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Join us as we celebrate 30 years of excellence and service in northern New Jersey.


 

TransOptions Celebrates 30th Anniversary, New Jersey Smart Workplaces and Honorees at Annual Recognition Breakfast

TransOptions honored its 2016 New Jersey Smart Workplaces (NJSW) along with outstanding achievements by individuals and businesses on September 28, 2016, as part of its annual Recognition Breakfast. This year’s event also celebrated TransOptions’ 30th anniversary as an organization.

TransOptions has evolved from its 1986 charter to suggest transportation alternatives, such as carpools and vanpools, that would reduce traffic congestion and air pollution which were anticipated in Morris County. During the last 30 years, the non-profit has grown to become the Transportation Management Association (TMA) that serves all of northwest New Jersey and broadened its range of programs to include teen and senior driving, bicycle and pedestrian safety, Safe Routes to School, New Jersey Smart Workplaces, Street Smart NJ and STEM-aligned  (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) learning. 
 
New Jersey Smart Workplaces Recognized
New Jersey Smart Workplaces is an annual recognition program that emphasizes the importance of alternative and sustainable transportation options. It is administered regionally by each of the state’s eight TMAs.
 
Fifty-four employers were recognized as 2016 leaders in transportation at the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels. Continuing a trend from the last two years, the majority of employers being recognized achieved the Platinum level in the program. This year’s NJSW honorees represented businesses large and small, universities, supermarkets, chambers of commerce and municipalities that implemented a variety of alternative transportation options available to their employees including subsidies toward transit passes, employer-subsidized shuttle services, or formal telework programs.

The following employers received 2016 recognition from TransOptions as New Jersey Smart Workplaces:

Platinum-level New Jersey Smart Workplaces:
AAA, Alcoa, Atlantic Health System Corporate at seven locations, BASF, Bayer HealthCare, Crum & Forster, Cycle Craft, Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Fiserv, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Maersk Services USA, Inc., Marty’s Reliable Cycle, MetLife Investments, NECA, Nestle Nutrition, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group, Pershing LLC, Picatinny Arsenal, Realogy, REI, ShopRite of Greater Morristown, Thorlabs Inc., Tiffany & Co. at two locations and Wyndham Worldwide.

Gold-level New Jersey Smart Workplaces:
Avis Budget Group, Borough of Washington, County College of Morris, County of Morris, Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, Town of Morristown, Town of Newton, Township of Hanover, Township of Washington (Warren County) and TransOptions.

Silver-level New Jersey Smart Workplaces:
Atlantic Ambulance Corporation, Borough of Madison, Borough of Morris Plains, Employment Horizons, KYOCERA Document Solutions America, Inc., State Shuttle,
The Casey Group and Yukon Graphics.

Bronze-level New Jersey Smart Workplaces:
DSM Nutritional Products, Morris County Chamber of Commerce, New Bridge Services and Sussex County Chamber of Commerce.
 
Outstanding Accomplishments Recognized
TransOptions also honored a number of individuals, businesses and municipal representatives for their significant transportation, mobility and safety efforts in 2016. Following the passing of Mount Arlington Mayor and long-time TransOptions board member and volunteer Art Ondish, TransOptions has renamed their annual volunteer award the Art Ondish Volunteer Excellence Award. The late mayor’s wife, Yvonne Ondish was on hand to present the award to this year’s recipient. The following awards were presented:
 
Art Ondish Volunteer Excellence: Jennifer Wehring, Morristown Partnership
Municipality of the Year: Morristown
Outstanding Elected Official: Frank Druetzler, Mayor of Morris Plains\
Government Officials of the Year: Newton Police Chief Michael Richards and
Newton Town Manager Thomas Russo
Safety Champion: Bob Gaydosh, NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety
Outstanding Educator: Judith Linnett, Union County Magnet High School
Media Champion: WMBC TV
Supporter of the Year: Bayer
Employer of the Year: Wyndham Worldwide

For information about TransOptions visit TransOptions.org or call (973) 267-7600. Learn more about the benefits of becoming a New Jersey Smart Workplace at TransOptions.org/new-jersey-smart-workplaces.

Walk and Bike to School Day Becoming a Year-Long Effort

Students, school administrators, teachers, parent organizations, law enforcement officers and local officials across northwest NJ rallied to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of International Walk and Bike to School Day on October 5th. Nearly 5,000 schools worldwide participated to promote more vibrant and livable communities for all.

Over the past 20 years, annual Walk and Bike to School Days have evolved into more comprehensive, year-round programs that establish active transportation through Safe Routes to School. TransOptions assists local school districts with ongoing efforts to make walking and bicycling fun, easy, safe and healthy for all students and families. These benefits are far-reaching in the community and foster less traffic congestion, a stronger sense of community, safer streets and improved accessibility for all residents to enjoy.

