Jersey City on the Move - Connect The Dots Insights
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Jersey City on the Move


City of Jersey City and North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority

Executive Summary:

As an emerging leader in transportation planning, Jersey City enlisted Connect the Dots to engage local residents in evaluating emerging mobility opportunities that could best supplement the existing transportation system. The team employed a layered engagement approach that involved dozens of interviews with community stakeholders to better understand hyper-local needs in conjunction with workshop-style public meetings. The engagement efforts resulted in powerful qualitiative insights including the discovery of a transit desert undetected by quantitative datasets, education of over 100 residents in emerging transportation technologies through public meetings, and the delivery of the final Alternatives Transportation Modes Assessment and related recommendations.

Purpose & Scope:

Jersey City has emerged as a leader in ambitious, decisive, forward-looking transportation planning and now, as cities look to rebuild smarter and more inclusively, communities need tactical, equitable transportation solutions to address past gaps and create a foundation for long-term success. As Engagement Lead, we collaborated with Sam Schwartz on an outreach-driven process to develop “JC On the Move,” a plan to better serve Jersey City’s most vulnerable populations using emerging mobility options. The goal of this study was to explore innovative and emerging mobility options and evaluate which modes best supplement the existing transit network and transportation system. By identifying the ideal conditions for policies, programs, and partnerships, Jersey City will leverage this information to support the growth of innovative transportation modes and technologies to build a more equitable transportation network.

Service Performed:

In collaboration with the City of Jersey City, we designed a multi-layered engagement approached characterized by tactics such as:

  • Conducting dozens of interviews with community stakeholders to better understand the specific needs of varying community areas. 
  • Convening virtual public meetings in small group workshop formats for robust interaction within pandemic restrictions; these meetings focused on education about emerging transportation modes and technologies as well as gauged comfort levels on topics from autonomous shuttles to micro mobility

Project Outcomes:

  • Through a combination of data analysis and creative engagement, the team identified gaps in mobility. By adding qualitative data on the lived experience, our engagement process provided an opportunity to address the mobility gaps that impact equity in Jersey City communities, even identifying a transit desert previously unidentified by data sources. 

Additional core outcomes included:

  • People reached: 1,400
  • People engaged: 1350 + survey  respondents, public meeting attendees and stakeholder interviews.
  • Delivery and publication of the plan, Alternatives Transportation Modes Assessment, which considers new mobility options in an objective, nuanced lens that keeps the focus on the growth of equitable and just systems, enhances existing infrastructure, and leads to meaningful change.