RideWise Annual Report Fiscal Year 20
Fiscal Year 20
Mission RideWise connects people and businesses to safe and sustainable travel options that enhance quality of life and create a vibrant economy.
Vision Somerset County will have a seamless network of efficient transportation choices that are available to everyone.
Core Principles We educate the community on safe and efficient ways to travel. We advocate for transportation options and enhancements that improve mobility and help the environment. We collaborate with the business community to help employee mobility and to connect people to jobs. We engage with local government and communities to increase opportunities for biking and walking.
Introduction Recently, someone asked me what makes RideWise unique as an organization? My response was the wide range of services the agency provides. People hear the word “ride” in our name and think we provide rides. However, our focus is much broader.
RideWise connects people to smart, safe, and sustainable travel options through a variety of programs. Examples include educating the community on pedestrian and bicycle safety, helping a community adopt a Complete Streets policy, showing residents how to use Somerset County’s bus network, and teaching environmental education to school-aged children. Our partners are the business community, nonprofit organizations, schools, and municipalities. Like many other organizations, RideWise has shifted gears due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of our work involves in-person contact and on-site events at partner locations. With many sites not permitting visitors, the RideWise team provided information and education to our partners virtually while working remotely. RideWise was the “go-to” agency for residents needing travel options when local transit services were not operating during the COVID shutdown. We regularly kept the community informed of transit service changes over the phone and through our website and social media. Inspired by the surge in cycling activity during the shutdown, the team reinvented our annual Drive Less Somerset event into Love to Ride Somerset to keep residents active, healthy, and connected through cycling. Fun, educational activities were added to our website to give school-aged children ways to learn about biking and walking safety, air quality and pollution, and sustainable transportation while learning remotely. We guided the Bernardsville town council through its adoption of Complete Streets by participating in virtual town council meetings. We conducted a virtual Street Smart pedestrian safety campaign in Peapack-Gladstone, to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe as people sought physical activity to cope with social distancing. This annual report is a testament to the perseverance and the resourcefulness of the RideWise team, who worked tirelessly to advance the mission of RideWise despite the obstacles and detours they encountered in FY20. No matter what happens, RideWise remains here to connect you to the information you need to navigate Somerset County. Let’s go!
Donna Allison Executive Director
Provide information on travel alternatives CARPOOLING, VANPOOLING & TRANSIT Promoting efficient transportation through carpooling, vanpooling, and public transit
90 VANPOOL PARTICIPANTS
VEHICLE TRIPS REDUCED PER WEEK
VEHICLE MILES SAVED PER WEEK
ANNUAL POUNDS OF EMISSIONS SAVED BY VANPOOLS
LOVE TO RIDE SOMERSET Keeping residents active, healthy, and connected through cycling Inspired by the surge in cycling activity throughout the County, RideWise partnered with Love to Ride to keep residents active, healthy, and connected through cycling. The Love to Ride online platform allowed participating cyclists to interact with others, share stories and photos, log trips, and track personal achievements.
LOGGED CYCLING TRIPS
500-1,999 Employees Ethicon-Somerville 994 Points
Joseph Kempe Most Points, Most Trips, and Top Encourager
200-499 Employees Somerset County Library System 1,708 Points
Joe Ray Most Miles, Male Rider
50-199 Employees Borough of Somerville 1,344 Points
Margarita Ketselman Most Miles, Female Rider Douglas Myhre Most Rides with Kids
305,527 CALORIES BURNED
POUNDS OF VEHICLE EMISSIONS ELIMINATED
YOU RIDE, WE GIVE Supporting local food banks through cycling RideWise partnered with sister agencies, Keep Middlesex Moving and Greater Mercer TMA, on You Ride, We Give to help local food banks. We asked cyclists to bike in May for National Bike Month or post a story/photo about cycling. Cyclists responded with enthusiasm and helped raise $1,000 to distribute among ten food banks in Somerset County.
Thank you for your support in providing essential food assistance to those at risk of hunger. – Marie Scannell, Executive Director, The Food Bank Network of Somerset County
God bless you for your response to the COVID-19 crisis during these trying times! On behalf of those you helped, please accept our gratitude and appreciation. – Tom O’Leary, Executive Director, Samaritan Homeless Interim Program
TRAVEL TRAINING Comprehensive instruction designed to teach individuals how to travel safely on public transportation
Bridgewater Library Bridgewater-Raritan High School Hillsborough Library Low Vision Support Group Manville Library Middle Earth North Plainfield High School North Plainfield Library
TRAVEL TRAINING PARTICIPANTS
Quailbrook Senior Center Salvation Army Somerset County Human Services Somerset County One Stop Somerville Library The Center School Visions & Pathways Workfirst NJ
Thank you for teaching my son how to ride public transportation. He has learned how to get to places by himself, and I never thought that would be possible. I lived in Somerset County my whole life and never knew there were public buses for only two dollars.
