The NJTPA conducts a variety of studies each year focused on transportation issues identified in the Regional Transportation Plan. From the adequacy of freight movement facilities to promising applications of new traffic control technologies to forecasts of future trends and conditions, the studies explore issues that affect the entire northern New Jersey region. The goal is to better understand the issues and explore strategies and projects to improve regional mobility.
Current and Completed Studies are listed below.
In addition to studies of regional issues, the NJTPA sponsors studies of mobility in major travel corridors and subareas that extend beyond the jurisdiction of any one town or county. Local concerns about congestion, air quality, noise, and land use development are assessed and incorporated into any recommended improvements. Corridor studies can involve highway travel, as well as transit and bicycle and pedestrian travel.
The outcomes are well defined solutions and strategies, often addressing needs involving multiple modes of travel, that can be "handed off" to implementing agencies such as the New Jersey Department of Transportation, NJ Transit or county or local engineers.
NJTPA also plays an advisory role in numerous transportation planning studies led by other agencies where recommended corridor scale improvements will have regional implications.
-  Freight Rail Industrial Opportunity (FRIO) Corridors Program
The Freight Rail Industrial Opportunity (FRIO) Corridors Program established a framework for identifying and addressing locations in the NJTPA region that preclude access for national standard rail freight cars (including weight, height and width restrictions).
-  Passaic River Basin Climate Resilience Planning Study
A climate resilience planning effort for transportation in the New Jersey portion of the Passaic River Basin, including parts of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, and Union counties, was completed in June 2019. The purpose of the planning study was to identify adaptation strategies to protect transportation corridors and assets from extreme weather events, including excessive flooding, heat waves and sea level rise. The study consisted of the following activities: conduct a vulnerability assessment of the area’s transportation system; project future climate risks for the Passaic River Basin; develop adaptation strategies for critical transportation corridors and assets; develop recommended actions and strategies to protect the transportation system from damage and disruption. The report and appendices are located at the right.
-  Regional Performance Measures
The NJTPA worked with its partners to establish regional performance measures that help planners and decision-makers in Northern New Jersey create more effective transportation plans and programs. This effort derives from the federal government’s mandate to State DOTs and MPOs to implement performance-based planning.
-  Bicycle and Pedestrian Access to Transit Stations
NJ TRANSIT, in partnership with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), is proud to announce the completion of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Access to Transit Study. This study is a demonstration of NJ TRANSIT’s commitment to safe and accessible transportation. NJ TRANSIT’s consultant team has produced a full color report that identifies barriers limiting pedestrian and bicycle access to transit stations, at six locations within the NJTPA region. Also included are a series of conceptual designs to improve transit station access and safety for bicyclists, pedestrians, and people with disabilities.
-  Integrated Corridor Management
The NJTPA participated in Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) planning studies with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) among other regional agencies. Grant funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation under a program to help cities or regions combine numerous information technologies and real-time travel information from highway, rail, and transit operations.
-  Morris Canal Greenway Study
This study identifies a continuous route of 111 miles for development of a world-class greenway, including pedestrian and bicycle facilities, along or close to the route of the historic Morris Canal. The greenway route makes connections between all the remaining segments of the original canal towpath. When completed the greenway will provide residents of northern New Jersey a facility for recreation and active transportation. It will also provide a connections between business districts along the route.
-  Alternative Fuel Vehicles Infrastructure
NJTPA partnered with three pilot municipalities—Montclair, Secaucus and Woodbridge—to develop local readiness plans to facilitate the use of electric and natural gas vehicles in those communities. In addition, the pilot municipalities and consultants reviewed analysis of potential high opportunity zones for electric vehicle charging within each town.
-  Assessment of System Connectivity on Northern New Jersey
Assessment of System Connectivity in Northern New Jersey explores how effectively the region’s transportation facilities function together to serve the movement of people and goods. The study considers movements between suburbs in North Jersey and New York City; urban areas in North Jersey; suburban areas north of I-78; suburban areas south of I-78; suburban and urban areas in North Jersey; and rural areas.
-  Project Prioritization Criteria Development and Scoring Update
Federal regulations require that the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) include a list of projects prioritized by the MPO. Projects cannot receive federal funding unless they are included in the TIP, which is updated every two years.
-  City of Newark Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Action Plan
This plan is a collaborative effort between the City of Newark and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) with input from stakeholders and the community. The plan's intent is two-fold: to serve as a guide for city staff to prioritize locations of greatest concern and also to inform the public where the city intends to focus its efforts.
-  Inventory and Assessment of Waterborne Transportation Resources
Through this effort, NJTPA developed an up-to-date and accurate inventory of the available sites to support marine transportation in the region.
-  Regional Freight Commodity Profiles
The project enhanced the NJTPA’s freight modeling tools, addressed gaps in existing freight and industry data, and prepared summary data products, including a set of Regional Commodity Profiles documents.
