The NJTPA is the federally authorized Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for 7 million people in the 13-county northern New Jersey region. The region has 384 of the state's 564 municipalities. Each year, the NJTPA oversees more than $2 billion in transportation improvement projects and provides a forum for interagency cooperation and public input. It also sponsors and conducts studies, assists county planning agencies and monitors compliance with national air quality goals.
A MPO is a federally mandated and federally funded transportation planning agency made up of representatives from local government and key transportation agencies. Congress created MPOs to give local elected officials a stronger role in guiding federal transportation investment and to ensure that these decisions are based on a continuing, cooperative and comprehensive (“3C”) planning process. A list of short videos explaining MPO planning are in the box.
The NJTPA Board of Trustees includes 15 local elected officials representing 13 counties—Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren—and the cities of Newark and Jersey City. These are called the NJTPA “subregions.” The Board also includes a Governor’s Representative, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the President & CEO of NJ TRANSIT, the Chairman of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and a Citizen’s Representative appointed by the Governor.
The mission of the NJTPA is to:
- Create a vision to meet the mobility needs for people and goods;
- Develop a plan for transportation improvement and management to fulfill the vision;
- Partner with citizens, counties, cities, state, and federal entities to develop and promote the transportation plan;
- Prioritize federal funding assistance to make the plan a reality; and
- Link transportation planning with safety and security, economic growth, environmental protection, growth management, and quality of life goals for the region.
Further information on the NJTPA and the planning process it oversees is available in the NJTPA Board of Trustees handbook (pdf) and the Brief Guide to NJTPA Planning.
Three standing committees—Planning & Economic Development; Project Prioritization; and Freight Initiatives—make recommendations on action items to be considered by the full Board. The Board and committees are supported by a 50-person staff, located in Newark. The NJTPA staff also supports and directs planning work by county and city member subregions. A Regional Transportation Advisory Committee composed of planners and engineers from the subregions meets bi-monthly to review regional issues.