Partner with communities and schools to create safe bikeable and walkable environments SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL Making it safer to walk and bicycle to school through educational programming and events Each year, RideWise nominates elite schools in Somerset County for taking proactive measures to make it safe and fun for students to walk and bike to school. This year, NJDOT recognized 11 Somerset County schools for their Safe Routes to School programming, including walking school buses, bike trains, in-school presentations, and traffic-calming measures.
SILVER Hamilton School Bridgewater School officials installed new traffic signs and delineated new parking areas for safer pick-ups and drop-offs. RideWise conducted 30 Safety Town pedestrian safety presentations for Walk and Bike to School Month.
BRONZE North Plainfield 2020 marks the tenth anniversary of North Plainfield schools partnering with RideWise on SRTS programming. North Plainfield is the only district in Somerset County where all schools participate in Safe Routes through in-class programming, Walking Wednesdays, a crossing guard ceremony, and monthly Walks with the Mayor.
• East End Elementary School • North Plainfield Middle School • Somerset Intermediate School • Stony Brook Elementary School • West End School
Weston School Manville Weston School’s new principal, Aldo Russo, worked with RideWise on SRTS programming at his previous school and was excited to bring the program to Weston School. RideWise conducted 18 Safety Town pedestrian safety presentations for 350 students in grades K-8 in February 2020. Hamilton School outdoor Safety Town event.
FIRST STEP John F. Kennedy Primary School Raritan Valleyview School Watchung
BIKE/WALK POLICY AND INFRASTRUCTURE REVIEW
Ying-Hua School Rocky Hill
BIKE SAFETY PRESENTATIONS
BIKE SAFETY SKILLS COURSE
MILEAGE CLUB/ POSTER CONTESTS
BIKE/WALK TO SCHOOL DAYS
SAFETY TOWN PRESENTATIONS
SCHOOL TRAVEL PLAN
WALK-TO-SCHOOL MONTH AND INTERNATIONAL WALK-TO-SCHOOL DAY Students across Somerset County laced up their sneakers for fun and better health, participating in Walk to School Day events in October 2019. RideWise organized Walking School Buses at Bedwell Elementary School in Bernardsville, at Smalley School and Lafayette School in Bound Brook, and at East End, West End, Stony Brook, and Somerset Schools in North Plainfield.
STREET SMART PEDESTRIAN SAFETY Public education that raises awareness of pedestrian and motorist laws Bernardsville Borough Street Smart The Borough of Bernardsville and the Bernardsville Police Department asked RideWise to conduct a second Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety campaign in October 2019 at three busy intersections on Morristown Road/Route 202.
• Mid-block crossing between Bernardsville Centre and Shop-Rite • Crosswalk between PNC and TD Banks • Intersection of Morristown Road and Church Street
180 warnings and 19 summonses issued by Bernardsville Police
Bernardsville Police Officers Peter Archbald (left) and Chris Luckenbach hand out pedestrian safety tips cards at the Bernardsville Farmers Market.
Before and after observations conducted by RideWise noted the following results:
• 8 percent increase in pedestrians crossing in the crosswalk at location #1
• 25 percent increase in drivers stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk or waiting to cross at location #1
• 23 percent increase in drivers stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk or waiting to cross at location #3 Peapack-Gladstone Street Smart The Borough of Peapack-Gladstone and the Peapack-Gladstone Police Department asked RideWise to conduct a Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety campaign in May 2020 at three busy intersections on Main Street.
INTERSECTIONS OBSERVED •M ain Street and Willow Avenue • Main Street and Pottersville Road • Main Street (County Road 512) and Dewey Avenue
2 summonses issued by Peapack-Gladstone Police 155 residents surveyed online
Bernardsville Police Officers distribute Street Smart NJ materials at their October Coffee with a Cop event.
OTHER MUNICIPAL BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN SUPPORT
Rocky Hill Borough RideWise guided the Borough Council on the adoption of the Borough’s Complete Streets policy. (November 2019)
Bound Brook Borough RideWise partnered with Voorhees Transportation Center and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) to create a visual identity and wayfinding signage. (January 2020)
Raritan Borough RideWise assisted the Borough with updating its Circulation Plan. (February 2020) Bernardsville Borough RideWise guided the Borough on the adoption of the Borough’s Complete Streets policy. (June 2020) Bridgewater Township RideWise partnered with Voorhees Transportation Center and Somerset County on a study to improve the safety of bicycle and pedestrian travel. (July 2019) Manville Borough RideWise partnered with Voorhees Transportation Center and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) to identify improvements that will create a safe and attractive bicycle corridor connecting the elementary and high schools. (January 2020)
Promote transit services and amenities WARREN TOWNSHIP PARK-N-RIDE RideWise created a direct mail campaign notifying Warren Township residents of bus service availability to New York City. The postcard informed residents where they could obtain a schedule, buy tickets, how to get a permit, and where to park. Signage directing riders to the Park & Ride at Warren Corporate Center
HILLSBOROUGH BUS SURVEY
RideWise created a survey to assess Hillsborough residents’ interest in expanding the current weekday bus service to NYC.
