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New TCC Opening: The opening of the new TCC is now expected for some time in September. This will be a period of major transition with new traffic flows, a large number of returning commuters back from Nielsen Plaza and new commuters to this new facility; two entrances, one each for monthly permit parkers and daily parkers. The new facility can park 1680 cars, and extensive planning on the part of the commuting public, Suburban Transit, and Parking Utility officials, is going to be required for a smooth transition to take place. It is the intention of CPAC to have that happen as much as possible. Clearly the new TCC will have heavier traffic flow, a greater demand for bus seats and general confusion when it first opens. It will also have a new electronic day parking collection system in operation. The CPAC has requested several times for a bus service scheduling discussion that will address concerns of the East Brunswick commuting public: frequency of buses to all three NY city locations, hours of operation, direct service (without a stop at Neilson Plaza) when appropriate, and first class dispatcher service. The CPAC will also request that there are sufficient qualified people on hand to help us through this dramatic change. If you have any comments, concerns, or recommendations, please attend the next scheduled CPAC meeting or send an email to us at ebcommuter@ yahoo.com. July CPAC Meeting: Our July CPAC meeting had numerous special guests and was very informative for all of those that attended the meeting. We will report on this meeting in a future issue of The Commuter. In addition, the meeting was videotaped by The Library and we will let commuters know when it is being broadcast on Channel 3. Monthly Parking Permits: As we have been reporting for months, additional parking permits will soon be issued by the Parking Utility. Any East Brunswick resident that wishes to have a permit for either parking facility should apply immediately. You can find the application at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/3100974/Permit-application. Non-residents are also invited to apply to be added to TCC permit waiting list by completing an application that can be found at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/3946032/Permit-waiting-list-application-nonresident. Non-residents may NOT apply for a Neilson permit at this time. If you have additional questions, please contact the Parking Utility at parkandride@ eastbrunswick.org or 732-390-6836. Suburban Monthly Pass: The CPAC recently sent out an extensive e-mail comparing the cost of Suburban monthly commuter pass ($260) to the 10 trip ($64). The conclusion of this careful analysis is that with the pass requiring 20.3 commuting days during its period ($260/$12.80), that very few commuters, if any, benefit financially from purchasing this pass unless they commute more than 5 days per week. You can see the full text of this discussion at our Topica site at http://lists.topica.com/lists/ebcnews/read. Rt. 18 Bus Traffic Improvements Under Review: We reported in an e-mail that NJ DOT is considering possible improvements in the bus traffic flow on Rt. 18 north of the TCC. We thank Sen. Buono for her help with this effort. In our view, the success of the new TCC will be heavily dependent upon buses being able to get between TCC and Exit 9 without being unduly delayed in traffic on a regular basis. The stimulus for our requesting this review was the fact that NJ DOT is in it process of similar efforts on Rt. 1 and Rt. 9, both of which are also heavily used by buses. We believe that Rt. 18 is no less deserving of such an effort. We look forward to continue working with Sen. Buono, the Township, NJ DOT and all other interested parties in making the new TCC facility as successful as possible for East Brunswick commuters.
August CPAC Meeting: Our next meeting is currently scheduled for Wed., August 11 at 8:00 p.m. in the Municipal Building Conference Room. Any changes in the meeting time or location will be posted on our calendar at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EBCommuter/cal. All interested commuters, whether or not you are a resident, are welcome to attend and participate in our discussion. Please ALWAYS check the calendar prior to attending so you will not be surprised by an unexpected last minute change. Crosstown Schedule Change: After months of requests by the CPAC, Suburban is finally adjusting the TCC Crosstown service to add another Crosstown bus around 8:00 a.m. This change will also effect TCC PABT commuters and result in one TCC Crosstown bus becoming an originator at Neilson. We think almost every one benefits from this change. We only wish that implementation had not taken so much time and effort. Driver Compliments: We all know that the right bus driver can make a huge difference in our daily commute. The difference between a good driver and a not so good driver can mean the difference between making or not making an important meeting. Some drivers also go out of their way to assist passengers. If you observe a driver doing something special, please let us and Suburban know. We would like to publicly thank those drivers that do such an important job for us every day. Clever Commute: The CPAC has recently assisted in the implementation of a commuter operated, real-time commuter information service. The New York Times had a recent article discussing this service (you can access it at http://tinyurl.com/ysegzm). This third party operated service permits commuters with SMS capable cell phones or smartphones such as BlackBerries to send and receive real-time message to other commuters that have signed up for the listserv. This service is designed to rapidly distribute short, real time messages to commuters regarding commuter service issues such as tunnel problems, highway disruptions, etc. To join the service, go to Clever Commute at http://clevercommute.com/RoutesAndSignUp.php. Once there, please select "Commuter Bus" under Item 2 as the Provider Type. Then select "East Brunswick Lines." You will then have to confirm your registration. All messages on this service come from your fellow commuters, so the more commuters that sign up for and use this service, the more effective it will become. Please send messages when there is something useful to share, but keep in mind that this listserv is not moderated in order to keep it real-time. This service is not operated by the CPAC and is not meant as a substitute for our other listservs. HVAC Settings: Our Township's agreement with Suburban Transit on this issue is two-fold: (1) Bus temperatures will be set as much as physically possible to 72° F year round and (2) the bus air circulation system should be operating at all times. If either rule is not being followed, please report this to Suburban Transit or the CPAC for follow up with sufficient detail (bus number, date, time, etc.) for appropriate action to be taken. PLEASE DO NOT ASK A DRIVER TO VIOLATE THESE POLICIES BY CHANGING THESE SETTINGS. If you are cold (or warm) please put on a coat, move to another part of the bus or just recognize that not every passenger can be satisfied 100% of the time. Thank you for your cooperation. Emergency Safety Phone Number: Suburban Transit has a special 24/7 emergency safety number that you can call and report any incident of which you are concerned. This phone number can also be found on the back of every Suburban Transit operated bus. Receive Newsletter and Commuter Service Information by E-mail The CPAC delivers newsletters and other information by e-mail as it becomes available. To subscribe, send an email to ebcnews-subscribe@ topica.com. Then reply when you get the sign up confirmation message. You may cancel your subscription at any time The CPAC will not disseminate your email address or use it for any other purpose. Our normal e-mail address remains ebcommuter@ yahoo.com.
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