Get out of the Car for a Green, Healthy, and Safe Holiday Season

14 Dec

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!

O what fun it is NOT to ride

On a gridlocked Route 1, hey!

The best gift you can give yourself, your family and your community is to stay off the roads – instead, enjoy friends and family and food this holiday season without the hassles and dangers of traffic, road rage, and accidents.

Doing your part during the holiday season to protect our environment, foster community, get a little exercise, and stay out of traffic is easier than you might think. Our state and region offer a myriad of mass transit resources that can be used very easily by many of us. So pick up your reusable shopping bags, lace up your walking shoes, and ride the rails (or the bus!) for a car-free shopping trip or family visit.

Use Hopstopwww.hopstop.com page, to find connections within and between major U.S. cities. Hopstop offers eco travel routing for Washington, D.C., New York, New York Metro North, Long Island, New Jersey, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Using a combination of local metro, buses, Amtrak, and walking, you can plan a route that requires no automobile usage whatsoever this holiday season.

Google Transitwww.google.com/transit, is another useful route-planning option for finding transit links to, through and from our entire state as well as the region and other U.S. cities.

New Jersey Transit‘s website, www.njtransit.com, also has a useful trip planning feature that can get you all over the state, and into New York, on its trains, light rail, and buses. They add extra service for the holidays, including an increased number of New York-bound trains on select lines and buses to New Jersey malls through December 23.

It’s also easy to take advantage of NJ Transit’s many reduced fare options, including:

  • Children’s Fares: Children (ages 5-11) save at least 50 percent at all times. In addition, up to three kids 4 and under can ride free with a passenger paying any valid fare.
  • Family Supersaver Fares: On weekends and holidays, up to two kids (ages 5-11) can ride free with a passenger paying any valid fare. In effect from 7 p.m. Friday (or the day before a holiday) until 6 a.m. Monday (or the day after a holiday).
  • Seniors and Disabled Citizen Fares: If you’re a senior citizen (62 years of age or older) or a person with a disability, you can save one-half or more of the regular one-way fare. Personal assistants can also ride for free when proper identification is presented by the person with a disability.

Make a New Year’s resolution to get out of your car and into transit – and start implementing that resolution a little early this year. If you need help planning your transit trip, we’re here to help: contact the Greater Mercer TMA at 609-452-1491.

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