Archive | November, 2014

Thanksgiving travel tips

25 Nov
THX

(Photo credit: AAA)

The 2014 AAA Thanksgiving Travel Forecast is out and it looks like more than 46 million people will be travelling this year, 89 percent will be driving.

The weather forecast for Wednesday, November 26th does not look very good and conditions may be a little challenging.  There is a winter storm watch in effect starting Wednesday morning and lasting until Thursday morning.  Here are a few winter driving tips

  • Make sure you have an emergency kit in your car
  • Make sure tires are properly inflated
  • Make sure you are well rested and eliminate distractions
  • Be patient and follow the rules of the road
  • If you have car problems pull as far as possible off the road and turn on hazard lights , use a triangle warning sign or road flares (instructions on how to use road flares here).
  • Turn on your headlights, using low beam when traveling in snow
  • If you skid, don’t brake or accelerate. Remove your foot from the gas, and gently steer your car in the direction of the skid. When your car starts heading in the desired direction, carefully straighten the wheel.

You can find more winter driving tips here.

For those of you taking public transportation here are a few helpful tidbits:

For NJ TRANSIT NEC – the train will be operating on Holiday Schedule on Thursday November 27th and modified weekday schedules on NEC and NJCL on November 28th. You can find the schedules here .

For NJ TRANSIT Bus – Many lines operate on a Special Holiday Schedule, some starting on November 26th. You can find the schedule here.

NJ TRANSIT announced they will be having early getaway trains.  You can find the schedules here .

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Meet our Office Manager – Portia Pedwards-Gyampo

21 Nov

She has been with GMTMA for more than 20 years and she is greeting everyone in the morning with a friendly smile.

Q: What attracted you to this job? 
Portia: I like to make sure the office is running smoothly and answer people’s questions.

Q: What is a favorite thing about your job?
Portia: I like the variety of things I get to do.

Q:Can you share something about your commute?
Portia: I like public transportation and I take the bus almost every day.  Works well getting to the workplace, I rarely need to drive. Plus I get to walk to and from the bus and that is my exercise.

Q:What motivates you to want to change the way people commute?
Portia:There are so many reasons why, think of the savings and the wear and tear on their vehicles and the fact that you are playing your part to make the environment better. No matter how small your part is, it matters in the long run.

Q: What do you like most about your job?
Portia: The customer service, love talking to people and giving them the information they need.

Q: What was the best moment of your life?
Portia: Still waiting.

Q: What is your favorite transportation story?
Portia: I love to read so I really enjoy  having the time to just relax and read each day while riding the bus.  I have my routine…newspaper in the morning and a novel in the afternoon.  I guess you could say those are my commuting stories!

Q: What is your favorite commuting app/gadget? 
Portia: My cell phone and the NJ Transit My Bus app that lets you plug in the bus stop number and receive a text that will tell you when it will arrive.

Q: What else would you like to do if you were not working in transportation?
Portia: A buyer for home goods – furnishings and accessories

Q:Pet Peeve    
Portia: Rude people

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Portia: I am a proud first time grandma so I like spending time with my grandchild.
I love to shop! That’s my sport! (She takes the bus for that too even though she owns a car)

Q:Your favorite food?
Portia: Fresh food stuff—fruit, vegetables, seafood and chicken  (this sounds healthy and delicious)

Thank you Portia!

Bike Commuter Journal – High Gear to Happiness

14 Nov

Lifebycycle_Commuter Journal

Our guest blogger this week, Robert Stasio, is sharing some thoughts about cycling.

I’ve been commuting to work in the Plainsboro and West Windsor area on and off for 8 years, and bikes were always a central focus of my life. Post-college, the bike was replaced with the car, shuttling from one commitment to the next. With increasing work responsibilities, I lost sight of what matters most. I started focusing on convenience over happiness and status over health. After a few years the longer car commutes, office lunches, and stress started taking a mental and physical toll. Gym memberships collected dust, and bigger pants couldn’t solve the problems any longer. Suddenly I didn’t recognize myself. A year ago I had an “awakening” and realized it was time for a number of changes, including a commitment to consistently commute by bike no matter what.

Today, it’s going well. As it turns out, this area is actually amazing for biking to work, to the store, or just for fun. Often it’s actually EASIER than driving. You have your choice of bike lanes, bike paths, or even roads, and it’s getting even better thanks to the hard work of many people.  More importantly, there is a growing tolerance on the roads, and most drivers are also closet bicyclists just waiting to start bike commuting as well. You can even expand your biking with a simple bus or train excursion.

My commute brings me past the beautiful fields of Stult’s Farm, down the boulevard-esque bike lanes of Southfield Road, and even through Mercer County Park, where I routinely pass dozens of deer. I’ve also rode in rain, floods, and snow, and enjoyed every minute. I take in the beautiful scenery and admire the changing seasons, all from the seat of my bike.

Riding a bike is more than just exercise or cost savings; it’s fun too. It’s the high gear to happiness!

Thank you Robert!

If you have a commuting story you would like to share, please contact us.

Meet our Commuter Services Manager – Adele Clark

7 Nov

Adele

Q:What is your job at GMTMA?
Adele: I maintain GMTMA’s Rideshare database. I find carpool matches for people that live and work in the same area and have similar schedules. I refer people to existing vanpools or help them to start their own vanpool. I also assist vanpools with the paperwork needed for NJ TRANSIT’s Vanpool Sponsorship Program. GMTMA has 50 registered vanpools in Mercer and Ocean Counties.

I respond to travel planning inquiries .These days I get many calls from people who are Amazon employees at the Robbinsville distribution center and help them find a personalized transportation plan and connections to the Zline, more than 90 people called this month.

Q: What is a favorite thing about your job?
Adele: I like talking to people, I have been here for quite a while and in talking to them I feel like I know them,   and I really enjoy this part of my job.

Q: Why is transportation important for you?
Adele: It is such a vital part of our lives, if you can’t get from point A to point B then what do you do?

Q: What motivates you to want to change the way people commute? 
Adele: Reducing congestion and pollution.

Q: What is your favorite movie? 
Adele: “Sleepless in Seattle”, my all-time favorite.

Q: Favorite transportation/commuting story
Adele: This one is not a favorite story but definitely memorable – being stuck in traffic during a winter storm and it took me 6 hours to get home. I was working in New Brunswick and travelling on Route 18, the blizzard had covered everything, you could not see the median, could not see where you were going.

Q: What else would you like to do if you were not working in transportation?
Adele: I would probably work in social services, maybe work with the Veterans, helping them put their life back together , get housing, jobs, get back to civilian life.

Pet Peeve: 
Adele: Rubberneckers (unless you are stopping to help, keep going ahead, don’t slow the traffic).

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Adele: Spend time with family and friends.

Q: Favorite food?
Adele: Eggplant parmigiana .
If you want to start carpooling or vanpooling or if you need to rent a bike locker at the Princeton Junction train station, Adele can help with that.