Tag Archives: vanpool

Ride. Better. Together

14 Jul

The “summer of hell” as it has been called on social media, has begun. The scheduled Amtrak Penn Station repairs will impact NJ Transit which in turn will impact the daily commute to NY Penn Station. Some commuters have been considering driving into NY during this time.  The drive into NY is already busy and there is a lot of traffic, adding more cars to the road would make it even worse. So… if you do choose to drive why not consider carpooling?

Carpooling helps reduce traffic, and you’ll spend less on gas, reduce the wear and tear and miles on your car, and improve air quality. You can carpool as much or as little as you want, you do not have to carpool every day.  You can get started by accessing NJ’s largest commuter network – NJ Rideshare.  All you have to do is register, and search the database for partners.  If you can’t find partners, contact your local TMA for help and while you’re talking to them make sure to register for the Emergency Ride Home program, a program that will ensure you get a free lift home if you ever have to leave work early or need to stay late.

You can watch this short video to see how you can Ride.Better.Together

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA_P8dPIrFI

Get started at www.njrideshare.com

NJ Rideshare is a partnership of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) and the eight non-profit Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) serving New Jersey. Contact the TMA in the county in which you work for assistance.

 

5 Ways Employers Can Make Commuting Less Stressful for Their Employees

24 Feb

New Jersey commuters know congestion too well. NJ has five of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the nation and that costs commuters millions of dollars and lots of stress.  And long, stressful commutes can translate into the loss of productivity and unhappy employees.

So if you are looking for ways to make life easier for employees, here are 5 things you can do and we at GMTMA can help you get started:

  1. Encourage ridesharing

A carpool is a group of two or more employees driving to work together. Let your employees know about carpooling and encourage them to carpool at least once a week.  GMTMA has a free carpool matching service, can help you determine the potential for carpooling, and we can help you talk to your employees about it.

  1. Free van to transit

Many employees would like to take transit but face the “last mile” problem; they have no way to get to the office from transit. The solution to that is an employer-sponsored van that can run in the morning bringing employees to the office and in the afternoon bringing employees to transit.  To make it more affordable see if you can partner with other businesses near you. We can help with that too.

  1. Encourage bicycling

If a free van to transit is not feasible, encourage employees to bicycle from transit to the office. Employees are more likely to bike to work when they have access to showers, bicycle racks, and bike repair tool stations. The IRS permits employers to reimburse up to $20/month for reasonable expenses related to commuting by bicycles.

  1. Incentivize employees not to drive

Offer a financial reward to employees who do no drive. Offer transit, vanpool and bicycle commuting tax benefits.

  1. Help employees form a vanpool

Vanpools consist of 7-15 people, and the van can be leased by a third party vendor.  NJ Transit offers a Vanpool Sponsorship Program of $175 per month to form vanpool where public transportation is not available.  GMTMA can help you with setting up a vanpool.

Your local Transportation Management Association can help you get started. TMAs offer programs and services to help employers reduce costs and congestion.  Here is a sample of what TMAs can do for your business: http://www.gmtma.org/pg-employers-programs-and-services.php

Green Commuters Win at the Living Local Expo

1 Apr

 

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Green Commuters beat out the Gray Commuters this past Saturday at the Living Local Expo at the National Guard Armory in Lawrence.

GMTMA was an exhibitor at the event which drew almost 900 people and was sponsored by Sustainable Lawrence,  the municipal Green Teams of Lawrence, Ewing and Hopewell, and the Mercer County office of Business Development and Sustainability.

We conducted an informal survey that measured how many people had Green Commutes  or Gray Commutes.

      • Green Commute involves sharing a ride – carpool, vanpool, or taking the bus or train
      • Super Green Commute  does not directly give off any pollution – Telecommute, Walking or Biking, (scooter, roller blades, etc)
      • Gray Commute creates the most traffic congestion and air pollution by driving alone in a single occupancy vehicle.

For a bit in the beginning of the event it looked like the Gray commuters were going to prevail, but the rain didn’t keep the Green commuters down in the long run. There were 50 peanuts in the jar for the Gray commuters who drive alone to work or students that are dropped off at school by a special trip. But 92 peanuts in the jar for the Green Commuters! Super Green Commuters were a big help allowing the commuters who don’t create any air pollution (walk, bike, telecommute, etc) to add 2 peanuts to the jar. Because adults and kids alike who choose a travel mode that does not create air pollution, are helping themselves, their community and the air that everyone breathes.

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If you are interested in learning more about pollution in our air and which days have higher air pollution levels, sign up for AirNow Alerts to get an email the day before a predicted bad air quality day. These alerts allow you to change your travel mode to a Greener one when the air pollution levels are going to be high.