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Celebrating over 30 years of excellence and service in northern New Jersey.


Street Smart Coming To Dover
 
TransOptions will be bringing the Street Smart pedestrian safety campaign to Dover throughout the month of April. 

Street Smart Dover, will be an education and enforcement effort that reminds those walking and driving in town to slow down, stop for pedestrians, use crosswalks, cross at the “walk” signal, and most importantly, put the phone down when driving and walking! 

As an education and enforcement campaign, Street Smart Dover will include pedestrian safety law enforcement by the Dover Police Department as well as multiple educational outreach events coordinated by TransOptions. 

Meanwhile, in Morristown, Street Smart is still ongoing. Street Smart Morristown is a collaborative effort with TransOptions, the Town of Morristown and the Morristown Police Department to build upon the success of the town’s first campaign last spring. The spring 2016 campaign resulted in increased positive walking and driving behaviors as well as a 50% increase in awareness of pedestrian safety messages. 

TransOptions went in a fun and youth-oriented direction by utilizing the popular mobile app Snapchat to better engage younger adults in the community with a vital Street Smart message. For the weekend of the St. Patrick's Day parade, and the week to follow, anyone visiting the various bars and businesses along the South Street area of Morristown was able to use a Snapchat geofilter for their photos with the personalized Street Smart Morristown "Heads Up, Phones Down" message. 



To read the complete Street Smart Morristown final report, please click here. For more information about Street Smart, contact our Project Manager, Laura Cerutti at lcerutti@transoptions.org or call 973.267.7600.


Registration for the Bike To Work Challenge Coming Soon!

Registration for our Bike To Work Challenge in May will be opening up Monday, April 3rd. The Bike To Work Challenge is the premier bicycle commuting competition of northwest New Jersey.

It’s a free and friendly event where experienced and novice riders get together to compete for prizes.The goal of this competition is to encourage commuters to use their bikes more often instead of cars. Commuting by bike reduces traffic, decrease air pollution, improves overall health, and can save you money. 

Starting April 3rd, use the free GoForGood app (available on Google Play and the App Store) to register for the challenge or sign-up on the registration webpage. You can also use the GoForGood app to track your trips and mileage. Ride as much as you can from May 1st to May 31st.

Keep in mind, you can ride the entire way to work, to the bus stop, train station, or even drive to a park & ride and bike the rest of the way. As long as your commute involves riding a bike, it counts! 

And this year, there are more ways to win prizes than ever!
  • Get two to four coworkers to come join you and compete for the Team Prize.
  • Share your Bike To Work photos with us and win prizes in our brand new Bike to Work “Roll” Model Challenge.
  • All first year participants are eligible for our inaugural Rookie Riders Challenge, in which awards are given out to the first year rider with the most trips and highest mileage.
For more information about rules and prizes, send us an e-mail at info@transoptions.org, or call us at 973-267-7600.

The Rise of Ridesharing
 
For the past 30 years, TransOptions has been a strong influence in the ridesharing movement, seeing first-hand the benefits and the positive impact on our region.  We have successfully assisted companies who have parking issues, coordinated first and last mile shuttles connecting commuters to the train and their office and have helped to reduce congestion on the roads. Long before the emergence of app-enabled ridesharing service providers, Uber and Lyft, TransOptions has been helping commuters find better ways to get to work.

Now, with the rise of on-demand ridesharing, some commuters are opting out of driving to work and are giving up at least one car per household.  Scientific polls suggest that many Americans feel this way.  In a National Association of Realtors survey, 45% said providing alternatives to driving – such as walking, biking, and public transit – should be a high priority for local governments.

TransOptions is currently working with progressive suburban companies who are seeking options to help attract and retain new talent. Companies and corporate campuses understand that by providing shuttles and on-demand options, as well as mix of amenities within the corporate campus, they can compete in today’s employment market.  This trend will continue to grow and TransOptions is assessing various opportunities to expand ridesharing options that will include on-demand services that are cost effective, flexible, and easy for commuters. 

In urban areas, people have given up car ownership and are hitching a ride for short-to-medium distances, creating a steady churn of passengers for Uber and Lyft drivers and maximizing usage of cars in service. And if a car is needed for the weekend, a short term rental like Zipcar is a great backup, which would be viable options in towns like Morristown and Summit. 

For those of us who live in the suburbs or a rural area where commuting trips are longer and there is limited access to public transit, there may be more options on the way! There are currently programs in development that could provide on-demand, door-to-door service if you don’t want to commute alone every day.

TransOptions can help bring these options to your business or corporate campus.  Contact Anne Vivino, Business Services Coordinator at avivino@transoptions.org or call her at 973-267-7600 to learn more.
 
4 Ways You Can Make Earth Day Every Day
 
On Saturday, April 22, 2017, we celebrate Earth Day. What began in 1970 as a national campaign about the earth and natural resources has grown to a world-wide moment in time, annually focusing awareness on protecting our global environment. 

Earth Day is an annual reminder that each of us plays a vital role in the reduction of energy consumption and the improvement and preservation of the environment and natural resources. 

 
TransOptions offers programs that provide ongoing ways that you can help make your mark in the protection of our planet. Also, your environmental action can also help enhance your quality of life by reducing the stress and cost of your commute. Here are 4 ways you can make the Earth Day celebration, a daily one:
  • Ride better together! Give carpooling a shot for a couple of days a week. Not only will this reduce the number of cars on the road, but it will also save you money. TransOptions can match you with rideshare partners for free and fast! Click here to find your match today!
  • Bike to Work! Support the use of alternative commuter transportation, stay healthy and win prizes through our free Bike To Work Challenge.
  • Walk or bike to school! Our Safe Routes to School programs encourage walking and biking to school as environmentally responsible management of getting students to and from schools. 
  • Calculate your driving costs to motivate yourself to find alternative and more green modes of transportation with our driving cost calculator
To learn more about TransOptions' commitment to the environment, visit our website, www.transoptions.org. 


