Regional Programs


Transit Planning in the NJTPA Region

Public transit is an essential component of the transportation system in the NJTPA region. This page provides an overview of key issues, trends and studies underway related to public transit. Further information can be obtained in the NJTPA’s Regional Transportation Plan.


Key Transit Stats

NJ TRANSIT serves 454,780 customers on a typical weekday. Of that number:
  • 277,860 (61%) ride the bus;
  • 136,346 (30.0%) use rail
  • 36,574 (8.0%) use light rail 
The percentage of commuters using public transportation increased from 11 percent in 2000 to 13 percent in 2010.
Over 290,000 (or more than 9 percent) of the region’s residents commute to Manhattan for work.

Over 75 percent of Manhattan-bound commuters use transit, highlighting an ongoing need to improve trans-Hudson capacity

The transit system in the NJTPA region is largely operated by NJ TRANSIT. NJ TRANSIT is the nation's third largest transit provider, linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia on 236 bus routes, 11 rail lines and three light rail lines. Private carriers also comprise a significant portion of the State’s bus network providing local and express service to a variety of intra-state and inter-state destinations, including New York and Philadelphia.


Numerous county and municipal transit services also operate to serve local work trips, connections to rail stations and other purposes (see NJTPA subregion page). Regional Transportation Management Associations provide other services.


Amtrak provides inter-city rail service in the Northeast Corridor linking New York, Newark, Trenton and points in between. The Port Authority of NY & NJ operates the PATH rail network, linking Newark, Harrison, Jersey City and Hoboken with Manhattan.


Investment in public transit remains a high priority in the NJTPA region. Every year, transit receives roughly half of the $1 billion in federal transportation funding  annually allocated  by the NJTPA. Most of this funding is used for maintaining a state of good repair of existing transit vehicles, facilities and services.


Collage - NJ Transit train at station and bus on streetAs the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Northern New Jersey, the NJTPA plays a critical role in funding, managing and participating in various transit improvement studies and activities to ensure planning is done in context with the needs of the region. The current studies page list several studies relating to transit commuting in the region. Promoting Transit Oriented Development around transit stations and hubs is a focus of NJTPA’s Planning for Emerging Centers Program.  In cooperation with Together North Jersey, NJTPA helped compile a guide book for transit hubs in 2019.

Municipalities and subregions receive support for shuttles and other mobility initiatives through Local Transit Grants.  These grants are guided by the Regional Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan (CHSTP) which provides a regional perspective for ongoing efforts to improve mobility for transportation disadvantaged people including: seniors, persons with disabilities, low income persons without a reliable way to get to work and rural travelers who face transportation challenges.