuvers, and you are less likely to be able to avoid collisions with other vehicles.
  2. No speeding – Every time you increase your speed, the stopping distance increases, and your chance of being able to control the car decreases.
  3. No alcohol – Driving impaired impacts your reaction time, your judgment, your vision, and it is not legal.
  4. No extra passengers – No more than one passenger at all times. When you have more than one passenger in the car, the risk of getting distracted increases and so is the risk of getting into an accident.
  5. No driving or riding without a seatbelt – Wearing a seatbelt can significantly reduce your chances of being seriously injured or even killed in a car crash. You and your passenger have to wear a seatbelt.

For more information, resources, and statistics regarding teen driving, please visit .

And as always, stay safe!


Do You Really Know Your Car’s Safety Features?

9 Oct

Cars are getting safer.  Additional safety features are standard in most new cars.  There’s just one problem…it turns out that many of us are not familiar with the features in our own vehicles.

In a study conducted by University of Iowa and the National Safety Council, 40% of people interviewed said their car behaved in a way they weren’t expecting and 32% said that their car reacted in unexpected ways in certain situation. Perhaps not surprisingly, the majority of people who had their car behave in an unexpected way turned to Google for answers. But the problem with that is that’s “reactive” not “proactive”.   A new campaign launched by wants to change that and get you to know your car better and make the most of the safety features in your car. Here are a few of the features they describe on their website (the website is very informative and also has many informative videos).

  1. Back-up camera – helps you see directly behind you while backing. Remember to also use your mirrors while backing up, do not rely only on the camera
  2. Anti-lock braking system – help steer in an emergency by restoring traction to your tires
  3. Blind spot monitor – warn you of cars driving in your blind spot
  4. Forward collision warning – alerts you of an impending collision with a slow or a stopped car in front of you
  5. Lane departure warning – uses visual, vibrations, or sound warnings to alert you when you drift out of lane
  6. Tire pressure monitoring system – all the cars manufactured after 2007 have this feature, warning you if you have overinflated or underinflated tires
  7. Adaptive cruise control – maintains your speed and your following distance. Click here for a video of how it works
  8. Adaptive headlights – adapt to changing road conditions
  9. Automatic emergency braking – can apply the brakes to help prevent a crash into a vehicle ahead
  10. Automatic parallel parking – helps you parallel park into a spot, although you are still responsible for braking
  11. Drowsiness alert – alerts you when you are drowsy and will suggest you to take a break when safe to do so
  12. Electronic stability control –helps stabilize the car and prevents losing control in curves and emergency steering maneuvers
  13. High speed alert – sound alert when you’re speeding
  14. Night vision – very useful especially during this time of the year, allows you to see objects better at night by using night-vision technology
  15. Pedestrian detection – uses advanced sensors to detect subtle and slower people movements
  16. Road surface warning – this is a recently introduced feature that warns you about road conditions such as icy roads
  17. Sideview camera – it activates when you use the turn signal or if you activate it manually and shows you an expanded view of the lane beside you
  18. Traction control – works in the background and makes driving smoother by helping maintain control of the car on icy roads or rainy weather

Do you know how many of these features you have on your car? Do you know how to use them? For the full list and detailed explanations of how these features work and how the warnings may look on your dashboard, please go to

Stay safe!

Sources: , University of Iowa 




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