-  NJTPA Regional Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Plan
NJTPA is addressing the challenges of climate change through a series of research activities
providing the analytic foundation for sound, effective policies to mitigate the transportation
sector’s role in climate change and prepare the transportation system for potential climate
change impacts. The outcomes of these research activities are designed to support the
diverse planning, development, and infrastructure needs of NJTPA’s member jurisdictions.
In 2006, on-road transportation accounted for 25 percent of all GHG emissions in the NJTPA
region. This share is projected to increase relative to other sectors without significant and
sustainable improvements in vehicle and fuel efficiency, as well as strategies to reduce
growth in vehicle miles traveled and improve the operational efficiency of the
transportation system. Recognizing this, NJTPA led an analysis of the effectiveness of
transportation strategy options that would reduce on-road GHG emissions. The results of
this analysis are presented in this NJTPA Regional Greenhouse Gas Emissions Mitigation
Plan (the Plan).
-  Rail Freight Capacity and Needs Assessment to Year 2040
The primary focus of this study were the NJTPA Region’s major freight Corridor Lines as follows: CSX River Line, Conrail Northern Branch, P&H Branch, Conrail Lehigh Line, Norfolk Southern Lehigh Line, and CSX West Trenton Line.
-  2040 Freight Industry Level Forecasts
The primary goal of this project was to develop a clear, accurate and comprehensive picture of regional freight activity, both current and future. The end product is an accurate picture of where concentrations of goods movement activity can be expected to occur in the region in the future, the types of commodities that will be moving, and where strategic investments should be made. The project was conducted for NJTPA by a consultant team of Cambridge Systematics, Inc. with Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB), A. Strauss-Wieder Inc., and the Rutgers University Center for Urban Policy Research (CUPR). Complete Dec 2012.
-  Morris/Warren County Rail Corridor Study
This study examined the infrastructure and operational improvements necessary to modernize the primary rail freight corridor serving Morris and Warren counties, helping it accommodate taller and heavier cars and generate future economic development. The corridor consists of Norfolk Southern’s Washington Secondary Line between Phillipsburg and Hackettstown in Warren County and NJ TRANSIT’s Morristown Line from Hackettstown to Morristown in Morris County.
-  Central NJ-Raritan Valley Study
In April 2011, the NJTPA, in partnership with NJ TRANSIT, completed the Central New Jersey / Raritan Valley Transit Study, an analysis of potential transit improvements along the Interstate 78 (I-78) corridor. This study provides additional analysis of several recommendations made in the I-78 Corridor Transit Study, completed by NJTPA in January 2008.
Traffic congestion along the I-78 corridor is forecast to worsen, due to future residential and employment growth in New Jersey and in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania (adjacent to the Study Area). Existing transit services and facilities in the Study Area are limited: the RVL (Raritan Valley Line) rail service extends only to eastern Hunterdon County and rail station and Park-and-Ride facilities convenient to I-78 are at or near capacity. There is demand for additional transit service along the corridor, but the type and scope of investment to improve service will determine how much of that demand can be captured.
-  Elizabeth Midtown Multi-Modal Integration Study
The NJTPA, in partnership with NJ TRANSIT, Union County and the City of Elizabeth, has developed a conceptual station area plan for the "Midtown" Elizabeth station on NJ TRANSIT's Northeast Corridor rail line. The plan is designed to leverage proposed investments in the rail station and transit system, planned redevelopment, and various multi-modal circulation needs to improve a location long-envisioned by the City as a catalyst for downtown revitalization and by NJ TRANSIT as an important regional transit hub. The study was completed in September 2011.
-  Greater Newark Bus System Study
This three-year study aimed to improve bus services in the greater Newark area. The study area focuses on Newark, Elizabeth and urban Essex County, but bus service improvements in this core area will positively impact service in Union, Passaic, Bergen and Hudson counties as well.
-  Hudson County Jitney Study
This study identified ways to better integrate and regulate jitney operations, and provide for a safer, more efficient transportation service in Hudson County. This analysis and the recommendations that resulted from the study will assist state, county and local policy makers in better integrating jitney services into the overall transportation system. This study built on an analysis completed in the Hudson County Bus Circulation and Infrastructure Study in 2007. This study undertook a more detailed analysis of jitney operations, including a review of interstate and intrastate operating authorities, and research into the legal options of regulating services operated by federally licensed interstate providers. For more information see the Hudson County Jitney webpage.