We Can Help You Bike Right!

Registration is now open for our upcoming Bike Right's most popular program, "Learn to Rides"!

Riding a bike is a great way of getting exercise while helping the environment at the same time. Developing bike riding skills and knowledge is important for everyone sharing the road whether on a bike, walking or in a motor vehicle. That is why TransOptions' Bike Right program offers bike riders of all ages and skill levels FREE bike training courses with League of American Bicyclist certified coaches.

Don't miss your chance and sign up today! Spaces fill up fast for this popular program with dates available throughout the year at various locations including: Byram, Morris Plains, Madison, Mount Olive, Livingston & Roseland. Once classes fill up, registrants may be placed on a waiting list until spaces open up. Some fees (of up to $10) may apply for certain locations. 

Click Here To Register Today!

Up-Close with Mary K. Murphy, TransOptions Board of Directors Member
 
Each month, we  highlight a member of our Board of Directors and this month we're interviewing Mary K. Murphy, Executive Director of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority. 

1. Please tell Go Smart! readers a little bit about yourself and what do you do for a living? 
 
I’m the Executive Director of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), the federally authorized Metropolitan Planning Organization for a 13-county area in northern and central New Jersey. The NJTPA conducts regional transportation planning, programs federal dollars for transportation projects and programs, and works with our counties and state transportation agencies to coordinate all the planning and investment going on in our region.
 
2. How did you first become involved with TransOptions?
 
As part of its responsibilities, the NJTPA manages the overall work program for all of New Jersey’s Transportation Management Associations. As part of that arrangement, I sit on the boards of all the TMAs, including TransOptions. The NJTPA took on management of the TMAs in 2011, and I’ve been involved with them ever since.
 
3. What do you enjoy most about being a part of this organization?
 
What’s great about TransOptions and our other TMA partners is how directly they are involved with local businesses and municipalities. They have really developed a great network. TransOptions has helped us tremendously on a lot of our work, including the Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety education campaign. In particular, I really liked the coasters TransOptions made for Street Smart. They also really helped us reach many people for the outreach effort for our Regional Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan, which works to provide a range of transportation options for all the region’s residents.
 
4. What do you think makes TransOptions special?
 
Each TMA in the NJTPA region is unique, but they all do something very important and special: providing transportation alternatives that give people in New Jersey more choices. Not everyone can or wants to drive alone to work. Through TransOptions and the other TMAs, residents of our state have a host of options: ridesharing, van pools, shuttles to transit, biking, walking and more. It’s this commitment to transportation, the environment and health that makes all our TMAs special – and of course the great staffs who get all this important work done day in and day out.

5. What do you wish other people knew about TransOptions?
 
I wish that everyone knew that TransOptions and the other TMAs in New Jersey provide so many different options for travelers. No matter who you are or where you are going, there are transportation alternatives you can use. I encourage everyone out there who may not want to drive alone to work to call their local TMA, or visit their website, to see what options exist. Working together, we can make everyone’s commute – and all their travel – a little more convenient and just a bit better. Thank you!

 Junior Solar Sprints Needs You!
 
We now have 21 new schools this year for our Junior Solar Sprints competition in May! With the most popular TransOptions volunteer event of the year coming up, we hope you will join us to lend a hand.  JSS continues to grow by leaps and bounds and we could use all the help we can get! 

 Now going into our 16th year of offering JSS for New Jersey middle school students, our popular STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)-aligned program has been expanding to include Morris, Sussex, Warren, Passaic, Essex, Union, Hunterdon, Monmouth and Mercer counties. 

Let us know you would like to be a part of our exciting race days today! If you have any questions , please contact our Environmental Education Coordinator, Kristen Tomasicchio at ktomasicchio@transoptions.org or call 973.267.7600.
Click Here To Volunteer!

7 Tips To Step Into Spring Safely!
 
Although we had some late March snow storms, it’s now officially spring! The additional daylight hours and warmer temperatures encourage more of us to spend time playing, walking and jogging outdoors. We should be extra vigilant to ensure the streets are safe for everyone especially as we walk to our destinations.

Safe Walking Tips:
  1. Use Crosswalks. When no crosswalks are present, cross from corner to corner. Do not cross mid-block or between parked vehicles.
  2. Wait for the walk. If there is no traffic signal, make sure it’s clear to cross. Look left, right and then left again before crossing.
  3. If there are no sidewalks, walk against traffic so drivers can see you more clearly.
  4. Avoid distractions. Heads up, phones down. If you’re looking at your phone you may not see a car approaching.
  5. Be seen! Although we have more daylight hours in the evenings, the mornings tend to be darker so opt for a bright or reflective accessory or article of clothing so people driving and on bicycles can see you.
  6. Watch out for potholes and uneven sidewalks which tend to be more common after the harsh, fluctuating temperatures in the wintertime.
  7. Be prepared for sun glare in the evening hours by wearing a visor or sunglasses. This will help you see oncoming traffic more easily.
Remember to be safe, be seen and be alert. We are all pedestrians!

TransOptions works with municipalities to improve pedestrian safety. For more information, please visit www.transoptions.org or call 973.267.7600.
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