The thought of using public transit can be overwhelming for someone who is not familiar with riding a bus or train. How do I take a Somerset County bus? Where does it stop? What does it cost? Knowing how to use the local transit network gives individuals the confidence to travel to meet with friends, go to doctor appointments, conduct daily errands or get to work without needing to rely on family or friends.
RideWise can help individuals gain greater independence by teaching them how to use Somerset County public transit and NJ TRANSIT through TransitConnect travel training. Through this program, participants will learn how to:
- Read and understand bus and/or train schedules
- Plan a trip
- Get to and from the transit stop
- Signal a bus
- Ride a specific route
- Pay fares and purchase tickets and passes
- Board and de-board
- Use mobile apps to locate the bus or pay for bus/train fare
- Prepare for the unexpected
- Ride safely and confidently
Somerset County residents 18 years and older are eligible to participate in transit travel training. Individuals under 18 must have a parent or guardian accompany them. This training is free-of-charge, but participants are required to pay their bus or train fare during the training. The fare will depend on the trip length.
Transit travel training is available Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. To make an appointment with a travel trainer, contact RideWise at email@example.com or call 908-704-1011.
Hear what past TransitConnect clients have to say:
“My name is Shawn Ortiz and I am the mother of Andrés, my 29 year old proudly burgeoning independent son. Andrés has high functioning autism and autoimmune encephalopathy. As I write this he has just gotten into an Uber and is on his way to the Bound Brook library where he enjoys volunteering. This new found level of freedom was made possible by Linda Rapacki, who taught Andrés all he needed to know about using this ride sharing service with a sense of comfort and skill.
Linda had a sense of humor and relatability that allowed Andrés to feel at ease and ask all the questions he needed to before moving on to the next topic. When we first met Linda at the job fair at the library in Bridgewater, she spoke directly with Andrés, not me. All too often people assume a person on the spectrum is unable to communicate on his/her own, but not Linda. Andrés was always her primary client and he sincerely appreciated being treated with such respect, as did my husband and I. Andrés will miss Uber training days with Linda but will enjoy yet another level of independence she has allowed him to discover.”
“Now that I know how to use the bus, I can get to my job.”
“I have been using Uber to go to Walmart and it cost me about $20 to get baby supplies. Now I know that I can get to Walmart by bus for only two dollars.”
“I can’t believe I can take a bus to Raritan Valley Community College. I didn’t think I could go to college because I don’t drive.”
“Thank you [TransitConnect] for teaching my son how to ride public transportation. He has learned how get to places by himself and I never thought that would be possible.”