Archive | July, 2012

I Walk. Do You Walk?

31 Jul

Image

October is International Walk to School Month, and October 3 is National Walk to School Day. Greater Mercer TMA is working to get as many schools in our region involved in these great events which give children, parents, and teachers an opportunity to celebrate the many benefits of walking to school.

There are many reasons to participate — safer and more accessible streets , healthier habits, and cleaner air to name just a few. Join in! Greater Mercer TMA is the Safe Routes to School coordinator for Mercer and Ocean Counties, and we will help you get an event off the ground!

Why Hold a Walk to School Day Event?

  • Encourage physical activity
  • Teach kids how to walk safety
  • Raise awareness of how walkable your community is
  • Raise concern for the environment
  • Reduce crime
  • Reduce traffic congestion, pollution, and speed near schools

Fun Walk to School activities:

  • Develop a walking theme for a walk: crazy hair day; healthy lunch day; costume day, etc.
  • Get a local “celebrity” (mayor, police officer, etc.) to come speak to the students
  • Set up a competition with awards for the classes with the most walkers
  • Organize a walking school bus from nearby neighborhoods
  • Hold an educational assembly with guest speakers
  • Give out awards for the class with the most walkers

Choose to celebrate a day, week, or the entire month!

If you’re in Mercer or Ocean Counties, Greater Mercer TMA can help you get a program started and get your program registered at http://www.walkbiketoschool.org.

Contact us at rhersh@gmtma.org or 609-452-1491 — we’ll get you walking!

Thank You for Voting!

26 Jul

To everyone who voted for Greater Mercer TMA in Toyota’s “100 Cars for Good” campaign, we send out a hearty and sincere thank you. Your voting and efforts to spread the word are really appreciated! Unfortunately we did not win the new vehicle, but we did gain a lot of new friends, and we had a lot of fun in the process. 

A new car would have been awesome, but we’re glad that we were able to spread the word about the importance and need for senior transportation. By 2030, 20% of our population will be seniors. 19,000 people will turn 65 every day for the next 18 years. With 50% of seniors staying home on any given day due to lack of transportation, you can easily see what a growing concern senior transportation is. 

While many people can and do continue to drive well into their senior years, many give up driving when they are no longer capable  or comfortable doing so, and many more should and would if they knew they had other options. Affordable transportation options are essential if we are to keep seniors safe, engaged, independent and active.  

It was these pressing needs of the senior citizens in our community that sparked GMTMA to take action and develop the RideProvide program. Our car service serves seniors in all of Mercer County and Plainsboro, taking seniors anywhere they need to travel. Other options such as TRADE, the County’s paratransit system, and various community shuttles are also available in the county. Contact RideProvide program manager Carol Staats or click here for more information on RideProvide and other senior transportation options. 

Vote for Us to Win a Car TOMORROW!

24 Jul

Greater Mercer TMA has been selected as a finalist in Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good program! Each day five finalists are profiled at 100carsforgood.com and the public votes for the non-profit that they believe can do the most good with a new vehicle.

We’re grateful for this opportunity to showcase our RideProvide transportation service and hopefully win a car to help us provide rides for seniors and visually impaired adults in our community. Please spread the word and make time to visit www.100carsforgood.com TOMORROW, Wednesday, July 25th to vote for us.

Here’s what you can do today:

  1. Visit http://www.100carsforgood.com.
  2. In the search box at the top right of the page, search for “Greater Mercer TMA” and our voting page will come up.
  3. Click on the green box to the left of Greater Mercer TMA.
  4. You’ll see a “Remind Me” button appear underneath that green box.
  5. Click on the “Remind Me” button! By clicking on “Remind Me”, you’ll automatically receive a reminder to vote next Wednesday.  There is only ONE day to vote, so it’s very important not to forget!

RideProvide provided 9,200 rides last year and the number of new ride requests is increasing. Rides have increased 16% in the last six months alone, and we’re on track to give close to 10,000 rides in 2012. A new vehicle would really improve our ability to meet the growing transportation needs of an aging population!

Shorten Your Commute, Save Your Life

23 Jul

Think about your commute. Did your blood pressure just rise? Those traffic jams, red lights, road rage-ing people cutting you off, slowpokes clogging up the left lane — our commute to work is often filled with myriad small stresses, which can build up over time and negatively affect our health. This graphic below highlights the ways your commute can become the killer commute. People who commute longer:

  • Worry more
  • Are angrier
  • Are less happy
  • Are more prone to divorce
  • Have fewer social connections
  • Have more back and neck problems
  • Have worse health (higher blood pressure, higher cholesterol, worse sleep quality, are less fit, and have more heart attacks)

How do you deal with your commute? Have you found ways to keep your stress level down even when stuck in a line of vehicles longer than the eye can see? We want to hear from you. And if you’re looking for ways to change your commute, Greater Mercer TMA can help. We have plenty of information, resources, and assistance to get out of your car. We have a great program for green commuters, which you can register for here; a Park and Ride Locator, where you can find a convenient location to meet your carpool or vanpool; information on rideshare parking permit at the Princeton Junction Train Station;  information on how to find a carpool that works for you; info on how to find or start up a vanpool; information on telecommuting; and many resources on riding the bus and train, and bicycling and walking.

