On April 10, 2019, the Borough of Caldwell, Caldwell School District, and EZ Ride staff teamed up to conduct a Bike & Walk Audit for the Grover Cleveland Middle School.
The Audit is designed to assess the condition of the streets around a school, make recommendations to improve the infrastructure and the environment, with the ultimate goal to encourage and enable students and residents to bike and walk to school.
Two teams conducted the Audit.
The bike team included EZ Ride’s Regional SRTS Coordinator, the Caldwell Traffic Police Sgt., Caldwell’s Head of the Department of Public Works, the School District Superintendent and a staff member, and a Research Specialist from Rutgers Voorhees Transportation Center. They came dressed with bright safety vests, bikes, and helmets.
The walk team included the Director of Social Services, Health Inspector, City Councilwoman, Fireman, two parents, and EZ Ride’s two Assistant Coordinators. To make it more realistic, one team member pushed a baby stroller, and the team also included a senior walker.
The 13 participants split into four groups and evaluated two walk and two bike routes. Each team followed predetermined routes to check the crosswalks, signage, lighting, sidewalks, crossing guards, and ADA compliant ramps.
The Audit started at the end of the school day. The team members witnessed the student dismissal process and observed the traffic before starting the actual audit.
The post-audit session was held at the library to share the findings and the recommendations which were documented by EZ Ride staff. The final audit report could be used by the Borough and School to apply for funding to make infrastructure changes and to get Sustainable Jersey certification points to apply for grants.
For more information, please contact:
(201) 939-4242 ext. 123
Thanks to a generous grant from the New Jersey Health Initiative (NJHI), the state-wide grant making wing of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, EZ Ride was able to help form the Alliance for a Healthier Asbury Park. The vision of the Alliance is to improve the health and well-being of all Asbury Park residents through prevention, health education, active programs, policy, and environmental change. Its mission is to prevent and reduce chronic disease by lowering the barriers and conditions that prevent healthy living and thinking.
The Open Streets movement is a global phenomenon about getting communities active and changing the way people view their streets and neighborhoods. The Alliance decided that closing certain roads in town and making the “Open Streets” available for healthy activities such as walking, biking, yoga, and rock climbing could increase awareness about the importance of good health, and provide an excellent opportunity to promote healthy lifestyles and active living in the City. In addition to the grant from NJHI, the Alliance raised more than $20,000 from the community to support the event.
The Alliance hosted the First Asbury Park Alive event for a Healthier Asbury Park on Saturday, May 4, 2019, from 1 pm – 5 pm. The slogan of the event was “Uniting a City through Streets in Motion!” and the City closed several major streets to provide a safe space for people to walk, bike, or skate. There were bands, DJs, and different activity stations to promote health and well-being. Many partners from the Alliance for a Healthier Asbury Park were involved, including EZ Ride.
EZ Ride provided shuttle services to transport residents from the Senior Housing buildings to the event. EZ Ride also had two table stations to promote our Ryde4Life and bike and pedestrian programs. The grant provides funding to help Asbury Park residents sign up for the Ryde4Life program and get free transportation services using Lyft or Uber up to a maximum of $100.
EZ Ride’s Bike and Pedestrian team were out in full force promoting bicycling safety at the Bike Hub area by setting up an extensive Safe Bike Riding Skills Course at the Transit Station parking lot. The team distributed safety information, bike safety coloring books, Street Smart tip cards, bike lights, bike water bottle holders, and free helmets.
“I had the privilege to be stationed near EZ Ride’s Bike Rodeo. The team kept focused on the children’s enjoyment and safety and gave out a lot of essential items including helmets and bicycle water bottle holders. The team did face a few challenges – illegally parked vehicles and the rain. But EZ Ride’s Bike & Pedestrian Team rearranged the course several times as necessary. In spite of the rain, they kept the energy level high as they promoted bike safety and fun for the children and families who participated” said Pastor Jackie Burgess, Volunteer Coordinator for Asbury Park Alive.
For more information contact:
(201) 939-4242 ext. 123
Uber Health and EZ Ride have entered into a partnership to provide on-demand, affordable transportation services for New Jersey residents age 18 and over through EZ Ride’s “Ryde4Life” program. Ryde4Life is now available on weekdays from 8am – 8pm and on weekends from 8am – 5pm by calling 866.208.1307 Ext. 4. Members do not need a smartphone to participate; they only need a cell phone and a credit card to register for the program. “Our partnership with Uber Health will fill the mobility gap experienced by residents who utilize existing public transportation options that may have limited schedules or routes. Ryde4Life makes The Garden State fully accessible all the time,” said Krishna Murthy, President and CEO of EZ Ride. “We are pleased to provide an easy way for residents without a smart phone to take advantage of Uber’s services.”
