Smart Commuter - Issue #15
Helps Essex County Job Seekers Get to Work
recent job fair in East Orange was successful due to the efforts
of the Essex County Department of Economic Development, Training
& Employment, the Job Developers Alliance and Meadowlink.
200 people seeking jobs attended. And about a dozen companies
looking for workers also went to the fair, which was held at the
Essex County Economic Development Center.
was also there, making sure everyone who got hired for a job would
be able to get to work.
showcased its wide-range of free transportation programs and assistance.
For example, over 100 bus and train schedules were available at
the fair. Meadowlink staff also helped interested workers find
carpools and vanpools that matched their needs. The Emergency
Ride Home program was offered so that these commuters would never
have to worry about being stranded in an emergency. And Meadowlink
staffers Kinga Skora and Frank Mongioi offered personal assistance
so that commuters could identify their best transportation options.
was contracted by Essex County in early 2002 to design a program
that assists the transit-dependent working poor, including the
welfare-to-work population, in commuting to jobs throughout the
Meadowlands corridor. Meadowlink is implementing the program in
partnership with Essex County and New Community Corporation. The
effort is federally funded through the Job Access and Reverse
Commute Program, administered by Essex County and implemented
experience in transportation complements our efforts with training
and employment so that people have the support they need to obtain
and retain jobs," said Jeffry L. Bertrand, Director for the
County of Essex Department of Economic Development, Training and
For more information,
Welcome at Passaic County’s First 'Transportation to Work'
Passaic County Transportation to Work Forum will take place at
The Brownstone in Paterson on December 9. The event begins at
8:30 a.m. Brunch will be served.
are invited to discuss initiatives, provide perspective on how
transportation impacts hiring, and to collaborate on effective
William J. Pascrell, Jr., a member of the House Transportation
and Infrastructure Committee, will be the keynote speaker. A Paterson
native and former mayor, Congressman Pascrell has a track record
of supporting transportation programs for the economically disadvantaged.
He will discuss current transportation initiatives from the federal
and state perspective and develop dialogues through panel discussions
aimed at improving transportation linkage between employers and
their workforce. The Passaic County Department of Human Services,
Division of Family Services oversees Work First New Jersey (WFNJ)
transportation initiatives designed to eliminate transportation
as a barrier to employment. The department continues to work closely
with WFNJ community-based service providers like Meadowlink to
maximize Job Access Reverse Commute funding. Meadowlink's efforts
have helped create a comprehensive transportation counseling center,
shuttle services, driver education and training programs, donated
car and maintenance training, and soon, an innovative carshare
project. All target the most economically disadvantaged residents
of Passaic County.
is to make these Transportation to Work Forums an annual event.
If your organization
or company would like to attend, please call:
County Awards Meadowlink Pilot Carshare Contract
of Passaic recently awarded Meadowlink a contract for a pilot
carshare project. The pilot project is the first of a two-phase
plan designed to bring sustainable, automobile-based mobility
services to the working poor.
This is the
first time in the United States that carsharing has been offered
as a transportation alternative for low-income, working families.
makes available a fleet of vehicles shared by a group of people.
The amount of money each person pays depends on how much they
use the cars. This way, people can have access to a vehicle without
having to own one. Typically, 10-to-12 people can share a single
of an automobile determines the quality of life for most New Jersey
residents. Members of the Work First New Jersey (WFNJ) program
are usually the most vulnerable to transportation breakdowns.
Whether it be from dilapidated cars or from public transit bus
schedules ill-suited for odd-hour jobs, WFNJ clients are often
unable to arrive at work in the timely, consistent manner necessary
to be effective employees.
of the pilot carshare program, also called Work First, is to allow
participants to work at any job site at any hour without the burden
of extraordinary transportation obstacles. Every person who drives
to work has to expect the burden of delays due to traffic congestion.
So will Work First Carshare clients. But these normal challenges
can be overcome.
transportation barriers are so great that they often lead to job
termination. Work First Carshare clients will not have the excuse
for failure; rather, they must meet the same challenges to a successful
work life as everyone else.
is a happy compromise between using public transit and using a
private car. It started in Europe more than 10 years ago and has
grown there to include over 100,000 participants.
Portland, Inc., the first U.S. carsharing program, has been providing
this service for people with higher incomes in the Portland (Oregon)
Metro region since 1998.
is a service offered by organizations that sell efficiency and
convenience. It is not a spot-market operation; applicants must
first have their driving record reviewed and health condition
and vanpooling, referred to as ridesharing, have been around for
a long time. People often participate just because they want to
be good citizens and reduce highway congestion and pollution.
offers the same benefits and greater convenience. Carsharing is
completely flexible. Participants can use an available car whenever
and however they choose, adjusting usage patterns independently
carsharing works because it's so inexpensive and convenient that
participants will want to give up that extra car as well as the
parking spot it takes," says Meadowlink Executive Director
charge for carsharing includes a $25 membership fee, $6.50 per
hour of use, and 50 cents per mile traveled. That's it. There
are no payments for insurance, gas, vehicle maintenance or cleaning.
benefit in carsharing is clear. Simply put, it lowers the demand
for cars and permanent parking spaces. "But it works as a
business," explains Murthy, "because it saves participants
a bundle - - the cost of a car over a five-year period."