Shortening your commute by 20 minutes can save your life.

Walk With Us in October!

19 Jul

Image

October is International Walk to School Month, and October 3 is National Walk to School Day. These events give children, parents, and teachers an opportunity to be part of a world-wide event and celebrate the many benefits of walking to school.

A national event can be an amazing impetus for change in communities. A simple one-day event has led to great changes such as long-term walking and bicycling programs, new sidewalks and pathways, enforcement of unsafe driving behaviors and needed policy changes at schools and in communities.  Improvements that normally take a long time to institute can happen quickly when city officials walk or bicycle to school with students and see firsthand what needs to be done.

Organized by the Partnership for a Walkable America, Walk to School Day in the USA began in 1997 as a one-day event aimed at building awareness for the need for walkable communities.  In 2000, the event became international when the UK and Canada (both of which had already been promoting walking to school) and the USA joined together for the first International Walk to School Day. Growing interest in participation all over the world led the International Walk to School Committee to shifts its promotion to International Walk to School Month for the entire month of October.

There are many reasons to celebrate—safer and more accessible streets , healthier habits, and cleaner air to name just a few. Join in! Greater Mercer TMA is the Safe Routes to School coordinator for Mercer and Ocean Counties, and we will help you get an event off the ground!

Why Hold a Walk to School Day Event?

  • Encourage physical activity
  • Teach kids how to walk safety
  • Raise awareness of how walkable your community is
  • Raise concern for the environment
  • Reduce crime
  • Reduce traffic congestion, pollution, and speed near schools

 Fun Walk to School activities:

  • Develop a walking theme for a walk: crazy hair day; healthy lunch day; costume day, etc.
  • Get a local “celebrity” (mayor, police officer, etc.) to come speak to the students
  • Set up a competition with awards for the classes with the most walkers
  • Organize a walking school bus from nearby neighborhoods
  • Hold an educational assembly with guest speakers
  • Give our awards for the class with the most walkers

 Choose to celebrate a day, week, or the entire month!

If you’re in Mercer or Ocean Counties, Greater Mercer TMA can help you get a program off the ground and get your program registered at http://www.walkbiketoschool.org.

Contact us at rhersh@gmtma.org or 609-452-1491 — we’ll get you walking!

 

Vote for RideProvide on Wednesday July 25!

17 Jul

Greater Mercer TMA has been selected as a finalist in Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good program! Each day five finalists are profiled at 100carsforgood.com and the public votes for the non-profit that they believe can do the most good with a new vehicle.

We’re grateful for this opportunity to showcase our RideProvide transportation service and hopefully win a car to help us provide rides for seniors and visually impaired adults in our community. Please spread the word and make time to visit www.100carsforgood.com on Wednesday, July 25th to vote for us.

Here’s what you can do today:

  1. Visit http://www.100carsforgood.com.
  2. In the search box at the top right of the page, search for “Greater Mercer TMA” and our voting page will come up.
  3. Click on the green box to the left of Greater Mercer TMA.
  4. You’ll see a “Remind Me” button appear underneath that green box.
  5. Click on the “Remind Me” button! By clicking on “Remind Me”, you’ll automatically receive a reminder to vote next Wednesday.  There is only ONE day to vote, so it’s very important not to forget!

RideProvide provided 9,200 rides last year and the number of new ride requests is increasing. A new vehicle would really improve our ability to meet the growing transportation needs of an aging population!

Do you REALLY need that SUV?

13 Jul

Image

Think again. This woman — who has SIX children between the ages of 2 and 11 — transports her entire family on a bike. And she does it all while wearing a skirt and a black leather vest. As the article says, “Watching her pedal her bakfiets cargo bike with four kids in the front, another one in a child seat behind her, and another one on a bike attached to hers via the rear rack, is a sight that not only inspires — it forces you to re-think what’s possible.” 

Admittedly, biking with six kids is probably more than most of us can handle. Frankly, just parenting six kids is probably more than most of us can handle (it’s certainly more than I can handle). But if you have some kids and are really interested in getting out of your car, a bakfiets might be just what you’re looking for. Very popular in the Netherlands and Denmark (of course), they are also known as freight or cargo bikes and are designed to transport large loads — not just children, but also cargo. You can peruse a wide variety of bakfiets here. If you use one, we want to hear from you! What do you use it for? How do you like it? Let us know.