Love your Commute

Commuting can be one of those items that fall way down on the list of things you love to do.  And you are not alone.  The average travel time for working New Jerseyans is 31.2 minutes, which is almost seven minutes longer than the average US commute.  So what can we do to make your commute better?

Commute Smarter.  Sounds silly, right edlekarna.cz?   Before you click away, let us explain.

Our staff can help you find a commute that not only maximizes your time spent commuting but also do so in a way that is sustainable for both your wallet and the environment.  We manage a host of databases that can match you with a carpool or vanpool partner.  We can connect you with transit-friendly solutions and provide you with tools that make biking to work an option if that is something you think you would like.  We even have a free NJ Traffic app you can download and customize to your commute! And if all options are not available for you, we can recommend the best podcasts or apps to accompany you on your commute.

Don’t spend one more moment dreading your commute.  Let us help you love your commute.   Reach out to us.

We’d be happy to help!

Safety Tips for Back to School

bigstock-Watch-Out-For-Children-427446As children across Middlesex County head #backtoschool this week, they will again be sharing the roads with school buses, other young pedestrians, and bicyclists.  Whether your children walk, ride their bike, or take the bus, help ensure they take the proper safety precautions​.

Children who walk to school:  When walking, stay on the sidewalk if one is available. If the street does not have a sidewalk, walk facing the traffic so as to have a clear view of the traffic.  When crossing a street,  look left, right and left again to see if any cars, buses, or bicyclists are coming.  If possible, make a point to set time aside to practice walking their route to school.  Together you can use pedestrians signals, ensure they are crossing streets correctly, and get a good idea of the path they are taking.

Children who bike to school: When riding a bike to and from school, children should always wear a proper fitted helmet and sneakers at all times. The same procedures apply when crossing the street.  Riders must come to complete stop, look left, right and left again, and always walk their bike across the street. Parents should practice and teach children the rules of the road to help insure they get to school safe and sound.

Children who ride the bus to school: Rain or shine, the big yellow bus gets the children to school. To ensure a safe ride to school, make sure children stand six feet away from the curb when a bus is pulling up or driving away. Remind children to fasten their seat belts and to remain seated throughout the ride.  While it’s exciting to chat with friends, children should keep  screaming and jumping for the playground and home so that the driver can focus on the road.

Regardless of how children make their way to school, we wish everyone a safe and enjoyable school year!

Back to School Safety

Picture Source: http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/back-to-school-safety-tips-for-drivers.aspx
Picture Source: http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/back-to-school-safety-tips-for-drivers.aspx

With #backtoschool in full swing, many of us have noticed the inevitable; more cars and more congestion.  Back to school means sharing the roads and slowing down. There are school buses picking up kids from multiple stops, kids on bikes are rushing to get to school on time, and parents are trying to drop their kids off before work.

If you are someone who is dropping off your kids to school, make sure that the area is clear before letting them get out of the car. More children are hit by cars/buses near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School program. Before dropping off your kids be sure you are not double parked. This blocks visibility for other vehicles passing by. Do not drop off your kids across the street from their school, even though it may be more convenient for you. Carpooling is also a great way to reduce the number of vehicles around the school, which decreases the chances of a child getting hit.  Don’t block crosswalks- especially when you are stopped at a red light. Be sure to give the pedestrians the right away, whether they are walking or riding a bike. When you are in school zone and flashers are blinking, be sure to come to a complete stop and watch for children. Lastly, do your best to watch out for your children in school zones, playgrounds and residential areas, as well as the other children around them.

During school hours, there will be more and more school buses on the roads. If you are ever driving behind a school bus, you should always allow a greater following distance than you would driving behind a car. This then allows you to have more time to stop once the bus puts on it’s yellow flashing lights. Never pass a school bus if you are stopped behind them while they are picking up children. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. Passing a school bus from either direction on an undivided road, can potentially put children who are loading or unloading in danger if they are unaware that you are coming.

We are all responsible – as pedestrians and drivers, to make #backtoschool a safe return!

 

Back to School Means Carpooling!

Picture Source: http://kavodelementary.org/carpools/
Picture Source: http://kavodelementary.org/carpools/

Now that children have returned to school in our area, there will be many vehicles on the roads. Beside school buses, there will be plenty of parents rushing to get their children not only to school, but to their after school activities too! This year, why not set up a carpool!