“Uber Health’s partnership with EZ Ride provides an additional option for NJ residents to help increase their mobility and reduce isolation in their communities and around the state. Through Ryde4Life, Uber Health offers a convenient, safe and user-friendly on-demand ride experience for those who need it most,” said Dan Trigub, Head of Uber Health.
For more information, please contact:
(201) 939-4242 ext. 118
PSEG, headquartered in Newark for over 100 years, is one of the ten largest electric companies in the U.S. On May 1st PSEG partnered with EZ Ride to launch an employee shuttle service that links their offices to Newark Penn Station and multiple parking garages in Newark. The shuttle operates daily from 5:30 am – 10 am and from 2:30 pm – 7 pm. The service uses two buses which run on two different routes – one serving Newark Penn Station and the other stopping at the parking garages utilized by PSEG employees. “We are pleased to provide this shuttle service for our staff. Getting to the office, especially in poor weather conditions, is much easier when you know there is a shuttle available every 10-15 minutes from Newark Penn Station or the parking garage. The availability of the EZ Ride shuttle has made the commute a little easier,” said John Hadden, PSEG Manager – HQ Operations.
EZ Ride also administers six vanpools for PSEG employees who commute to Newark from Toms River, Pt. Pleasant, Howell, Plainsboro, Hillsborough and Old Bridge. One of the vanpools has been in operation for more than 27 years. EZ Ride plans to host commuter events at PSEG to increase awareness about other commute options such as public transit, carpooling and vanpooling as well as safe biking and walking.
For more information about setting up shuttle services at your facility, please contact:
(201) 939-4242 ext. 131
May 31, 2016
EZ Ride’s Safe Routes to School team visited the Amerigo A. Anastasia Elementary School on May 17th and May 18th and the Gregory Elementary school on May 23rd , 26th and 31st in Long Branch. We met with 242 1stand 2nd graders to teach them about Pedestrian Safety during 10 PE classes.
Walking was introduced as a good and healthy way to begin each school day. Kids were informed they need 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity to maintain their weight and stay healthy. They were encouraged to see walking to and from school as a fun and easy way to get part of that daily exercise. We shared that walking can be fun because it’s something that can be done with parents and siblings and it‘s a chance to talk with friends. We taught kids that pedestrians are anybody who uses the sidewalks or roads to travel. In other words, pedestrians can be joggers, bicyclists, roller skaters, people in wheelchairs, or those who use skateboards or hover boards.
The Safe Routes to School team also shared research findings that students who start the day with at least 20 minutes of exercise do well in school because they are fully awake and they have better concentration, memory, and perform better on tests.
Students were taught the four basic rules for walking safety using a colorful and child-friendly visual presentation. These rules are:
- Stop…completely at street corners and stay on the sidewalk.
- Look…at pedestrian traffic signals to see if it is ok to cross. Look left, right and left again before crossing. Look at stopped drivers and make eye contact to make sure they are aware you want to cross the street.
- Listen…to make sure it is safe and no emergency vehicles or speeding cars are coming.
- Think…about how to stay safe. This could include dressing in bright colors to be seen, using crosswalks, obeying signals and traffic laws. Watch out for friends to make sure they are safe too.
Last, we got the kids up to practice the lessons on a mini roadway and get some of their daily physical activity. Kids were shown a “do not cross” (red hand) signal and asked what to do. They knew the right answer was to stop on the corner and wait. Then when the signal changed, they were reminded to look both ways, listen, make eye contact with drivers, and think about if the situation was safe. When they felt comfortable that it was safe, the students crossed the pretend street in the crosswalk. Then as a large group, we all got up to exercise. We speed walked, skipped, jogged and hopped around the gym several times and each time we stopped at the crosswalk to practice looking both ways before crossing.
For more info about the Safe Routes to School team at EZ Ride/Meadowlink, please contact Lisa Lee at 201-939-4242 or [email protected]. We serve schools and towns in Monmouth, Bergen, Essex, Passaic and Union Counties.
According to the U.S. Census, in 1990 the average commute time was less than 22 minutes. Today, Americans spend just over 26 minutes commuting to work each way.
