Archive | November, 2015

Thanksgiving Travel and Transit Tips

20 Nov

It looks like the roads will be very busy this Thanksgiving weekend. The 2015 AAA report predicts that 46.9 million people will be traveling this Thanksgiving weekend. This represents an increase compared to last year and the highest level in seven years. Gas prices are at their lowest level since 2008 so driving is expected to be the most popular mode of travel.  AAA also predicts a decrease in in other modes of transportation such as trains and buses.

 

If you plan to drive this Thanksgiving weekend here are some safety tips:

  • Get plenty of rest before you start your trip
  • Make sure that everyone is buckled up.
  • Keep your focus on the road, and don’t drive distracted
  • Expect traffic and be patient.
  • Make sure your car is ready, tires inflated, windshield wipers work, have a tune-up before you plan to travel
  • Check the weather, road and traffic conditions
  • Keep a first aid kit in your car
  • Carry an emergency kit in case of inclement weather, flashlight, bottled water, blankets, food, flares, snow shovel, jumper cables, ice scraper.
  • Carry a portable phone charger in case you run out of battery and your car breaks down

If you are planning to travel by train or bus, these are the Thanksgiving schedules:

Northeast Corridor Rail will be operating on Weekend/Holidays Schedule. Rail Schedule available here.

Mercer County Bus Service

The following buses will operate on a Sunday Schedule: 600, 601, 605, 606, 607, 608, 609, and 613.

There will be no service on: 603, 610, 611, 612, 619, and 624 buses.

Schedules available here.

Ocean Ride

Will not operate on Thursday, November 26 : Thanksgiving Day and Friday, November 27 Thanksgiving Friday

Riverline will operate on a Sunday Schedule .

SEPTA

Thursday, November 26: Thanksgiving Day – Thanksgiving Parade

Regional Rail, City, and Suburban Transit will operate on a Sunday/Holiday schedule

Routes 204, 205, 310, 312, and 316 will not operate

Friday, November 27Black Friday

City Transit will operate on a Modified Weekday Schedule

Frontier, Victory Divisions, and the Norristown High Speed Line will operate on a Modified Weekday schedule

SEPTA schedules available here.

PATH

Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 26, 2015, Saturday Schedule

Day after Thanksgiving – Friday, November 27, 2015, Modified Weekday Schedule

PATH schedules available here. 

Tickets, schedules, and alerts on your mobile phone

NJTRANSIT 

SEPTA

PATH

Airport Information

Happy and Safe Thanksgiving !

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Have You Planned for Your ‘Driving Retirement”?

13 Nov

 

A recent NPR article had an interview with a 94-year-old that planned for the day when she would stop driving and then did so as planned.  Planning for your “driving retirement” is something that the majority of people don’t even consider.  Some seniors might consider hanging up the keys but they are afraid of losing their independence. Others simply refuse to admit they need to stop driving and most of the time the family has to intervene.

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As the woman in the NPR interview  said, planning for it and knowing when to stop driving is very important. For her, that moment came in her 80’s when she noticed her eyesight was declining, making her anxious to drive on the highway.  She also did not want her children to have to go through a difficult conversation with her and possibly make the decision for her, causing friction and possible hurt feelings.  But that happens quite often for other families. It is not an easy conversation to have.

Aging doesn’t guarantee that you will need to stop driving, but giving up driving is a lot less scary if you plan for it.  The steps that will ensure an easier transition to being a non-driver are some of the same tips that will help keep you driving longer.

  1. Keep on moving! Staying active through walking and exercise improves your flexibility and overall mobility.  Physical conditioning has been shown to improve driver performance.  And walking/cycling is a great way to travel for short distance trips and to access the bus or train station.
  1. Be mindful of your health. Driving ability is related more to health than age.  There is no single age that someone needs to stop driving.  Know the signs that it is time to give up driving.
  1. Travel using public transportation. Familiarize yourself with the options where you live and use them long before you need to stop driving.
  1. Sign up for a travel training class. If you aren’t sure how to use public transit, consider signing up for a travel training class.  Greater Mercer TMA offers classes that teach you how to use transit, including a field trip on the bus. Contact GMTMA to sign up for a class!
  1. Learn about Community Transportation options for seniors.  In Mercer County RideProvide and TRADE are available as well as many other municipal options.  Check out the Mercer County Mobility Guide to learn about other options.  In Ocean County, Ocean Ride is available.
  1. Become familiar with other alternatives such as carpooling, taxis and ride-hailing services.
  1. Expand your social connections and find travel buddies. Whether you take transit together or drive together you will be able to help each other out if you transition to a non-driver.
  1. Understand the benefits of not driving. Not driving means saving on the cost of car ownership.  Driving less will also save you money.  It also encourages more biking and walking which will improve your overall health.  

Although it may take some lifestyle adjustment and planning, there are transportation alternatives available for the non-driver. Start by cutting down on driving and replacing some of the trips with other transportation options.  If you do, it will be a lot easier and less stressful to stop driving should that decision need to happen.

If you or your loved ones live in Mercer County, contact us to see if they qualify for the Ride Provide Transportation Program, a door-to-door transportation program. With trips to medical appointments, hair salon, shopping, and other social activities, the program offers more flexibility than many other programs.

And as always, stay safe!

 

Congratulations to the 2015 New Jersey Smart Workplaces Awardees

6 Nov

Friday Oct 23rd we held our 31st Annual Meeting and Luncheon and New Jersey Smart Workplaces Awards at the Hyatt Regency Princeton.  Guest Speaker at the event was Darrin W. Anderson, Sr.,PhD, Deputy Director, New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids and Associate Executive Director, New Jersey YMCA State Alliance.

GMTMA Smart Workplaces Awards

Executive Director Kastrenakes and GMTMA’Board President, Jack Kanarek honored businesses present at the event with the prestigious New Jersey Smart Workplaces (NJSW) award. The awards program is a partnership of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Association and GMTMA and recognizes employers for offering outstanding commuter services to their employees. “GMTMA applauds these employers for providing programs that encourage more sustainable, environmentally-friendly commute options,” said Kastrenakes.

Kanarek remarked on “how impressive it is that so many awardees, even those at the Platinum level, continue to add more options for their employees.”  Electric vehicle charging stations, bike tool stations, and expanded shuttles were noted as examples.

Some other qualifying activities include: regularly promoting commute options to staff, hosting on-site commuter events, providing transit schedules, forming carpools or vanpools, offering teleworking, offering flextime, providing bicycle racks, and offering a pre-tax transit program.

If you think your business qualifies for the NJSW designation, please contact us at tma@tma.org, we would be happy to help. You can also go to http://www.gmtma.org/pg-employers-nj-smart-workplaces.php to register.

The 2015 awardees are:

PLATINUM

A-1 Limousine, Albridge Pershing,  Amazon, Bank of America, ETS, Horizon NJ Health, Janssen, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Lakehurst,   Munich Reinsurance,  New Jersey Department of Transportation, NJM Insurance Group, TYCO, Princeton University, Princeton  Healthcare

GOLD: Municipality of Princeton,

SILVER: GMTMA

BRONZE: Johnson&Johnson

Congratulations!