Setting up a weekly carpool for your children can help you save money, protect the environment, and provide some much-needed help to a fellow busy parent. Creating a schedule for your weekly carpool allows flexibility for the families involved all while saving time and money.  How?  It’s simple.

Carpooling kids to school, activities, games, and practices will decrease the amount of cars on the road and around the community. More carpooling equals less cars on the road which in turn means less carbon and other gasses and pollution getting into the air. This protects the environment by keeping the air, water, and land cleaner. Air pollution caused by auto emissions can significantly increase the likelihood of health issues and stress. By carpooling it becomes far less stressful than simply commuting on your own.

Ultimately carpooling is a great way to interact with friends. Children have the chance to spend more time with their friends in a non-scheduled way. They will enjoy their company, laughter, and presence. And most importantly, it gives parents the fuel (pun totally intended) to keep up with their children’s busy schedule.

So make this the year that you carpool!  We promise it will make life much easier.

iCarpoolNJ ~ Do you?

icarpoolnjpage KMMCommuters who visit www.iCarpoolNJ.com are eligible for gift card incentives in two ways.  Those who take a brief online survey will be entered to win a $25 gift card. Once the survey is completed, participants can refer their friends to register with KMM for ridesharing.

If a NEW, previously unregistered, referral completes a rideshare application, KMM will send the person who made the referral a gift card. Gift cards will be awarded for referral of NEW applicants only. Participants can receive up to 4 gift cards*.  In addition, the new rideshare applicants will also receive a thank you gift.

This program is KMM’s way of thanking commuters for recommending our rideshare service to their friends and family. For more information, log on to www.icarpoolnj.com.

*While supplies last

Take the Car Free Challenge!

Join hundreds of Middlesex County commuters and millions of commuters everywhere in going Car Free or Car Lite on September 22, 2014. KMM will host a week-long event from September 21st to September 26th where we challenge you to try going Car Free or Car Lite just once during the week-long celebration.

Register and pledge to take the challenge. Everyone who registers is entered to win a host of prizes, such as:

  • Travel Mug + $10 Dunkin Donuts Gift Cardcar_v6
  • Travel Ear buds and $20 iTunes gift card
  • Travel Water Bottle and $20 Amazon Gift Card
  • Amazon Kindle reader

 

What is Car Free? 

Car Free Week is a worldwide movement to raise awareness about the negative impacts motor vehicles have on our environment. Car Free Week encourages people to reduce dependence on automobiles by Going Car Free or Car Lite for one day.

 

When did the Car Free Movement Begin?

The first official Car Free Day occurred in Europe on September 22, 1999. By 2005, over 112 million people worldwide participated in Car Free Day.

 

Why go Car Free?

Our dependence on the automobile harms our planet, our communities, and our lives. Noise and air pollution, traffic congestion, safety concerns make our cities and towns less attractive and less desirable. Going Car Free or Car Lite saves on gas and reduces wear and tear on your car. Walking or bicycling promotes fitness and health. Car Free Month can reconnect neighbors and neighborhoods.

 

Can you live without your car for one day?

Not sure you can do it?  Here are some easy ways to start!

  • Take a train or bus
  • Ride a bike
  • Walk to lunch
  • Bring a brown bag lunch
  • Work from home
  • Carpool or Vanpool

Are you ready to take the Car Free Challenge?

 Register today and make a change!

 

Six Ways to get Ready for the Summer Heat

ozone alertsIt happens each year.  You drive your normal commute route and find the traffic is slightly lighter than normal and the sun is shining.   And then you realize, it’s that time of year – The Summer Commute.  (Of course, this does NOT apply to the commuters who live by the NJ shore)

Along with the summer commute comes the summer heat.  Play it cool and smart this year and be in the know of how to deal with the summer heat.  Aside from keeping hydrated, think about your daily commute and activities.  Here are six ways you can prepare.

1. “Trip Link” by doing all errands at one time, you avoid unnecessary cold starts. An engine that’s been sitting for an hour or more pollutes five TIMES as much as a warm one.

2. Refuel at the end of the day. Ozone levels are usually at their highest in the mid-to late afternoon and pumping gas emits tons of VOC’s into the air a day. So save your pumping until evening.

3. Don’t “top off” your fuel tank This is never a good idea, no matter what time of day, because it causes fumes to escape.

4. Postpone mowing the lawn until late in the day or use an electric mower instead.

5. Grill outdoors in the late afternoon and avoid using charcoal lighter fluid (Try using a fire-starter chimney.), or use an electric or propane grill.

