Archive | September, 2014

Meet our Transportation Service and Marketing Manager – Joan Lockwood-Reck

26 Sep
 his picture was taken as part of our pedestrian versus car challenge - who gets there first


This picture was taken as part of our pedestrian versus car challenge – who gets there first?

Meet Joan,  one of the few people who can tell you a story about two guys that robbed a bank and tried to get away by taking the bus? Yes, she is funny and as you can see she can act, but she’s not kidding about this!

Q: What attracted you to this job?
Joan: Diversity and the fact that we offer a tangible service.

Q: Why is transportation important for you?
Joan: Because it is efficient and a much needed service.

Q: What is a favorite thing about your job?
Joan: I really love the planning and analyzing part, enjoys discovering passenger motivation and patterns. (Seeing a data geek here?!?)

Q: Something about your commute (walking, biking or using public transportation) or your hobbies
Joan: Commute is long (122 miles), Waiting for the NJ TRANSIT to put an express bus route from Tuckerton to Princeton. (Joan is also telecommuting 3 times a week )

Q: What about your hobbies?
Joan: My dog, sports, festivals, farmer markets, hiking, gardening.

Q: Where do you stand on the climate change debate? Do you believe climate change is real?
Joan: Yes.

Q: What do you like most about your job?
Joan:  Planning service, ridership reports and an occasional creative brainstorm.

Q: What is your favorite movie?
Joan:  Patriot.

Q: What was the best moment of your life?
Joan:  Still waiting for it.

Q: Favorite transportation/commuting story.
Joan:  When I was working for Oklahoma City’s transit system. Two guys robbed a bank and used our bus to make their getaway.  Now that’s on time performance!

Q: What else would you like to do if you were not working in transportation?
Joan:  Writing the next bestselling novel. ( We will be looking for her name  on the bestselling lists from now on 🙂

Q: Pet Peeve:
Joan: Tardiness, hate inconsiderate people that make others wait.

Q:  What do you like to do in your spare time?
Joan: Hike with my dog; watch football/baseball, kayak.

Q: Favorite foods:
Joan: Salads; prime rib

 

If you have a guest post you would like to share don’t hesitate to contact us and share your story.

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September is Healthy Aging Month!

19 Sep

Family Walking In The Park

September is healthy aging month and good mobility is a critical aspect of healthy living!

Most of us recognize that poor health can affect a person’s ability to get around easily.  Less attention though has been given to the fact that mobility affects health and well-being. Access to transportation for seniors is closely tied to their quality of life.

Did you know:

  • 21% of seniors no longer drive
  • Non-drivers make 15% fewer trips to the doctor
  • 59% fewer shopping trips
  • 65% fewer trips for social, family and religious activities

We all need to have the ability to stay connected to our communities, healthcare, shopping and social opportunities.  Healthy aging depends on it!

How to help yourself or the seniors in your life:

  1. Encourage everyone to keep walking. Maintaining mobility is a lot easier than regaining mobility.
  2. Promote Complete Streets in your town so that safe walking is possible.
  3. Keep driving skills sharp by signing up for a driver refresher course through AARP.
  4. Learn how to use public transportation. It will be much easier to “put down the keys” if it should become necessary.  Contact GMTMA to learn about our travel training classes.
  5. Learn about senior ride services like TRADE and RideProvide in Mercer County and Ocean Ride in Ocean County.
  6. Advocate for improved transportation options for seniors.
  7. Have a positive attitude!

This week’s blog post comes from Cheryl Kastrenakes , GMTMA Executive Director.

Meet our Sustainable Transportation Associate and SRTS Coordinator- Aly Dyson

12 Sep

Oupencil_sketch_1410451030341r next staff profile features Aly Dyson, Sustainable Transportation Associate and Safe Routes to School Coordinator and passionate anti-idling warrior. OK, maybe not warrior but she means business when it comes to air quality.

Q: What attracted you to this job?
Aly: It involves getting people to think about their actions and how their everyday life impacts the environment. Without someone else pointing it out, people don’t realize that almost everything they do is a choice. They need to decide if what they are doing is the best choice for them. I just try to get people to think about their commute, how they travel to the store or a friend’s house, or to school.

Q: Why is transportation important for you?
Aly: Everyone uses transportation in their daily life, but many people don’t realize how closely it affects the air we all breathe.  Having clean air is important to me and it is something that I want all future generations (including my kids, grandkids, etc.) to be able to enjoy.

Q: What is a favorite thing about your job?
Aly: Having many different projects to work on, I get to help and interact with a lot of people.

Q: What motivates you to want to change the way people commute? 
Aly: To protect the air that we all need to survive.

Q: Where do you stand on the climate change debate? Do you believe climate change is real?
Aly: Yes, climate change is real. I believe that the longer we wait to act, locally, nationally, and worldwide, the more difficult it will be to reverse the effects. It is not the people making decisions now that will suffer; it is future generations that will have to live with our mistakes and inaction.

Q: What was the best moment of your life?
Aly: Too many to pick just one; spending time outdoors with my family.

Q: Favorite transportation/commuting story
Aly: My best commute ever: Walking downstairs and turning on the computer. I love my days telecommuting! Worse commute ever: I once had a commute with 37 stop lights. It was horrible on a daily basis.

Q: Favorite commuting app/gadget
Aly: I do not have a favorite app; I am really hooked on my air quality alerts though.

Q: What else would you like to do if you were not working in transportation?
Aly: State or County Air Quality Inspector.

Q: Pet Peeve: 
Aly: People leaving their cars idling! Just turn it off! You are wasting $ and gas, it is polluting the air and it is dangerous!  The car could roll or a child could get in and put the car in gear, the car could be stolen. There is no point!   (Warned you she means business about air quality!)

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Aly:  I love to go hiking or just go out and take a walk in the woods. It is very relaxing and peaceful.  I enjoy going to parks with my family.

Mercer Municipalities Support Safety Towns

5 Sep

Hamilton Safety Town

GMTMA works to promote biking and walking safety by educating students during summer camp and school programs throughout the year, and our efforts are well complemented by the Safety Town programs in Hamilton, Lawrence, Ewing and Hopewell Valley. Hamilton’s program serves 400-500 students per year and is in its 44th year, according to Officer Kristin Seitz, the program’s director. The nationally recognized 20 hour program for rising kindergartners was originally developed in 1937 by Officer Frend Boals in Mansfield, Ohio, and updated in 1964 by nursery school teacher Dorothy Chlad in Bedford, Ohio.

Lawrence Township’s program boasts similar longevity, according to Superintendent of Recreation Steven Groeger, soon to retire after 32 years.  Ewing’s program has been operating since 1981, according to their Facebook page, while Hopewell Valley’s program started in 2012. These programs run one two-week session per year, compared to Hamilton’s eight sessions in the summer and a day-long field trip for every 2nd grader during the school year, including parochial and private schools.

The program introduces safety awareness and preventive practices, including biking and walking safety, and features a mock town laid out in preschool proportions for practicing – trikes are ridden as motorists while the other students are pedestrians. Hamilton boasts one of only two permanent towns in the state, with shed like buildings, real sidewalks, and crosswalks. Even a functioning traffic light with pedestrian walk signals!

GMTMA thanks the following sponsoring organizations for their commitment to safety – Hamilton’ Police Athletic League, Ewing’s Kiwanis Club, Lawrence Township’s Recreation Department and Hopewell Valley’s MOMS Club and YMCA.