In a recent blog post on planetizen.com, two researchers, Michael Smart and Nicholas Klein discussed the findings of their study to determine what shapes our travel behavior. The authors of the study found that “habits and preferences for transit may be formed at an early age” and “the quality of transit experienced earlier in life can be just as important as the quality of transit in the current neighborhood.”
Smart and Klein also say that being exposed to high-quality transit during our 20s and 30s increases the chance of using transit later in life and the habit of using transit is maintained even when moving to a location with low transit choices. And as someone who likes public transit and used it a lot in my early life, I can attest to that. However, when it comes to NJ public transit, we could all use a little guidance. For some reason, buses especially seem to be a little intimidating to some people. How do you pay? How do I know how much to pay? Can I pay the driver?
To make this a little easier, try to take a trip one day on the bus or train when you are not in a rush to get somewhere. And why not make it a family trip, take your kids with you and help them form that habit earlier in life. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- NJ Transit makes it easy to purchase tickets, see schedules, and plan your trip with the help of their NJ Transit Mobile app. You can download the app from the AppStore or on Google Play.
- If you do not use the NJ Transit app, you can find schedules and fare at http://www.njtransit.com/sf/sf_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=BusTo or you can ask us to send you a hard copy. We usually try to supply enough schedules at the local libraries and municipalities as well.
- Local bus route tickets cannot be purchased with the app so you will need to have exact change when you get on the bus. Fares are based on zone. You can find the zone by looking at the map printed on the schedule.
- When the bus arrives at the station, raise your hand to signal the driver you want to get on.
- When you want to get off the bus, press the signal strip located near the window to let the driver know you want to exit at the next stop.
- If you are planning a train trip and you do not have the app to purchase tickets or find a schedule, schedules can be found at the train station and tickets can be purchased at the ticket vending machines located near the station. The ticket vending machines accept all types of payments and fares are based on the location you wish to travel.
- You can take your bike to transit and on the NJ transit buses and trains. There is no extra charge, but there a few restrictions for bicycles on NJ Transit train. More Bike& Ride info is available here.
Check out our mobility guide for more details on planning your bus or train trip. You can also find bus and rail schedules and the mobility guide Spanish version on our website.
We hope you give transit a try and enjoy the ride! Let us know how it went.