Exploring Transportation Innovations to Build Healthier Communities

NJHI 2016: Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey – Communities Moving to Action, Round 2 Building a Healthier Asbury Park

Alliance for a Healthier Asbury Park lead partner EZ Ride presented the Transportation Innovations for Healthier Communities Symposium in Princeton earlier this year. More than 200 New Jersey-based paratransit leaders participated in the day’s discussions to explore transportation opportunities, barriers, and needs for the state’s seniors and those with disabilities.

Among the key takeaways:

  • Transportation is the glue that holds our communities together. Without it, we cannot deal with issues like healthy aging, employment, or taking care of our youth.
  • The transportation industry is changing with the arrival of Transportation Network Companies (TNC) like Lyft and Uber.
  • Technology is the ‘equalizer,’ and there is a growing need for collaboration across different sectors. It can provide new solutions and change the transportation landscape.

Read additional lessons from the symposium here.

“Seniors and those with disabilities account for more than 15 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively, of New Jersey’s population. It is critical that we work together to find transportation solutions that are cost-effective for providers and users, and that maintain dignity for these populations who need and want to maintain their independence,” said Krishna Murthy, Executive Director for EZ Ride.

The symposium presenters included:

  • Perry Frenzel, Chairman, EZ Ride
  • Robert Atkins, Director, New Jersey Health Initiatives
  • Julia Stoumbos, Program Officer, Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation
  • Scott Bogren, Executive Director, Community Transportation Associations of America (CTAA)
  • Zenobia Fields, Department Director of Planning, North Jersey Transporation Planning Authority
  • Michael Vieira, Director of Special Transportation Services, Essex County
  • Anna Magri, Director of Local Programming/Minibus Support/Community Transportation, NJ Transit
  • Heather Smith-Bermudez, General Manager of Access Link, NJ Transit
  • Karen Alexander, Managing Director for New Jersey Travel Independence Program at Rutgers
  • Cody Ward, Business Development and Healthcare Partnerships Representative, Lyft
  • Nick Thelemaque, Business Development Manager, GoGoGrandparent
  • Krishna Murthy, Executive Director, EZ Ride

Our topics included “Bridging the Digital Divide and Providing Affordable Transportation,” “Community Transportation Initiatives in New Jersey,” and “The Power of Partnerships.” We encourage everyone to continue the conversations via Facebook or Twitter at #TransportationInnovations. Copies of the presentations and photographs of the event are available at www.ezride.org/events.

Support for the event was provided in part by funding from the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation, Lyft and New Jersey Health Initiatives, the statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. As a sequel to the symposium, the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and EZ Ride hosted a webinar on February 20, 2018 to discuss Scaling Transportation Programs while Controlling Costs. Access the webinar slide deck and connect with us to learn more about our monthly webinar series.

The Grantee Blog publishes a different NJHI-supported community’s update every week. Bookmark this site to stay up-to-date and share in the work of building healthier communities across New Jersey.
Photo: Director Robert Atkins addressing the attendees at the transportation symposium (Credit: EZ Ride).
Krishna Murthy
Meadowlands Transportation Brokerage Corporation