For the 8th year, Keep Middlesex Moving, (KMM), Middlesex County’s commuter services organization, is joining a worldwide movement to support Car Free Day on September 22, 2013. Car Free Day started in Iceland, England, and France in 1995 to raise awareness about the negative impacts motor vehicles have on our environment.
KMM will kick off this initiative on September 19, 2013 at Jimmy John’s located at 8 Easton Avenue in the heart of New Brunswick. WCTC 1410AM’s very own Tommy G will be broadcasting live from Jimmy John’s between 12pm and 3pm. Prizes will be given away to those who stop by the location during the program run time!
On Car Free Day (9/22/13) or any day during the week of September 15th to September 28th, KMM urges commuters to take the Car Free Pledge and recommends the following alternatives:
Use public transportation – a train, a bus, or light rail
Ride a bike or take a walk
Carpool or Vanpool
Bring a brown bag lunch or walk to grab a bite to eat
Work from home
Commuters who pledge to go Car Free or Car Lite can register at www.kmm.org. They will be entered into a drawing to win host of prizes including a $50 gift card from Magyar Bank or a Heldrich Spa Gift Certificate or State Theater New Brunswick Tickets or Rutgers Football Ticket Basket or Fragrance Basket from Firmenich Inc.! For more information or to register for the event, log on to www.kmm.org . Deadline for registrations is September 21, 2013.
As a mother of two active school-age children living in the New Jersey suburbs, our family vehicle is very much a part of our family. We drive almost everywhere with children and gear and friends in tow. Add office life and social commitments – it’s safe to say our lives as professionals and parents and chauffeurs are full. So you can imagine my absolute delight and glee when my husband and I left the car and our children in the hands of their loving grandparents and flew off to England for a “holiday”/ work combo trip!
For 10 ten days we navigated the city of London by foot, train, Underground and river boat and were able to capture the true essence of London. Staying 25-minutes outside of the city for the beginning portion of our trip, each morning with our Oyster Card in hand, we boarded the train and headed into London. With a quick exchange in the Underground, we made our way to my husband’s office. Work first and recreation in the afternoon was our motto and it served us well.
The sun shining and the temperatures in the 70’s was quite unusual for London, but we took advantage of all the city had to offer. A river boat trip down the Thames gave us a glimpse of the hustle and bustle from both sides of the river. A walk past Parliament, Westminster Abbey and to Buckingham Palace allowed us to take in the sights by foot. A stop at the local pub allowed us to converse with the locals and rest my poor feet, who had become slaves to my poor shoe choice.
Each day brought us new discoveries – a ripe enormous fig tree nestled in the middle of St. James Park – and visits to sites we enjoyed on our last trip together to London – a walk across Tower Bridge. By the end of our first week, we had traversed most of London and I didn’t need to think twice about minding the gap and found myself looking left at each corner!
The weekend brought us to England’s countryside as we carpooled with our local friends to the cities of Ilminster, Glastonbury, Wells and quick stop at Stonehenge. Thatch roofs cottages lined the country roads and just the most quaint villages welcomed us with endearing conversations and delicious foods. But like all good things, our weekend came to a close and we returned to the city of London.
With my stint of the trip coming to an end, I did my best to consume every last pound on my Oyster Card. A trip to Kensington and some last-minute gift shopping in Harrods brought my card to just enough to get me to Heathrow Airport.
The morning of my departure was most fitting. The rain that is very much England-norm fell lightly as I made my way to the Underground to the Station to the Airport. This leg of the trip was mine to take alone, since my husband still had work to finish and reality was waiting for me on the other side of the pond.
As my flight took off and we reached higher and higher altitudes, I was thankful for this opportunity for a Change in Latitude.
It’s only May and the heat is on! The quality of the air we breathe can have huge implications on our health and well being. Ground level ozone is most dangerous during the hot summer months when strong sunlight and hot weather combine and react with ground level pollution. According to the American Lung Association, 58% of the US population live in areas with unhealthy ozone levels.
