Public Involvement

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UpNext North Jersey

Passaic County Freeholder John Bartlett speaks to UpNext members at an event in Paterson.

The NJTPA created UpNext North Jersey to engage young adults in our region in the transportation planning process. It was established in the Public Engagement Plan that the NJTPA Board adopted in late 2018.

This informal advisory group, launched in 2019, consists of about 25 young adults. It is open to residents in the NJTPA region who are ages 21 to 30. The group is intended to provide input on various NJTPA projects and programs, most recently the NJTPA’s next long-range transportation plan, Plan 2050: Transportation, People, Opportunity.

UpNext members visit Great Falls National Historic Park in Paterson.Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, UpNext members visited the Paterson Museum and Great Falls National Historic Park.  Several other planned trips and tours were postponed due to the pandemic; since then the group has shifted to mostly virtual meetings and activities. Most recently UpNext has provided the NJTPA with input on its series of Plan 2050 background papers and also participated in an “Active Transportation Challenge,” documenting walking or biking challenges and opportunities in various locations.  
Post-pandemic, the NJTPA anticipates providing UpNext members with unique opportunities to engage with thought-leaders and decision-makers, in addition to offering visits to unique transportation-related locations, arts and cultural experiences, and potential volunteer opportunities.

UpNext North Jersey is one several new initiatives aimed at reaching groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the transportation planning process. In the past, the NJTPA has used civic dinner parties, part of our Set the Table initiative, to engage young adults. This advisory group builds off of that effort.

Check out our Public Engagement Plan to learn more about how we work to involve the public in all that we do.