Get Going on Transit!, an experiential transit education program coordinated by NJTIP @ Rutgers, was conducted in New Brunswick on Thursday July 27, 2017. Many participants were from New Brunswick including residents and students from the Joseph Kohn Training Center. Participants also included clients from the Vocational Rehabilitation Program at JFK Hospital in Edison and from as far away as Collingswood in Camden County and Garfield in Bergen County.
The program kicked off at the National Transit Institute across the street from the New Brunswick Train Station with a presentation from Keep Middlesex Moving, Middlesex County’s Transportation Management Association. The presentation covered local transit options and an introduction to the Middlesex County Transit Guide.
After the presentation, attendees participated in an on-board NJ TRANSIT bus demonstration. They were shown the accessible features of NJ TRANSIT buses, and the NJ TRANSIT bus operator and regional supervisor provided excellent examples of the accessible customer service NJ TRANSIT delivers. The demonstration included operating and using the lift and kneeling features, experiencing the auditory and visual announcements, practicing payment with the fare box and using their cellphones to text “mybus“ to find when the next NJ TRANSIT bus was scheduled to arrive.
Participants received an “accessibility tour” of New Brunswick Rail Station, and NJTIP Travel Instructors helped the clients from the JFK program return to Metuchen by train, while Joseph Kohn Training Center students used the NJ TRANSIT 810 bus to return to their building on Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick.
A number of participants felt less nervous using public transit after the tour and bus demonstration. Some students with visual impairments told NJTIP @ Rutgers Travel Instructors that touching the fare box during the bus demonstration and knowing they could listen for upcoming stops made them feel more comfortable with public transit. Upon returning to Metuchen, the JFK clients remembered to watch for the gap between the platform and the train car when disembarking, and to arriveat least 10 minutes before for a train departure. PParticipating organizations acknowledged that their clients had confidence with buying train tickets and taking public transit having participated in “Get Going on Transit!”