-  Pedestrian Safety at and Near Bus Stops Study
The study by the NJTPA—in close collaboration with New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, and NJ TRANSIT—sought to improve safety at and around bus stops within the NJTPA region. Its centerpiece was an education campaign plan to raise awareness about safety for both pedestrians and motorists. The study also made engineering, education, and enforcement recommendations through its Bus Stop Safety Toolbox and Bus Stop Field Audit Reports. Bus stop safety design suggestions included both long-term and short-term improvements with bus stop location, pedestrian signage/signals, pavement markings and area illumination considered at specific high pedestrian crash bus stop locations.
-  Region-wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Project
The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority conducted a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory and forecast (I&F) for the entire NJTPA region. Project goals were to develop a region-side inventory of GHG emissions for a base year; allocate GHG emissions down to the county and municipality level; forecast GHG emissions for calendar years 2020, 2035 and 2050; assist sub-regions in their greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation efforts.
-  Climate Change Vulnerability and Risk Assessment
This study identified transportation infrastructure vulnerable to the impacts of climate change for select regions of New Jersey. The study prepared an inventory of important transportation assets utilizing available climate change models and performed a vulnerability and risk assessment of select NJ transportation infrastructure. This study involved a partnership of the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), the three New Jersey MPOs (NJTPA, DVRPC, and SJTPO), NJ TRANSIT and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. This work will support other climate change efforts already occurring across New Jersey. For more information see the Climate Change Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Study web page.
-  Northwest New Jersey Bus Study
In December, 2010 the NJTPA and NJ TRANSIT completed a comprehensive needs analysis of bus, shuttle and ridesharing options in a study area that includes large portions of Sussex and Morris Counties, northern Warren County, and western Passaic County. The study findings identify a need for improved service, facilities, and intermodal connectivity in order to provide better commuting options for individuals who live and/or work in the northwestern counties.
-  Jersey City Bus Study
The Jersey City Bus Study, completed in November, 2009, evaluated current and future service needs in this growing and public transportation-dependent city. As part of the study, launched in the fall of 2008, public input and various data were analyzed to determine recommendations for bus services and capital improvements that will meet riders’ long-term needs.
-  Northeast New Jersey Metro Mobility Study
The NJTPA partnered with NJ TRANSIT to examine the existing bus transit network and service and identify areas of improvement. The study explored options for meeting the current and future needs of residents and employees in Bergen and Passaic Counties.
-  Quiet Zone Designation in New Jersey: An Informational Guide
The federal requirement that train horns be sounded at every grade crossing in or near communities nationwide has sparked a number of questions with regard to the establishment of quiet zones. The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), as northern and central New Jersey's Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), has put together an informational quiet zone brochure as a guide to communities throughout the state.
-  Freight Rail Grade Crossing Assessment Study
Phase I of this study, completed in September of 2008, examined a total of 64 crossings on the Lehigh, West Trenton, Chemical Coast, Port Reading Secondary and River rail lines and developed problem statements for the top five grade crossings in most need of improvements. The problem statements contain potential solutions developed for each location and are the first step in developing projects that might become eligible for federal or state funding. The NJTPA Board of Trustees approved an extension of this work to develop problem statements for the next ten grade crossing locations prioritized in terms of needs in the original study. The additional work (Phase II) was completed in August of 2009.
-  I-78 Corridor Transit Study
This NJTPA study assessed the need, impact and feasibility of various transit strategies along the I-78 corridor between Lehigh County, Pennsylvania to the west and Somerset County, New Jersey to the east. Phase I of the study addressed bus transit mobility needs through recommendations for bus service and shuttle enhancements, new park and ride locations, and bus priority treatments.
-  Strategy Evaluation Study
The NJTPA Strategy Evaluation is conducted periodically to assess how well the region’s transportation meets residents’ needs. The project also generates recommendations for specific strategies and programs to benefit particular areas. The NJTPA long-range transportation plan—Plan 2035—reflects the results of the Strategy Evaluation conducted in 2006-2008.
-  The Strategy Refinement Study
The Strategy Refinement study built upon the work done in Strategy Evaluation, the NJTPA's assessment of how the region’s transportation system can best meet residents’ needs. Strategy Refinement identified about 30 project concepts that can be advanced for more detailed study and project development.
-  Route 1 Bus Rapid Transit
The NJTPA joined with NJDOT, NJ Transit and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission in funding a study of a Bus Rapid Transit System along the US Route 1 corridor in Middlesex, Somerset, and Mercer Counties.
-  Freight System Performance Assessment Study
This 2005 study assessed the current and future system performance of the North Jersey region freight network. The study included the collection and refinement of freight data from a variety of sources.
-  PRIME Linkages
The New Jersey Innovation Institute and NJIT developed an approach to enhancing the NJTPA’s PRIME system for managing findings from regional and partner studies. PRIME Linkages researched “text analytics” techniques that could be added to PRIME in the future. This would enable PRIME to suggest categories and connections among the study findings based on the text that users enter. The study provided useful prototype software and insight into artificial intelligence applications for NJTPA transportation planning.