The NJTPA is seeking young adults with ideas for how to improve transportation and make northern and central New Jersey a vibrant place where people want to live.
Recruitment is underway for UpNext North Jersey, an advisory group open to residents of the NJTPA’s 13-county region who are ages 21 to 30. The NJTPA, with assistance from the Public Outreach and Engagement Team at Rutgers, launched the program in 2019 to engage young adults in the transportation planning process.
“As we prepare to update our Long Range Transportation Plan, it’s more important than ever that we engage younger people who will be using our transportation system for decades to come,” said Passaic County Commissioner John W. Bartlett, Chair of the NJTPA Board of Trustees. “UpNext members will help us create a vision for our region’s future.”
Members of the UpNext North Jersey advisory group will provide input on various ongoing NJTPA projects and programs, like the Long Range Transportation Plan and other initiatives at the county or community level.
“You don’t need to be a planner to serve on this advisory group. We’re hoping to recruit members as diverse as the 13-county region that we represent to ensure our plans reflect the needs of everyone who lives here,” NJTPA Executive Director David Behrend said.
As part of the program, the NJTPA provides UpNext North Jersey participants with unique opportunities to engage with thought leaders and decision makers throughout New Jersey. Events include leadership training opportunities, trips and site visits to important locations around the region, arts and cultural experiences, and opportunities to give back through volunteerism. The program aims to attract a broad range of young adults, not just those who are already engaged in planning or public policy fields.
The NJTPA region includes Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties.
After holding primarily virtual events since early 2020, UpNext returned to in-person events in late 2022, including a walking tour of Jersey City’s pedestrian plaza and bicycle facilities and a tour of Port Newark led by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Events are expected to take place quarterly beginning in summer 2023, and the NJTPA and Rutgers will be looking to UpNext members to help plan and lead events, using them as opportunities for participants to be creative and to hone their leadership skills.
Applications are being accepted through September 30. Click here to apply. To learn more, visit https://njtpa.org/UpNext.