Archive | December, 2014

Safe Travels and Happy Holidays!

23 Dec

Happy Holidays From All Of Us At GMTMA!

Holiday card

To make your Holiday transportation planning easier check the following:

Holiday Public Transportation Schedules

Other Transportation Options

Professional drivers that are Greater Mercer TMA members:

And don’t forget to stay on touch on social media!

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Make the Right Choice This Holiday Season

19 Dec
Photo credit NHTSA

Photo credit NHTSA

December was designated Impaired Driving Prevention Month in 2013 after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released new data showing that drunk driving fatalities had increased.  With gas prices lower than in previous years many more people will be driving for the Holidays. The holidays are festive and fun but they are also a time of increased alcohol consumption. To raise awareness and reduce the number of people driving under the influence, the “Drive sober or get pulled over” campaign started December 12th and the crackdown will continue through December 31st.

If you take a look at the statistics you can see why there is a concerted effort to bring this issue under control.  Almost 1/3 of those killed in crashes over the 2012 Holiday period were in drunk-driving crashes. According to NHTSA during the 2012 holiday season, 830 people lost their lives in crashes that involved drunk drivers. That was in December alone!

Another sobering statistic shows that between December 2008 and December 2012, 3,994 people were killed in crashes that involved drivers with Blood Alcohol Content higher than .08 grams per deciliter. 

Although the legal limit is .08 grams per deciliter, alcohol consumption affects people’s ability to drive in different ways. Alcohol is a depressant drug and it reduces speed of reaction, reduces concentration, impairs vision, and some people may feel over confident which may lead to making rash decisions and taking the risk of driving impaired.

That is why it is recommended to have a plan in place if you’re planning to have alcohol for the holidays.   You can designate a driver ahead of time, call a cab, or take public transportation; it is not worth taking the risk.

Other things you can do to keep the Happy in Holidays are: helping other people be responsible, if someone you know has been drinking, don’t let them drive and if you see a drunk driver, call the police.

 As always, we wish you all Safe and Happy Holidays!


PS: In many countries the legal limit is lower than the US one, somewhere between .02 and .08 and in some countries (in Europe no less) there is a zero tolerance policy.

In US the legal limit is .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL).” and it is not hard to get there. If you ever wonder how the EBAC is calculated, here is the formula (Widmark formula):
– 0.806 is a constant for body water in the blood (mean 80.6%)
– SD is the number of standard drinks containing 10 grams of ethanol
– 1.2 is a factor to convert the amount in grams
– BW is a body water constant (0.58 for men and 0.49 for women)
– Wt is body weight (kilogram)
– MR is the metabolism constant (0.017)
–  DP is the drinking period in hours. (Source: Wikipedia)

How do alcohol and drugs affect your ability to drive:

Hop on the bus Gus! …and Mary…and Sally…and Betty!

12 Dec


The Mercer County Mobility Survey conducted by the Greater Mercer TMA (GMTMA) found that 20% of the respondents, consisting of seniors, individuals with disabilities and people with lower income, indicated that they did not know the public transportation system well enough to feel comfortable using it.  In addition, 20% of the respondents indicated that they require assistance to travel.  As a result, one of the key recommendations resulting from the Mobility Survey was to implement a travel training program for Mercer County.

Travel training can help seniors, people with disabilities and people with lower income learn how to use public transportation to travel to work, shopping, doctor appointments, social events and other purposes to maintain healthy lifestyles, participate in their community and achieve economic success.  GMTMA and the New Jersey Travel Independence Program @ Rutgers (NJTIP @ Rutgers) have partnered to develop and implement a Travel Training Program for Mercer County.  Travel training is a group of services used to teach safe and independent travel skills on public transportation, including bus, rail and light rail.  Training skills can be taught for many services provided by NJ TRANSIT, Mercer County, municipalities and private companies.  Riders learn how to plan their trips, read schedules, pay fares, transfer between bus routes and trains, use accessibility features and take safety precautions during their travel.

GMTMA and NJTIP @ Rutgers kicked off the Mercer County Travel Training program in October 2014 with the residents of the Harriet Bryan House and Elm Court senior housing residences in Princeton.  The Travel Training provided to Elm Court and Harriet Bryan consisted of two sessions with residents.  The first session was entitled “Transit 101”.  We met with interested residents in the community room of the Harriet Bryan House and reviewed public transportation options available in the area, and learned how to plan trips, obtain tickets, pay fares and use accessible feature on buses and trains.

The second session, “Steppin’ Out on NJ TRANSIT”, a group of residents went on a field trip to learn how to ride the Princeton freeB neighborhood bus and NJ TRANSIT 605 bus to the Mercer Mall.  In addition to learning how to use the NJ TRANSIT bus, the day served as a social outing for the group with lunch at a local pizzeria.  The residents had been familiar with how to use the Princeton freeB.  The freeB stops at the Harriet Bryan House and provides access to downtown Princeton and the Princeton Shopping Center.  However, to go places beyond Princeton using transit requires a transfer to a NJ TRANSIT bus route.  Many residents did not have prior experience with the transfer process.  They wanted to learn how to safely and comfortably complete transfers in order to broaden their access to more shopping and entertainment opportunities.  For example the NJ TRANSIT 605 provides access to Princeton Market Fair, Nassau Park Pavilion and Quakerbridge Mall.

GMTMA and NJTIP @ Rutgers can provide similar travel training seminars and field trips to senior housing facilities, municipal senior centers/organizations, job placement agencies and organizations, agencies and organizations for individuals with disabilities, and community based organizations serving transportation disadvantaged populations.  If you are interested in having travel training for your community group or organization, please visit or contact

Winter Biking Tips

5 Dec

December 21st is the first day of winter but we’ve already seen snow and it already feels a lot like winter.

We’ve had some tips on how to prepare your car for winter and winter driving tips, now how about some winter biking tips for those of you who will be braving the elements this winter?!?

  1. Layer up but do not overdress – look for clothing that is designed to keep you warm without being too bulky and make you sweat. Many stores sell active wear clothes that are both fashionable and functional. Cover your head, your extremities and your ears, and wear clear glasses to protect your eyes.
  2. Wear something bright and equip your bike with good lights (flashing lights have a great battery life but the high powered ones can blind the motorists behind you), it will keep you safe during low visibility conditions.
  3. Equip your bike with wide tires (studded winter tires are best for icy conditions) and shoes with threaded sole so you won’t slip when you break or stop at a light and you have to put your foot down.
  4. If possible, pick streets that will minimize your contact with cars.
  5. Think safety first! – Use your judgment in snowy, slippery and/or low visibility conditions, actively manage risk through strategies to avoid travel, minimize contact with other traffic and/or make yourself as visible as possible through proper lane positioning

attAs part of our Be Safe Be Seen campaign we giveaway reflective bands, reflective vests, and reflective decals for your helmet.  If you are a bike commuter and would like to get these items, please contact us.

Here is a great Infographic from with more winter biking tips.