For more information,
Establishes Shuttle Service for Bank of New York
In the recent
months, Meadowlink has been working with the Bank of New York
to establish a shuttle route so that The Bank of New York could
offer transportation to its' employees who live in and around
the New York City area and work in The Bank's facility located
in Lodi, New Jersey.
and officials from the Bank of New York worked out the logistics
for a comprehensive shuttle program that would cover shifts working
around the clock.
shuttle service, which started in November, picks up employees
at the Journal Square PATH station in Jersey City and brings them
to the BNY Lodi facility.
the various work schedules, the shuttle's morning pickup times
are at 6:20, 7:20, and 8:20 for the 45-minute trip. Return trips
to the PATH station are evenings at 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00. A van
service is utilized for late-working employees, bringing them
directly to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City.
For more information, contact:
Partners with Charitable Emporium.com
has recently become an affiliated charity at the Charitable Emporium,
cecharity.com. The Charitable Emporium shopping service brings
together charities, donors and vendors in a way that benefits
charities receive a percentage of Internet purchases made by shoppers
who designate them recipients. The more purchases made by shoppers
at the emporium, the greater the earning potential for the charity.
can purchase the same items they would normally purchase while
also raising money for their designated charities.
shop the Charitable Emporium also receive a tax-deduction equal
to the amount donated. The Charitable Emporium tracks purchases
and the tax-deductible contributions. This information is also
available to donors through the website.
and vendors taking part in the Charitable Emporium shopping service
get better traffic to their web sites and improved sales because
of this additional exposure.
website, www.meadowlink.org, includes the Charitable Emporium
icon. This directs visitors to shop at the emporium so that both
Meadowlink and the shopper benefit from each on-line purchase.
For more information, contact:
Krishna Murthy (201) 939-4242.
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Meadowlink Offers Bus Tickets
for Clients at Paterson Transportation Counseling Center
Meadowlink will offer bus tickets to job interviews and even monthly
bus passes to qualified Passaic County residents through its Transportation
Counseling Center in Paterson.
The bus passes
are offered so that eligible TANF (Temporary Assistance Needy
Family) and GA (General Assistance) clients can get to their jobs.
These new services would be part of the Work First New Jersey
initiative. To qualify, clients would obtain a transportation
referral form from their agency or case worker.
will continue to provide counseling in English and Spanish to
welfare recipients and dislocated workers.
Transportation Counseling Center has been established in conjunction
with the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the county
Departments of Planning and Human Services and has been operating
for more than a year.
are being assisted with job placement by the Passaic County Employment
Network (PCEN) can receive individualized transportation counseling
at the conveniently located center.
free services are designed to help unemployed people who don't
drive or can't afford a car get to interviews and to their new
jobs. Offices are on the third floor of the Workforce Development
Center at 52 Church Street in downtown Paterson. No appointment
is necessary. Clients can also obtain transportation counseling
though a new toll-free hotline, at (888) 447-2435. The bilingual
counseling is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30
of Meadowlink programs and services of interest to welfare-to-work
participants include the numerous shuttle services that link county
residents with job locations from Wayne to the Meadowlands area,
the Emergency Ride Home Program that is available to all clients
who are placed in new jobs and begin using public transportation
or carpooling to commute to work, and carpooling assistance in
the event that no bus or train service is available to a new job
location. Meadowlink has access to the statewide rideshare database
maintained by the New Jersey Department of Transportation with
more than 10,000 names of people seeking to share a ride.
For more information,
County Transit Connections Guide
Do you need
simple but comprehensive information about NJ Transit's services
in Essex County? Meadowlink can provide you with the latest user-friendly
bubble maps - all on one sheet of paper.
For your free
Essex County Transit Connections Guide, call:
County Transit Map
has developed a comprehensive transit map that includes information
about public transit routes, making it a valuable tool in planning
Hudson County commutes.
For a free
a quarterly newsletter on commuting issues in our region, is issued
to employers by Meadowlink. Call the Editorial Director, Frank
T. Mongioi, Jr. at (201) 939-4242 with comments, suggestions or
corrections. Assistant Editor: Justin Gelish
(Meadowlands Transportation Brokerage Corporation), prepared this
newsletter through a grant financed in part by the New Jersey
Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration. This
newsletter is disseminated under the sponsorship of the NJDOT
in the interest of information exchange. The State
of New Jersey assumes no liability for its content or use thereof.