Central Avenue Elementary School in Madison used the 20th Anniversary of Walk and Bike to School Day to jumpstart a robust lineup of pedestrian safety activities through the rest of the school year. Mayor Bob Conley, Principal Thomas Liss and TransOptions staff greeted students as they walked or rolled into school on Wednesday, October 5. The celebration featured prizes for students, free coffee for parents, music and launch of the school’s weekly Walk and Bike to School Day. TransOptions provided each student with a Frequent Walker & Biker punch card to be stamped each week they participate in Walk and Bike to School Day. As students swap backseats for sidewalks, their accumulated stamps earn them prizes and raffle entries. TransOptions will be joining Central Avenue students again next month with pedestrian safety workshops for all 1st, 2nd and 4th graders.
               
Netcong Elementary School also joined in the fun with their Walk and Roll Club’s monthly Walk & Bike to School Day honoring the worldwide efforts. Mayor Joseph Nametko met students and parents at a satellite location to lead a Walking School Bus. Students carried signs for the walk and thanked each crossing guard along the way. Upon arriving at school, students saw pedestrian-friendly, chalk messages written across the sidewalks and entry and were welcomed by parent volunteers with prizes. All participants received a backpack charm to add to their collections, accumulated from monthly events one year to the next. This month’s charm, a globe, will remind students each morning, as they pick up their backpack and head out the door, to carry on the international movement and walk to school.
TransOptions continues to offer a variety of FREE programs to enable and encourage safe and walkable communities for students.

For additional information about how Safe Routes to School can serve your community, please contact Jess Lubas at 973-267-7600 or send her an email at jlubas@transoptions.org.

Hundreds of Solo Car Trips Eliminated Through TripSwitch 2016 

 
TransOptions would like to say a great big THANK YOU to everyone who joined us for our third year of TripSwitch! But don't go back to those lonely car rides just yet, continue switching out those solo car trips wherever possible and bike, walk, or carpool. We hope you will continue doing your part to eliminate unnecessary car trips to help us reduce traffic and improve air quality!

Together, TripSwitch participants traveled 6,394 bike, walk, & carpool miles and saved 1,075 solo car trips!

"Our goal is to get as many cars off the road as possible and we are thrilled with the dedication of everyone that participated in TripSwitch," said TransOptions President John F. Ciaffone.

Congratulations to the winners!


 
First
Carolyn B. - 148 Trips
$250 Visa Gift Card

Second
R B. - 134 Trips
$150 Visa Gift Card

Third
Eduard P. - 120 Trips
$100 Visa Gift Card
Walking Champion
Cynthia M. - 58 Walking Trips
FitBit Flex Wristband

Bike Champion
Joseph L. - 107 Bike Trips
Zackees LED Turn Signal Bike Gloves

Carpool Champion
Amanda D. - 28 Carpool Trips
$100 Gas Gift Card
        
 

Wait! There's more!


Emergency Ride Home: TransOptions offers two Emergency Rides Home each year for commuters who carpool, bike, walk, or use public transit three or more times per week. Register your commute to be eligible.

Find a Carpool Partner: Want to find someone to share your commute? We can help!

Bike Right: Adult and Kids' Bike Classes

TransOptions' Managing Director Receives National Honor from ACT

TransOptions Managing Director Dan Callas has been named to the 2016 40 Under 40 list of leaders in the transportation demand management industry by the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT). The awards recognize a diverse group of individuals who range from digital start-ups and big name companies, who make transit options more accessible, to city and regional transportation officials most effectively increasing the use of commuter benefits and rideshare across the country.
 
"This group represents a cross section of our industry and how TDM is integrated throughout the public and private sectors. These forty individuals are shining stars for the TDM profession and we look forward to them leading TDM for many years to come," said ACT President Rob Henry.
 
As managing director, Dan leads a number of TransOptions projects and has spearheaded many marketing and technology efforts, spanning from web development to media outreach. He has pushed for adoption of new technologies and advancement of TransOptions’ transportation demand management programs through tools such as the GoForGood portal (GoForGood.TransOptions.org), which “gamifies” the alternative commute. Additionally, Dan has experience implementing shuttle services, promoting ridesharing, assisting companies with relocation and retention, and is well-versed in public policy issues that impact transportation. Dan also serves as Secretary on ACT’s TMA Council and is a voting member on ACT’s Public Policy Committee.
 
“It’s a great honor to receive this recognition,” said Callas. “Since much of the work we do at TransOptions focuses on local communities in New Jersey, earning this award from a national organization is extremely humbling and I’m very grateful to be mentioned among this impressive group of young professionals.”
 
ACT announced the awards on the closing day of their inaugural Transportation Demand Management Forum in Boston, which brought together over 140 transportation professionals.

"I am very proud that Dan has earned this prestigious recognition from ACT," said TransOptions President John F. Ciaffone. "It is gratifying to have local grassroots-level initiatives acknowledged throughout the country."
 
The Association for Commuter Transportation, (ACT), is an international trade association and leading advocate for commuter transportation and TDM. Commuting by bus, train, rideshare, bike, walking, or telework improves our world by contributing to energy independence, better air quality, sustainability, urban mobility, and reduced congestion.  Through advocacy, education, and networking efforts, ACT strives to improve the lives of commuters, the livability of communities, and the economic competitiveness of businesses.