6. Reschedule strenuous outdoor activates. Avoid exercising, gardening or spending time outside during prime hours of 11am to 5pm when the temperatures are at their peak. Try conducting your outdoor activies before activities or after 6pm.

Remember, whatever you can do to help DOES make a difference.  Register for Ozone Alerts and stay cool this summer!

New Jersey Commuter’s Guide to Super Bowl XLVIII

super-bowl-48-broncos-vs.-seahawksWell, the week we have all been waiting for is finally here!

Super Bowl XLVIII is in full swing and in a few short days, the Seattle Seahawks will meet the Denver Broncos right here in Jersey!

For commuters, this week can be a little more hectic than normal.  But since we are #jerseystrong, we don’t mind the extra traffic or people on our commute.  In fact, the more the merrier!

Here is what you need to know:

Highways – Most of the Route 3, Route 17, Route 21, Route 120, NJ Turnpike area will see increased traffic up until game day.  Additionally, Route 80, Route 46 and the bridges and tunnels will see increases too! If you can, avoid driving through the area and try to find an alternate route.  Sign up for 511nj.org alerts (you can register for just this week too) and you will receive all the alerts you need.  Also, check with coworkers and neighbors and make the commute with a friend and carpool!

Mass Transit users – Expect company on the trains this week.  As the week progresses, consider telecommuting to avoid the crowds, if telecommuting is an option.  If not, accept that trains will be more crowded and show our new friends how great Jersey can be.  For those of you with the super saver passes, remember you can also show that pass to a host of eateries across NJ for discounts on your meals!  For complete info, visit the #njtransit website.

Game Day – If you are one of the lucky people with tickets, keep in mind fan screenings begin at 2pm on game day.  Expect various check points to ensure everyone’s safety.  For a complete list of do’s and don’ts, check out the NJ State Police’s informative post!

Jersey House Party – Yes, we Jersey folks know how to put on a party and since we encourage everyone to stay off the roads, check out theses terrific party ideas from New Jersey’s very own Party Bluprints.

Now let’s just hope the weather cooperates……

Say Cheese and Drink Hot Chocolate

WinterPhotoContest2The weather outside is certainly frightful and Winter 2014 is turning out to be memorable –  if nothing else.  So the staff at KMM decided that we need to help make the winter commute brighter and warmer.

Beginning this month and running until supplies last, KMM will send every commuter who submits a photo of their winter commute (either via our Facebook page or via wintercommute@kmm,org) a packet of delicious hot chocolate!  Once the photos are submitted, fellow commuters and Facebook fans can vote on their favorite photo.  The photo with the most votes at the end of the program will receive the Grand Prize Gift Basket filled with winter goodies.

As for the photos?

Be creative.  Whether you carpool, vanpool, take mass transit, ride a bike or drive alone – take a picture of what you winter commute looks like.

There is a delicious hot cup of chocolate waiting to be sent just to you!

Happy and Safe Commute!

We do remind everyone, to exercise safety and common sense when taking their photos.  Please do not take photos while driving.

Drive Safe to Work – This Week and Every Week!

poster-webWhether you are driving for work, to and from work, or even to the grocery store, the time you spend in your vehicle can be the most dangerous part of your day. That is why this [next] week we will be observing Drive Safely Work Week, the annual safe-driving campaign sponsored by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS.)

This year’s theme is Gear up for safe driving: Mind – Body – Vehicle.  You likely already know that vehicle maintenance is an important part of a safe trip. This year’s campaign will highlight how being mindful of physical and mental wellness—along with the “health” of your vehicle—are all connected in making us safer, more attentive drivers.

Among other things, we’ll cover tips for getting better sleep, limbering up before getting be hind the wheel, strategic snacking, the importance of regular vision screening, making sure you have the best fit to your vehicle and that your vehicle is fit for a safe trip.

If you are presently committed to health and wellness, you’ll discover how some of the things you are already doing positively affect your driving. But chances are everyone will find an area in which they might improve—as well as an opportunity to share some relatively simple actions with friends and family to help them be safer behind the wheel.

In addition to always wearing a seat belt, proper maintenance of mind, body and vehicle can go a long way toward getting you to where you’re going safely.  We trust you’ll find the week to be interesting, informative and most likely even a little fun.

Visit kmm.org and take the pledge to Drive Safe to Work – This week and every week to follow!

 

Post written by trafficsafety.org