February 11, 2013

N.J. groups merge to increase travel training

The Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC), a group focusing on transportation research and education and the nucleus of transportation-related policy research, training and education at Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, will join with the New Jersey Travel Independence Program (NJTIP), a not-for-profit organization based in Livingston, N.J.

The merger will expand and complement VTC’s current portfolio of expertise to include travel training for individuals with disabilities, the elderly and other transportation-disadvantaged populations on how to use existing public transit services to help achieve independence and self-sufficiency.

NJTIP has provided innovative travel instruction programs and services since 2007, including individualized training, programs for high school special-education students, group training for senior citizens and workshops for job coaches and vocational counselors. NJTIP has trained more than 900 individuals to use public transportation services.

The impacts of travel instruction can yield tremendous benefits to individuals, such as increased independence, increased mobility options with associated cost savings and decreased isolation from their community. Societal benefits include cost savings associated with use of fixed-route transit service in place of more costly paratransit services.

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