TMA of New Jersey Newsletter Series

The Transportation Management Association Council of NJ (TMAC NJ) is comprised of the Executive Directors of New Jersey's eight Transportation Management Associations (TMA). TMAs are non-profit, public/private partnership organizations that work with businesses, commuters, county, and local governments, and regional and state agencies to implement programs that reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. TMA services are available in every county in NJ. This quarterly newsletter is designed to educate and inform its readers about the impactful work NJ’s TMAs are doing to improve the mobility needs of all persons in NJ. For information about the TMA serving your area, click here.
Safety Story Time Comes to Hudson Schools
During this winter season, staff at the Hudson TMA have been providing the Safety Story Time program to local children in Kindergarten through Grade 3. Age-appropriate books that address pedestrian safety tips are presented to classrooms for children to see and hear about how best to travel safely in our communities.

The TMA staff is proud to share its own book, “Walking and Rolling to School with Buster the Bus,” written and illustrated by Hudson TMA to children in Grades 2 and 3. Buster is the TMA mascot that accompanies TMA staff members to various programs to help engage children and young families. In the book, readers follow a brother and sister traveling with Buster to school through a typical Hudson neighborhood. Their journey offers many pedestrian safety teaching experiences. The Hudson TMA wants children to learn best safety practices and come to an early understanding of how some simple choices can affect their safety as well as others around them.

When the winter season comes to a close, Hudson TMA will be bringing “Safety Jeopardy,” an interactive safety program based on the popular TV game show, to Hudson children in grades 4 and 5.
Cross County Connection and
SJTPO Advance Micro-transit Feasibility Study

Micro-transit is an innovative approach to public transportation, through which passengers use a phone-based app to book a ride, and economically travel anywhere within a designated zone. Combining the reliability of fixed-route transit with the convenience of rideshare, micro-transit has proven to be especially effective in lower-density suburbs and rural areas where traditional fixed routes may be less efficient.

Recently, public transportation providers nationwide have implemented micro-transit with remarkable success in regions that share similar characteristics with the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO)’s service area. SJTPO is the metropolitan planning organization covering Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem Counties. In addition to serving as a technical resource, SJTPO provides access to funding, while addressing transportation planning and engineering issues through a regional approach.
Would micro-transit be effective in South Jersey? SJTPO seeks to find out. With regional partners including Cross County Connection TMA, SJTPO has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a micro-transit feasibility study, which will use the existing Route 54/40 Community Shuttle corridor as a pilot.

In operation since January 2016, the Route 54/40 Community Shuttle is a fare-free service which enables transit-dependent passengers to access healthcare centers, grocery stores, and places of employment when they could not otherwise. The route corridor spans twenty-five miles in western Atlantic County, NJ, serving the Town of Hammonton and rural communities such as Buena Borough, Folsom Borough, and Buena Vista Township. Key destinations include the Hammonton Wal-Mart and ShopRite, and NJ TRANSIT’s Hammonton Rail Station, where passengers can connect with rail service to Atlantic City and Philadelphia. Another important destination is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center located in the Newtonville section of Buena Vista Township. The community center provides social services, before/after school programs, and even a food pantry which operates on a bi-weekly basis. 
The Route 54/40 Community Shuttle is critically important, as many passengers rely on the Community Shuttle as their only form of transportation. Ridership data reflects the Community Shuttle’s positive local impact, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ridership on the region’s larger transit carriers, such as NJ TRANSIT and PATCO, faced sharp pandemic-related declines, while ridership on the Route 54/40 Community Shuttle declined by a much smaller extent. This comparison not only demonstrates passengers’ dependence on the Community Shuttle, but also shows that a sizable number of passengers are essential workers, whom have not been able to work remote.

Since the beginning of its service, the Route 54/40 Community Shuttle has received its funding through a NJ TRANSIT grant with required matching funds provided by the Pascale Sykes Foundation, which will cease operations in mid-2022. Considering the pending sunsetting of the Pascale Sykes Foundation as a funding source, the micro-transit feasibility study’s intent is to create a more efficient and impactful Community Shuttle service, which would enhance accessibility in underserved areas and demonstrate innovative rural public transit solutions, while also making the Community Shuttle a competitive candidate for grants from public and private sources.

At this point, SJTPO will select a consultant for the feasibility study in May 2022 and anticipates completion of the study in June 2023. As a result of the feasibility study, Cross County Connection and SJTPO will gain a clearer understanding of whether micro-transit can be an effective public transportation approach, not only along the Route 54/40 Community Shuttle corridor, but in rural and exurban areas throughout South Jersey.
Patient Transportation Program Reaches
Milestone of Providing 575 Rides

goHunterdon’s Patient Transportation Program reached an impressive milestone last month having facilitated 575 rides for older adults and other vulnerable patients to get to healthcare appointments since it began in 2020. Funded by a grant from the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, the program addresses the needs of patients who have been identified as transportation dependent and at risk of missing appointments. Rides are provided free of charge, using Uber and Lyft.
Patients are referred to goHunterdon by Care Coordinators at Hunterdon Healthcare affiliated practices. The average age of participating patients is 70 years. The majority of patients live alone, with an adult disabled child, or with a spouse or caregiver who is unable to drive. “The patients who are referred to the program have no other source of transportation to get to non-emergency medical appointments,” says Tara Shepherd, goHunterdon Executive Director.