Street Smart NJ in Summit and Phillipsburg this Fall
 
TransOptions partnered with Summit and Phillipsburg municipal representatives, police departments, local businesses, schools and community groups to bring the Street Smart pedestrian safety initiative to a growing list of northwest New Jersey communities.  Street Smart Summit rolled out in Septemebr and has been completed and Street Smart Phillipsburg is currently taking place this month. 

Street Smart implementation focuses on outreach, education and enforcement to change unsafe behavior by pedestrians and drivers on roadways to make Phillipsburg and Summit safer communities for walking, biking and driving.

What is Street Smart New Jersey?

Street Smart is a collaborative effort between the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), Federal Highway Administration, New Jersey Department of Transportation and New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. TransOptions is working with NJTPA to coordinate the Street Smart campaign in communities throughout northwestern New Jersey.

The campaign uses the slogan “check your vital signs” to remind motorists and pedestrians of safe travel roles and responsibilities. Vital signs are displayed on tip cards, posters and temporary street signs throughout the community as visual reminders.


Learn more about TransOptions and Street Smart at http://www.transoptions.org/street-smart or contact Laura Cerutti at 973-267-7600 or lcerutti@transoptions.org.
For additional details on Street Smart Summit, please visit http://www.cityofsummit.org.

Up-Close With Carol Anderson
 
 
-Please tell Go Smart! readers a little bit about yourself/ what do you do for a living?
I work for Maersk Services, affiliate company to the A.P. Moller Maersk Group out of Denmark.  My capacity is as General Manager for Corporate Services (corporate support). Within that capacity, I manage the company’s commuter benefits program wherein the company subsidizes rail costs for commuting colleagues, and shuttle service is provided by NJ Transit to our Florham Park location.
 
-How did you first become involved with TransOptions?
Many years back, in our previous Madison-based, Giralda Farms location, I worked with TransOptions on a commuter survey, setting up the Commuter Benefits Program with TransitCenter, and a private shuttle service to and from Convent Station with State Shuttle.
 
-What do you enjoy most about being a part of this organization?
The incredible enthusiasm, dedication, resourcefulness, efficiencies (I could go on and on….) of the TransOptions teams.
 
-What do you think makes TransOptions special?

The organization’s ever-present care and concern for the environment, the safety of our school children, senior citizens, all pedestrians and cyclists, and spreading the word through robust education programs and marketing of its services.
 
-What has been your favorite volunteer experience with this organization?
Unfortunately, I have not been able to take the opportunity to volunteer at an event.  I have attended a couple of the education events (JSS) and tabling events in the local communities. So I would say my favorite experience was watching the JSS event (Inter-County final) at the Ridgedale Middle School in Florham Park.
 
-What do you wish other people knew about TransOptions?
One would be the volunteer opportunities available to work with school children during the JSS and Hydrogen Fuel Cell challenge.
And the other would be concerning the hard word put into the Street Smart program that makes our busy intersections safer.

8 Fall Safety Tips

Temperatures are dropping and so are the leaves which means fall is here--but so are are fall driving risks! This is a good time to assess how ready you are for changing road conditions and driving challenges that occur this time of year:
 
Commuting Home in the Dark 
With the return to Standard Time, it's dark outside for the commute home making it harder to see pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Always follow posted speed limits.
  • Be alert for pedestrians and cyclists by keeping your head up and your phone down.
  • When walking or bicycling, be sure to always wear reflective gear so drivers can see you.
 
Skidding on Leaves
Piles of leaves can hide potholes and uneven road surfaces. Plus, driving on wet leaves is a hazard that can cause skidding.
  • Don't brake on leaves. Wet leaves can be as slippery as ice!
  • Avoid driving over leaf piles which can cover potholes and debris.
 
It’s Deer Season 
Deer mating season in New Jersey peaks from late October through December. Keep alert and watch for deer darting onto the road, especially at dawn and dusk when they’re most active. If you see one deer, stay alert as they often travel in groups.
  • High beams give you greater visibility and enhance your reaction time. Extra seconds can make a difference if you have to stop short.
  • Drive defensively. Don’t tailgate. The driver in front of you may need to stop suddenly to avoid hitting a deer.
  • If you see a deer, brake firmly and stay in your lane. Swerving can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and possibly strike another vehicle or object on the road.

H2 Needs You!
 
Our Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge (H2 Challenge) race day is fast approaching and we can use your help! 

Prep work is underway for this fun, hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program scheduled for Wednesday, December 7th at New Providence High School. That day will be here before you know it so if you would like to volunteer, please let us know! 

A little background on H2:

The H2 Challenge was first run in 2007, in keeping with TransOptions' commitment to educate students about the existence of alternative fuels. The program is open to high school students only and is a perfect follow-up to the Junior Solar Sprints.

The H2 challenge requires students to design, build and race alternative energy model cars. In the process of designing their car, students learn about fuel cell technology. They are also required to submit a documentation portfolio, which presents the team's concepts, designs and comments.

To sign up as a volunteer or for additional information about the challenge and other free environmental education programs, please contact Kristen Tomasicchio at 973-267-7600 or send her an email at ktomasicchio@transoptions.org.
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TransOptions, Inc.
2 Ridgedale Avenue
Suite 200
Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927

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