RideWise administered the rental of bike lockers at the Somerville and Raritan Rail Stations, giving rail commuters a safe place to store their bikes before boarding the train.
Partner with worksites on employee benefit programs NEW JERSEY SMART WORKPLACES Statewide recognition for worksites who demonstrate leadership by providing quality transportation benefits to their employees RideWise celebrated the work of 50 Somerset County corporate, municipal and nonprofit partners for programming that supports sustainable transportation, commuting alternatives, safety, and workplace wellness for their employees. Keynote speaker Stephen Sigmund, Chief of Public Outreach for the Gateway Development Program, spoke on the Gateway Projects’ importance. We welcomed five new Smart Workplaces partners: Ingredion M&E Engineers PF Compass Somerset County Library System Borough of Bernardsville Six partners added new programming to advance to a higher Smart Workplaces recognition level: Affinity Federal Credit Union Bridgeway Senior Healthcare Micro Corp. The Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon & Warren Counties Somerset County Township of Franklin
II-IV OptoElectronics Devices Inc. Affinity Federal Credit Union Alight Solutions AT&T Bridgewater Township Bridgeway Senior Healthcare Change Healthcare DoubleTree by Hilton, Somerset Duke Farms Foundation Ethicon Inc. Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club Hillsborough Township Ingredion New Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of J&J Johnson & Johnson Bridgewater Johnson & Johnson TS M&E Engineers New Matheny Medical and Education Center MetLife – Bridgewater Nestle Health Science Nouryon Surface Chemistry LLC Olde Mill Inn & Grain House Pfizer Inc. Raritan Valley Community College Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Somerset Sanofi Somerset County Somerset County Park Commission The Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon & Warren Counties Township of Franklin VA New Jersey Health Care System Verizon Communications Verizon Bedminster
ADESA New Jersey Bridgewater Marriott Eli Lilly and Company Ortho Clinical Diagnostics Somerset Hills Learning Institute Somerset Patriots Baseball Team
SILVER Bernards Township MICRO Corporation Parsons SHI International Corp. Somerset County Library System of NJ New The Oscar & Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living The Spaulding Group
BRONZE PF Compass New Premier Development S&G Cleaning Services The Borough of Bernardsville New
Opposite page | Caption to go here.
SMART WORKPLACES WORKSITE EVENTS J&J Technology Employee Information Event Affinity Federal Credit Union Employee Information Event Ingredion “Get Fit Through Walking”
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset “Winter Driving Safety” S&G Cleaning Services “Winter Driving Safety”
Ethicon Lunch-n-Learn for WeSustain Team
J&J Bridgewater “All-Electric Vehicles”
Bridgewater Township “Get Fit Through Walking”
Somerset County Park Commission “Prepare for Roadside Emergencies/ Winter Driving Safety”
Somerset County Library “Winter Driving Safety” OFS Optics “Get Fit Through Walking” Somerset County and M&E Engineers “Winter Driving Safety”
Employees of Affinity Federal Credit Union register for RideWise programs at Affinity’s employee information event.
Financials TOTAL REVENUE
$662,192 Income North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority
$471,174 NJ TRANSIT
$67,768 New Jersey Department of Transportation
Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board
Contributions/ Miscellaneous Income
$650,946 Program Services
$457,722 Administrative Services
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Patrick Delaney, Chairman Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset
Donna Allison Executive Director
Mary Ameen, Executive Director NJTPA Susan Dorward Raritan Valley Community College Frederick W. Fenner III VA New Jersey Healthcare System Chris Edwards Somerset County Business Partnership David Kois Hillsborough Township
Jon Dugan Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Manager Sara Catherine Lichon Community Outreach Coordinator Tina Lochmann Business Manager Leanne McGowan Business Development Manager Linda Rapacki Marketing Manager/Travel Training
Walter Lane Somerset County Planning Philip Mercado The Imperia Susan O’Donnell NJ TRANSIT Nancy Petrillo Matheny Medical & Education Center Anthony Tufaro Johnson & Johnson Josh Weiner MetLife Ann Whalen AT&T
Pictured left to right | Leanne McGowan, Tina Lochmann, Jon Dugan, Donna Allison, Sara Catherine Lichon, and Linda Rapacki
@RideWiseTMA @RideWise www.ridewise.org