Archive | March, 2016

What is a Walking School Bus ?

25 Mar

We recently launched the “Step into Spring. Ready, Set, Win!” competition and we mention that participants have to use the NJ Walking School Bus App to organize walks. Some people may wonder what is a Walking School Bus and why would you need a bus to organize a walk to school?

Photo: kavalenkau/Shutterstock.com

Well, a Walking School Bus is not really a bus. It is a parent led and organized group of children that walk to school together.  It is a great way to get children to walk to school, and it can be as small as two families taking turns to walk their children to school. There is also a variation for children and parents that bike to school, and it is called a bicycle train.

How can you start a Walking School Bus? You can start by inviting families that live nearby and walk as often as you like, it could be once a week, twice a week, or every day.  Or using our NJ Walking School Bus App you can join existing groups or create new groups and participate in our contest. Winners will be announced in June! Details about the contest are available here.

How does a Walking School Bus help? It helps children get the recommended daily amount of activity, and it helps parents who lead the group get their exercise too.  Children get to socialize with their friends, get to school feeling energized and ready to learn.

A Walking School Bus also helps the community by reducing air pollution and having fewer cars on the road.

If you are interested in starting a Walking School Bus but you are not sure how, what routes you could take, let us know and we will help you get started.

And don’t forget to share your story; you could be featured on our blog.

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West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance celebrates 10 years!

18 Mar

Last night the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance celebrated its 10th anniversary at its Annual Meeting. Ken Carlson, the group’s founder and first president who moved from the area, was back in town to attend and be a guest speaker.

wwpa

Presentations from both the current president (Jerry Foster) and past president, covering recent advocacy efforts as well as the history of the group, made it clear that this is an organization that has made a real impact on improving conditions for both cyclists and pedestrians in West Windsor.

Their efforts have made West Windsor a safer place and a more inviting place to walk and bike.  And their work is inspiring other communities and other groups to do the same.   West Windsor is now a bronze designated bike friendly community.  Given WWBPA’s efforts so far… a Platinum designation could be in sight for their 20th!

 

 

Step into Spring Contest

10 Mar

To encourage walking and help parents plan walks, GMTMA launched a Walking School Bus App last fall.   With warmer days approaching we’ve now launched the Step into Spring. Ready, Set, Win!” campaign to get people back into the walking routine.

Step fb

The campaign includes a contest open to parents and their children in Mercer County and select towns in Ocean County. To qualify for the “Step into Spring. Ready, Set, Win!” parents have to  download the GMTMA Walking School Bus App, create an account, join an existing walking school bus group or create a new group, and schedule and participate walks to and from school. The app is easy to use and parents can search by elementary school for existing walking groups, create walking groups and invite neighbors to join, plan walks to and from school, assign parent leaders to walk with students, group text within the app, and alert the other parents when students have arrived safely at school.

Every time parents and/or children walk to and from school, they get entered to win prizes. The more you walk the better your chances of winning! First group to organize a walk will automatically win prizes for both parents and children. A random drawing will be conducted from all entries on June 6th.  Prizes include Trenton Thunder tickets and a grand prize of $250 for the school of the winning walking group to be used for walking and biking programs, and prizes for parents and children.

 

 

NJ Transit Strike Preparations

4 Mar

Yesterday NJ Transit officials announced a contingency plan in case of a rail strike.  The plan will accommodate about 40k commuters into NY, leaving over 60K without many other options.  Click here to see the NJ Transit plan.

NJ_Transit_Comet_V_6037

Today, Nj.com announced that in an effort to avert the strike, NJ Transit is proposing a new offer. The two sides will be meeting today.  We will keep you posted and post update info on our social media accounts as soon as we know more.

In the meantime here are some additional resources and info to prepare for a possible strike: