Archive | November, 2016

Thanksgiving Travel and Transit Tips

23 Nov

The AAA report is out and it looks like the number of people travelling this Thanksgiving weekend is even higher than last year, 48.7 million to be more exact.  With so many people on the roads and the possibility of wet and slippery conditions on Wednesday night into Thursday, we wanted to share a few driving safety tips.  If you don’t plan to drive, we have also included other helpful information regarding public transit and area airports.

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 weatherroad 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

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.

NJ Transit bus schedules are available here.

NJ Transit early getaway service information available here.

FreeB Commuter and FreeB Neighborhood will not operate on Thanksgiving Day

Ocean Ride

Will not operate on Thursday, November 24  Thanksgiving Day  and Friday, November 25 Thanksgiving Friday.

Riverline will operate on a Sunday Schedule .

SEPTA

Thursday, November 24
Thanksgiving Day – Thanksgiving Parade

Special schedules operated on Market-Frankford Line and Broad Street Line with Night OWL Express Bus service beginning at 12:00am

Regional Rail and Surface Transportation routes will operate on a Sunday/Holiday schedule.

Additional service will operate to King of Prussia Mall.

Friday, November 25
Black Friday

Regional Rail Trains will operate weekday service.

SEPTA schedules available here.

PATH

Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 24, 2016
Saturday Schedule

Day after Thanksgiving – Friday, November 25, 2016
Modified Weekday Schedule*

PATH schedules available here. 

Amtrak

Special Northeast Thanksgiving schedules available here.

 

Airport Information

Newark Liberty Airport or on Twitter @NY_NJAirports

Philadelphia International Airport  or on Twitter @PHLAirport

 

 

We wish you and your family a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!

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World Day of Remembrance

18 Nov

This Sunday, November 20th is World Day of Remembrance, a day to remember Road Traffic Victims.

Observed in many countries around the world this day is dedicated to remembering traffic victims killed in road crashes, the families who are left to grieve the sudden loss of a loved one, and to pay tribute to the emergency response crews who respond to these crashes.

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Traffic crashes are the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and speed is involved in 1/3 of the traffic deaths.

The Vision Zero Network and the National Coalition for Safer Roads have released a National Speed Fatality Map to highlight the significant role that speed plays in road crashes. You can find the map here http://ncsrsafety.org/

New Jersey has adopted the national vision for highway safety – Toward Zero Deaths: A National Strategy on Highway Safety (Toward Zero Deaths). This calls for a national goal of reducing the number of traffic fatalities by half by the year 2030. Toward Zero Deaths is based on the principle that even one traffic death is unacceptable. More information on New Jersey’s plan can be found in the 2015 New Jersey Strategic Highway Safety Plan

We at GMTMA are doing our part to keep our roads safer, working with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority to coordinate Street Smart pedestrian and motorist education campaigns in communities in Mercer and Ocean Counties. In October, GMTMA completed the first phase of the campaign in Princeton.

How can you do your part? Make a commitment to safety, share the message, and please stay safe.

Sources:

http://worlddayofremembrance.org/

http://visionzeronetwork.org/

http://ncsrsafety.org/

New Jersey Electric Vehicle Incentives

11 Nov

Recent New Jersey electric vehicle incentives have made it more enticing than ever to invest in green transportation. Through a triple bottom line lens, or options that are good for People, Planet, and Prosperity, electric vehicles are a worthy alternative to typical fuel guzzlers. A NJ Spotlight article quoted a study that found “by 2050, the state could avoid more than $4B in healthcare and climate costs if it can convince motorists to switch to electric vehicles.” An October 31 conference hosted by St. Peter’s University Hospital and Keep Middlesex Moving delved deeper into the issue.

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There are direct benefits from emission reduction. Over half of the state’s carbon dioxide output derives from transportation. Cleaner air will reduce both asthma and other poor air quality days within the state.

Evidence shows people want electric vehicles. Seen in a “State of the State” presentation, preference for electric is at a rate three times more than hybrids. Batteries are being produced more cheaply than ever and models like the Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and Tesla Model 3 are affordable enough to bring EVs to a wider market.

