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.
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!