These four extra minutes spent on commuting equates to eight minutes a day (4 x 2) round trip, 40 (8 x 5) additional minutes each week and 2,080 (40 x 52) extra minutes of commuting each year. This means that commuters now are spending 34.6 more hours in transit — a whole work week — than workers in the 1990s.
One study found that adding 20 minutes to your commute makes you as miserable as taking a 19 percent pay cut. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and economist Alan Krueger once surveyed 900 people and found that commuting was their least favorite activity of all, behind work, child care, and home chores.
“Commutes can have a major impact on morale and, ultimately, an employee’s decision to stay with or leave a job,” Paul McDonald, senior executive director for the staffing agency, Robert Half said in a statement. “In today’s candidate-driven market, skilled workers can have multiple offers on the table. Professionals may not need to put up with a lengthy or stressful trip to the office if there are better options available.” To help ease commuting woes, companies can offer remote work options, flexible scheduling or transportation amenities such as pre-tax transportation benefit.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed S1567 into law, requiring employers of 20 or more employees to offer a pre-tax transportation fringe benefit to their employees, covering commuter highway vehicle (vanpools) and mass transit costs. This mandate does not include parking.
The pre-tax benefit would allow employees to set aside a certain amount of pre-tax income for transportation services to and from work. New Jersey is the first state to mandate this benefit to employees.
Governor Murphy stated, “Providing this pre-tax benefit to commuters throughout our state will reduce the financial burden of fares and parking costs, resulting in significant savings.”
The new law will take effect on March 1, 2020, or the effective date the regulations are adopted by the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development – whichever is earlier. Employees found noncompliant may be assessed a civil penalty of $100 to $250 for the first violation, and then an additional $250 penalty each additional 30-day period the employer is noncompliant.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce will adopt rules and regulations concerning the administration and enforcement of the pre-tax benefit.
For more information please visit www.billtrack50.com/BillDetail/945066
(201) 939-4242 ext. 118
Safety and reliability are the two most important factors to consider while choosing a shuttle service provider. Here are some questions to ask about vehicles, drivers and the organization itself when shopping for a shuttle service. The price of service is important but should not be the primary yardstick used to select a provider.
- What is the average age of the vehicles in the fleet? Most of the vehicles that are used for shuttle services have a limited life-span of three to five years or about 150,000 miles per vehicle. An aging fleet is less reliable.
- What level of insurance does the provider carry? New Jersey requires a minimum $1.5 million of insurance. However, to deal effectively with the outcomes of a catastrophic accident it would be prudent to have coverage of $5 million or more.
- How much of the fleet is kept in reserve? A useful rule of thumb is that 20 percent of vehicles should be held in reserve to deal with emergencies and regular maintenance.
- Do the vehicles have the latest technology? Vehicles should be equipped with GPS and in-vehicle cameras which document driving safety and provide video footage in the event of an accident. Additionally, it confirms on-time performance.
- How are vehicle inspections handled? The provider should inspect each vehicle at the beginning and end of each shift that the vehicle is operated. New Jersey Department of Transportation inspections should be performed according to schedule.
- How are drivers selected and trained? Shuttle drivers should have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with passenger endorsement, a clean driving record and a minimum of two years of experience.
- What is the drug and alcohol policy? The provider must strictly follow a policy that complies with the Federal Transit Administration guidelines. All drivers must be tested as specified, including random tests.
- How many drivers are there? The operator should have sufficient back-up drivers available at all times to deal with contingencies.
- How are the drivers monitored? Every driver’s performance should be reviewed periodically. Based on the results, they should be briefed throughout the year to improve their driving skills.
- What is the driver turnover rate? There is an acute shortage of CDL drivers and turnover is high. However, it is a cause for concern and the provider should be asked to explain it.
Beyond the driver and the vehicle, it’s important to confirm the following about the shuttle service provider.
- Safety Rating: Check the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Safety Administration safety rating if it is an inter-state provider.
- Customer Service: The provider must have established protocols for communicating with riders directly and dealing with customer service complaints including time frames for corrective action.
- Field Inspections: Field staff is crucial to physically monitor on-time performance, driver safety, and gather direct feedback from riders regarding the quality of service.
- Federal Funding: Organizations that receive federal funding are held to a higher standard and are subject to audits and inspections. In addition, this brings down the cost of the shuttle program for you.
Once these criteria have been examined, then the price of the shuttle should be considered.