In developing the NJTPA's Transportation Improvement Program
or TIP every two years, the NJTPA Board must make hard funding decisions among numerous needed projects and programs. The fiscal constraint mandate of federal law requires that the TIP can only include projects for which funding is available.
To accomplish this, the NJTPA develops a prioritized (ranked) list of projects and provides this list to the state's two principal implementing agencies, NJDOT and NJ Transit. Like other Metropolitan Planning Organizations across the country, the NJTPA has established prioritization procedures to evaluate and score projects. The criteria used to prioritize projects is available here
The NJTPA’s Project Prioritization process consists of two steps:
- Application of Project Prioritization Criteria - During the development of the Study & Development program, projects are evaluated and scored based on technical measures of how well they fulfill the goals of the current NJTPA Regional Transportation Plan, known as Plan 2045. This is expressed in the Project Prioritization Criteria. All projects eligible for the TIP are ranked using these scores.
- Application of Additional Priority Factors - Additional factors such as feasibility of project delivery, funding availability and project timing are then considered. This entails consultations and negotiations among the NJTPA Central Staff, professional and elected officials from the subregions, as well as staffs of the NJDOT and NJ Transit.
The NJTPA Central Staff administers the project prioritization process, with participation by the implementing agencies, the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee (RTAC) and the Project Prioritization Committee (PPC) of the Board of Trustees. The project scores resulting from this process are considered during development of the state's Transportation Capital Program (TCP). The TCP is submitted to the state legislature for the appropriation of state transportation funding. The TCP becomes the basis for development of the TIP every two years.