Most participating patients required multiple rides to recurring appointments for ongoing care/follow-up. goHunterdon staff process ride requests from Care Coordinators, schedule rides through Uber or Lyft, communicate with patients in advance of the rides, and monitor the rides in real-time to ensure that patients have a comfort level with the program. “Due to the physical limitations of many of the older riders, we want to be sure that we make sure that they have successfully accessed the vehicle and get to the medical office and back home safely,” says Marina Bartelli, goHunterdon Mobility Coordinator.

“The program has been such a wonderful experience for my patients. They would not have made it into the office if it was not for this program. The patients have been able to follow up with me directly, which in turn helps with overall compliance with their health plans,” says Amy Gross, BSN, RN, Medical Home Care Coordinator, Hunterdon Healthcare Partners

“goHunterdon is grateful to the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey for recognizing this need in our community and for their ongoing financial support of this innovative solution,” says Tara Shepherd, goHunterdon Executive Director. “The program expands transportation options in the county and improves access to healthcare for patients of Hunterdon Healthcare.”

The mission of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey is to support organizations that make New Jersey healthier. Since its formation in 2004, The Foundation has awarded more than 1,500 grants and more than $56.9 million in support of non-profit organizations that have improved public health and the quality of life in New Jersey.

For more information about the Hunterdon Healthcare Transportation Access Project, contact Tara Shepherd,

RideWise partners with Just Riding Along to learn more about e-bikes and how they can help with last-mile travel. Hopefully in the not-so-distant future, with investments and plans being made across the country to improve public transportation and walking and biking infrastructure, people will have more travel options. Riding a train or bus is a necessity for long-distance travel. But it’s equally as important to think about the “first- and last-mile.” What happens when you get off the train/bus, but your final destination is still several blocks away? How do you travel that “last-mile” quickly and easily? This is where micromobility can provide a less-expensive solution.

Micromobility covers mini-modes” of travel, such as bicycles and scooters (electric or man-powered) that allow users to travel short distances. When these methods are placed strategically in a town or city, users can pair them with taking public transit and walking to close any gaps in their journey. Some towns in New Jersey are already embracing micro-mobility and e-bikes; Metuchen was the first to adopt an e-bike sharing program in 2019, and in 2020, Jersey City and Hoboken formed a joint Citi Bike bike-share program, which includes both electric and non-electric bikes in their fleet.

To learn more about e-bikes and how they can help with traveling the last mile, RideWise staff visited Ian Hughes and his bike shop, Just Riding Along, in Basking Ridge. Ian first became passionate about bicycles tagging along with his triathlete father. When he was in college, Ian rode in the Cycling Club, and after graduating he began working with Greg Cordasco at Liberty Cycle. “Greg Cordasco and the Liberty Cycle Club changed my life. The people are/were great,” Ian told me. “Those same people are still around and they are a regular part of my life.”

Ian, who “knew nothing about working on bikes,” learned from Greg how to be a bike mechanic. He instantly fell in love with the work: “I loved the mechanical side of the business and I loved helping people get on their bike or find a new bike or a part they needed/wanted.” Ian then worked in Pharma Marketing for a while, until the pandemic hit in 2020 and he lost his job – but he took that opportunity to open his own bike shop. “It was a bit of a blow, but that push is what led me to open the shop. I registered the business that night and opened my garage door the next day.” Eventually, a friend asked Ian if he wanted to buy the old firehouse in Liberty Corner, and Ian enthusiastically agreed – leading to Just Riding Along’s physical shop.

One of the bikes that Ian is currently selling is the electric Yuba Mundo Electric, which is also a cargo bike. Though expensive (this model is priced at $4,699), there may soon be a federal tax credit for e-bikes. President Biden’s Build Back Better bill includes a 30% tax credit up to $900 on e-bike purchases for individuals who make $75,000 or less a year. It is unclear whether this tax credit will remain in the final legislation or not.
Not only did Ian explain the bike’s features – he allowed us to take a test ride. Being pure pedal assists with no throttle, the faster you pedal, the faster the electricity takes over. This made riding a breeze. There were three different pedal assist levels; if a rider wants to use less battery-power and only needs a small push, they use the lower assist level. If a rider wants to ride faster and use more electric power, they use the higher assist level. Riding this e-bike was just as simple as riding a standard bike, even easier, because the electricity gave an extra boost when pedaling.

Because of their range and speed, electric bikes are a great option when integrating micromobility into your community. Of course, integrating micromobility isn’t as simple as buying an e-bike; the infrastructure in a community needs to allow for easy cycling, so riders of all experience levels feel comfortable and safe. Riders themselves also have to factor in how easy or difficult it may be to run errands on a bike versus a car. “It is very doable, but you have to change your way of thinking and doing things. It’s a lifestyle change,” Ian said.