The state is striving to increase the number of charging stations available. Princeton’s Peacock Inn just installed a Tesla charger and Hamilton Marketplace has operated a Tesla Supercharger over the last two years. Last summer, Quakerbridge Mall unveiled the state’s first EVGo charger that can charge two vehicles within 30 minutes. Projects like these reduce “range anxiety” felt by drivers looking for sufficient charge for traveling.

A repeated theme of the conference was that public and private partnerships were essential for instilling electric car opportunities in NJ. PSEG spearheaded a utility effort and controls over 100 of the 400 current stations. The New Brunswick Parking Authority has incorporated a test “Juice Bar” in the Gateway Garage and St. Peter’s Hospital has provided electric stations for its employees. The Clean Communities Coalition aims to affect state policies. There is already a $7,500 federal tax credit for drivers of All-electric or Hybrid Plug-in vehicles. For companies in NJ wishing to upgrade their facilities, there is over $725,000 in grants in the “It Pay$ to Plug-In” program.

In the near future, plugging in your car overnight will become as routine as charging your phone.

Note: A few days ago, we learned from a NJ Spotlight article that NJ will be part of “Charging Corridors” and locating chargers every 50 miles on I-80 and I-95.

GMTMA Recognizes Businesses, Schools, Municipalities, and Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of RideProvide

2 Nov

Greater Mercer TMA held the 32nd Annual Meeting and Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Princeton, on Friday, Oct 28, 2016. During the event, GMTMA recognized 21 businesses with the 2016 New Jersey Smart Workplaces Award and six Municipalities and eight Schools with the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Recognition Award. GMTMA also celebrated the 10th anniversary of its RideProvide transportation program for seniors and visually impaired adults.

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Guest speaker at the event was Scott Bogren, Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Executive Director. Bogren talked about the need to broaden the definition of public transit to make sure that people understand that trips to healthcare, education, and not just to work, are part of the network of what we think of as transit. Bogren also underlined the importance of supporting services such as RideProvide, given the fact that in the United States, “10,000 people will turn 65 every day, for the next 20 years and that almost 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have a disability.”

Also speaking on the importance of transportation to our communities, GMTMA Executive Director Cheryl Kastrenakes said to the attendees: “Whether your business is healthcare, education, finance, or pharma, we understand the importance of transportation to your business, to employees, clients, students, patients, and to our communities. We know that is so necessary to have a safe, efficient, and equitable transportation system, for the health of our economy and livability of our communities.” Kastrenakes also, highlighted the increase in demand for services like RideProvide, and the need for more options for people who cannot drive and talked about how much the demand has increased over the last few years: “Ten years ago, we started with a couple of donated used vehicles, volunteer drivers and a handful of riders. Today we have 11 staff drivers, a fleet of 7 cars, and last year we provided over 15,000 trips and demand just keeps growing. “

Kastrenakes and Board President Jack Kanarek then recognized the following Schools and Municipalities for their efforts to implement SRTS programs with the Safe Routes to School Recognition:

Gold Sneaker Award: City of Trenton, Lawrence Township, Princeton Township, West Windsor Township, and Bay Head Borough.

Silver Sneaker Award: Brick Township, Lawrence Intermediate Elementary, Johnson Park Elementary (Princeton), and Riverside Elementary (Princeton).

Bronze Sneaker Award: Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary (Trenton), Paul Robeson Elementary  and Hedgepeth-Williams Middle School (Trenton), Slackwood Elementary (Lawrence), Community Park Elementary (Princeton), and Wicoff Elementary (Plainsboro).

Every year, GMTMA recognizes employers who demonstrate leadership by providing and promoting quality commuter benefits to their employees, therefore reducing congestion and improving air quality with the prestigious New Jersey Smart Workplaces Awards.

The 2016 awardees are:

Platinum Level: A-1 Limousine, Albridge, an Affiliate of Pershing, Amazon, Bank of America, Bloomberg LP, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Educational Testing Service, Horizon NJ Health, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Johnson Controls, Munich Reinsurance America, Naval Airfare Center Aircraft Division Lakehurst, New Jersey Department of Transportation, Princeton University, SRI International, and The College of New Jersey.

Gold Level: Municipality of Princeton, Princeton Healthcare System, REI Princeton

Silver Level: Greater Mercer TMA

Bronze Level: Johnson & Johnson

Congratulations to all the awardees!