How your county’s TMA (Transportation Management Association) can help you find mobility and sustainability solutions.
By Leanne McGowan, Business Development Manager at RideWise, Somerset County’s TMA
Most NJ employers and HR professionals don’t realize that their local TMA can be a valuable tool. RideWise TMA in Somerset County, for example, can provide resources, programming and best practice consults on a variety of transportation-related matters, and help your business meet transportation-related sustainability, safety and wellness goals, alleviate pressure on HR and other staff, as well as offer opportunities for employee engagement. Leanne McGowan, Business Development Manager at RideWise, suggests the following to her corporate, business, municipal and non-profit clients, “Think of us as a sustainability partner, transportation options resource and no-cost benefit for employees. We’re happy to help with the basics like transit information, ridesharing registration and vanpooling formation, but can also help you develop strategic partnerships in the community that add value.” Services are customized based on each worksite’s unique needs.
Formed in the late 1970s or early 1980s to help find solutions to transportation problems, TMAs form partnerships with businesses, organizations and local government to provide commuter information and services. The roles of many TMAs have expanded over the years, and in New Jersey, TMAs can give the business community a voice in local/regional/statewide transportation decision-making.
A recognition program that employers can take advantage of is New Jersey Smart Workplaces, which awards worksites that offer transportation-related sustainability, safety and workplace wellness information, programs and policies to employees. According to McGowan, “most companies are already offering information and benefits to their employees that meet one of the four qualifying “Smart Workplace” levels, and we are happy to recognize them for their efforts.”
A few examples of actions that help employers become NJ Smart Workplaces are designating a contact for employee commute inquiries, offering traffic alerts, informal or formal telecommuting, teleconferencing or compressed work week policies, Lunch & Learns on a range of topics from the benefits of walking and bike safety workshops to winter driving safety, and onsite amenities such as a gym or cafe. Qualifying as a NJ Smart Workplace also helps an employer earn points toward the NJDEP’s Sustainable Business Registry and the Sustainable Jersey registry for municipalities and schools.
“Employers not offering this kind of support to employees should be, and TMAs can provide assistance. It’s good for business, and being a community-connected sustainable business creates goodwill and great PR. The activities that help companies maintain Smart Workplace status can also help attract and retain talent, expand and diversify a labor pool, increase job satisfaction and reduce the cost of employee turnover. Being commuter-friendly and environmentally conscious can be very cost effective.”
One of the more rewarding aspects of Leanne’s work with employers is helping to educate their workforce on electric vehicles and EV workplace charging. RideWise partners with resources like ChargEVC and Tesla to help people understand that the price of an EV is now in line with the average non-electric vehicle price. The RideWise All Electric Vehicles presentation addresses common concerns – range anxiety, safety and cost – to help employees understand that EVs are an option for everyone. The presentation is followed by Tesla test drives, and has been very popular at sites interested in installing charging stations, as well as those that have recently installed chargers. Employees with workplace charging are 20 times more likely to drive an electric vehicle (source: forthmobility.org/workplace). With transportation as the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable transportation options benefit everyone (https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions).
Some of the free consults, services and programs TMAs including RideWise offer are:
- Commuter Support Programs and Policies
- New Hire and Relocation Assistance
- New Jersey Smart Workplaces Recognition and Networking
- Employee Engagement and Volunteer Opportunities
- Transportation-related Sustainability, Safety and Wellness programs
- Electric Vehicles and Charging Station Education and Resources
- Meet/Exceed Transportation-related Sustainability Goals
- Individual and Group Transit Training
- Employee Interest Surveys and Commute Mapping
- Rideshare Matching and Registration
- “Commuter Connect” events; Vanpool/Carpool Information Sessions and Vanpool Assistance
- TicketHome Program (emergency ride reimbursement)
- Transit Displays and Commuter Information Tables; Sustainability, Safety and Wellness Fair Participation
- Roundtables, Workshops and Seminars/Custom Marketing Materials
There are eight TMAs that cover the twenty-one counties in New Jersey. For the TMA covering your county, click on the link below for more information.
|Cross County Connection||Atlantic County
Cape May County
|Greater Mercer TMA||Mercer County
Companies in Plainsboro
Companies in Montogmery
|Hudson TMA/HCIA Offices||Hudson County||www.hudsonmta.org||(201) 792-2825|
|goHunterdon||Hunterdon County||www.gohunterdon.org||(908) 788-5553|
|Keep Middlesex Moving||Middlesex County||www.kmm.org||(732) 745-4465|
|EZ Ride||Bergen County
Some Hudson Municipalities
|RideWise||Somerset County(except Montgomery Twp)||www.ridewise.org||(908) 704-1011|
Some Municpalities in:
RideWise in Somerset County is an independent non-profit that connects people and businesses to safe and sustainable travel options that enhance quality of life and create a vibrant economy. To find out more about school and community programs/safety campaigns and other public information like interactive bike trails and bus maps, visit ridewise.org
For more information on Employer Services, please contact Leanne@ridewise.org or 908-704-1011, x 14