Through micromobility, we can all have access to more transportation options. To learn more about RideWise, contact us at To learn more about Just Riding Along, visit their website.
Street Smart NJ Dover: Final Report Released

The final report for the Street Smart NJ campaign conducted in Dover last fall has been released!

Efforts were evaluated using online surveys before and after the campaign. Survey results showed a positive increase in awareness of pedestrian safety messaging and the presence of the Street Smart NJ campaign in the Dover community. The surveys were available in both English and Spanish.

While in-person activities were suspended due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to provide education virtually by developing paid social media advertisements targeting social media users in Dover and the surrounding area.

To read the complete final report on our website, please click here.
Creating a Safety Town

In 2020, Keep Middlesex Moving was awarded funding from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety (HTS) to lead an exploratory committee charged with developing a Safety Town Program in the Township of East Brunswick. Made up of Mayor appointed residents and stakeholders, KMM’s mission was to formulate a plan for Safety Town within the municipality including location, size, and scope of the project.

Safety Town is a program designed to teach PreK to 3rd grade children pedestrian and bike safety, crosswalk safety, and more. Using a designated location, Safety Towns are created to mimic a neighborhood or downtown complete with miniature buildings, roadways, and crosswalks. In this space, children can safely learn about the rules of the road both on foot and while riding their bicycle.

Over the course of the project, the committee reviewed crash data, township safety concerns, and location options for the program. Given the restrictions imposed by Covid-19 protocols, many of these meetings took place via zoom to ensure everyone’s safety. After months of review, committee members adopted a solid, scalable plan. It included important amenities like crosswalks, an intersection with a traffic light, and double yellow lines. Throughout the course, structures representing the library, police department, fire department, post office, and the municipal building would be strategically placed on “the street.” This provides the opportunity to solicit sponsorships and offer naming rights to local businesses and organizations. The committee felt this course could be implemented more quickly and easily than a larger plan that might not be realized for some time. Each member of the committee felt strongly that a safety town program is integral to the health and wellbeing of the residents in East Brunswick and the greater community.

The project will next be presented to the East Brunswick Township Council for adoption. To learn more about this project or to learn more about implementing a similar program in your town, please reach out to
Essex County: Ryde4Life Program
Set to Double Ridership
In 2019, Essex County expanded its partnership with EZ Ride and joined its Ryde4Life Program to supplement its existing county transportation services.
In the first full-year of operation (July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020), the program provided less than 6,500 trips. However, in the last six months of 2021 (July to December), the program provided more than 6,000 trips and that trend is expected to continue at least for the next six months. Over the same time, the number of Essex County riders has also increased from less than 200 to approximately 500 riders.   
A large majority of the trips, approximately 65 percent, are for medical purposes, including 15 percent for dialysis. In addition to medical appointments, riders use the service to access the pharmacy, the food pantry, grocery store, or even employment and job training. Transdev, the county’s para-transit operator, compiles the list of rides needed and sends it to EZ Ride in advance. Rides are provided  Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If your county or municipality is interested in learning more about how the Ryde4Life Program can help your residents with their transportation needs, please contact Kinga Skora at, call (201) 939-4242 ext. 131 or visit our website.

GMTMA Launches PickUp, a New Transportation Solution
Greater Mercer TMA recently launched a podcast. GMTMA’s Mobility Minute is a podcast for people On The Move. Whether you drive, bike, walk, skate, roll, or take public transit, transportation affects your quality of life and the environment you live in. Join host and transportation planner Justine Recio every week as she and guest speakers talk about transportation, urban planning, and sustainability in Ocean and Mercer County, New Jersey, and beyond.

Click here to subscribe and stay up to date while on the move.

Transportation Management Associations
This quarterly newsletter is designed to educate and inform its readers about the impactful work being done to improve the mobility needs of NJ’s residents and employers.

At the logos below, click on the name of the TMA serving your county for information about their programs and services.
Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.

Bergen County and western portions of Hudson County, eastern portions of Passaic, Union and Essex and Monmouth Counties
201-939-4242, toll free 866-208-1307

Hunterdon County

Mercer County, Montgomery Township (Somerset County) and Ocean County

Hudson County

Middlesex County

Somerset County, except for Montgomery Township

Morris, Sussex, Warren, and western portions of
Passaic and Essex Counties
About Us: TMA Council of NJ (TMAC NJ) is comprised of the Executive Directors of New Jersey's eight Transportation Management Associations. TMAs are non-profit organizations that work with businesses, commuters, county, and local governments, and state agencies to implement programs that reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.
Funding for the TMAs, is provided in part, by the Federal Highway Administration, NJ Department of Transportation (NJDOT), NJ TRANSIT, North Jersey Transportation Authority (NJTPA), Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), private foundations, local businesses and other sources.