Unhealthy ozone levels can make it difficult to breath deeply and damage the airwaves. Children, the elderly, and those with lung disease are most vulnerable during elevated ozone days. Therefore it is important we take necessary precautions on those particular days and try to avoid prolonged outdoor activities.
We can also do our part to reduce ground level ozone by following some simple steps:
Don’t Idle. Not only is burning gas “fuelish”, but exhaust emitted from vehicles releases carbon dioxide into the air and contributes to climate change.
Refuel during the evening and don’t “top-off” your fuel tank.
Postpone mowing the lawn and grilling until later in the day.
Schedule strenuous activities for early morning or late evening.
The New Jersey Ozone Action Partnership is comprised of hundreds of corporations, government agencies and individuals working to reduce ground-level ozone pollution and curtail its detrimental effects on our health and the environment. As a member of the Partnership, your organization will receive an email alert on days when ground level ozone pollution is in the unhealthy range along with “tips” to help reduce ground level ozone. To register for KMM’s Ozone Action Partnership, and learn more about the Anti-Idling program, visit www.kmm.org.
No two companies are alike. Employee make-up, company goals and geographic locations are just some of the markers that define a company. At KMM, we understand this reality. In fact, our approach in assisting companies with commuter benefits makes this a priority.
Interested in learning more about KMM’s programs? Wondering if a fellow employee commutes along the same road? Interested in learning about transit availability near your job? Why not host a transportation fair at your worksite? A KMM transportation fair is easy to schedule and can be held in conjunction with an employer event, such as Earth Day, or a benefits fair. KMM staff can also set up an informational table at a central location during lunch to address questions regarding transportation issues and offer informational brochures on a host of commuter programs. You can even schedule an information session for your club or civic group.
In addition, KMM offers a comprehensive package of services, incentives, information and recognition developed by KMM to help employers make it easier for their employees to get to work.
Here are some of the services KMM can provide:
On-site transportation fairs
On-site transit passes and tax benefit programs
Site-specific newsletters for employees
Start fresh this Spring and contact KMM today for a customized transportation fair. Visit us online or call our offices at 732-745-4465.
The newly updated 2013 Middlesex County Transit Guide is now available for pre-order. The Guide maps local, regional, and interstate bus routes in Middlesex County and key adjacent points. It also shows the NJ Transit Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast and Raritan Valley rail lines, and Amtrak service.
The back of the map provides a description in both English and Spanish of information useful to transit riders. This includes bus boarding procedures and use of the rail system, fares, special programs, transfers, senior/disabled resident provisions, services to Newark International Airport and Atlantic City, and listings of the various service providers and their respective routes, bus ticket agents, and related websites and telephone numbers.
The map was revised by Keep Middlesex Moving and the Middlesex County Office of Planning with a grant from NJ Transit. For a copy, email our office at 732-745-4465
Regardless of where you live in New Jersey, there is a TMA that can help YOU get to work. What is a TMA? Don’t worry. You are not alone in asking this question.
For starters, KMM is a TMA (yes, that is a mouth-full of acrynoms). In a nutshell, our office helps commuters find ways to get work and communicate all things related to commuting.
Officially, TMA’s are transportation management associations that serve specific counties throughout the state of New Jersey that work with businesses, commuters, county and local government and state agencies to implement programs that reduce traffic congestions and improve air quality. No matter where you live in New Jersey, there is a TMA that can offer you travel options across the state.
So take a moment to find the TMA that serves your area. Most of the programs and services they provide are free and are ready to help you with….
Carpools & Vanpool
Bike Lockers and Maps
Commuter Reward Programs
Park & Ride
….Because there is always more than one way to get to work!
KMM is proud to launch our very new Intersections blog! Here we will share our thoughts, ideas and information to those who are interested in alternative modes of commuting, sustainable issues and community programing geared to safety. We hope you enjoy our blog as much as we enjoy blogging!