Public Info

Union County Freeholder Estrada Elected Chair of North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority—First Latino to Hold the Position


For more information contact:
David Behrend, NJTPA

Union County Freeholder Angel Estrada was elected Chair of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) at the Jan. 22 Board of Trustees meeting. He is the first Latino to hold the position.

“I am honored that my fellow Board members have chosen me to serve as chair of the NJTPA, and I am proud to become the first Latino to hold this position,” said Freeholder Estrada, who in 2004 became the first Latino ever selected as Chairman of the Union County Freeholder Board. “This is a challenging time for transportation in our region, with the growing need to build additional trans-Hudson tunnels, implement new technologies and much more. I look forward to working with the Board and our many partners to improve travel for all residents of our region.”

The NJTPA oversees regional transportation planning and annually authorizes more than $1 billion in federal surface transportation funding for 13 counties in northern and central New Jersey.

“On behalf of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, I would like to congratulate Freeholder Estrada on his appointment as Chairman of the NJTPA, and as a proud Latino, I’m thrilled to see him become the first Latino to hold this position,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “He has long been a trailblazer, and his leadership on the NJTPA has helped advance $38 million in Union County roadway and bridge projects that have upgraded our vibrant transportation network.”

Freeholder Estrada also recognized outgoing chairman Peter Palmer, who retired from the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders after more than 50 years of public service in various positions.

“In his long service, Peter has provided leadership in getting many, many vital projects built to improve travel in our region and state,” Chairman Estrada said. “He has been a forceful advocate for improved transit. He deserves all our thanks.”

Freeholder Estrada has been an NJTPA trustee since 2012 and served as a Board alternate before that. He has served as Chair of the NJTPA’s Project Prioritization Committee since 2016. He previously served as Chair of the Planning and Economic Development Committee in 2014.

Freeholder Estrada emigrated from Cuba 50 years ago and has called Elizabeth home ever since. He was first elected to the Board of Chosen Freeholders in 1999 and has more than 30 years of business and public service experience. He also serves on the EZ Ride Transportation Management Association’s Board of Trustees.

Prior to being elected freeholder, he served on the Elizabeth Board of Education and Elizabeth Housing Authority. He is a former vice president of the National Association of Hispanic County Officials.

NJTPA Board of Trustees Executive Committee

At the meeting, the NJTPA Board also selected four other members of its Executive Committee. In addition to Freeholder Estrada, the elected members of the Executive Committee are: Hunterdon County Freeholder Matthew Holt, First Vice-Chair; Passaic County Freeholder John Bartlett, Second Vice-Chair; and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Secretary. In accordance with the bylaws, Freeholder Estrada appointed Morris County Freeholder Kathryn A. DeFillippo to the position of Third Vice-Chair.

The Executive Committee provides guidance and leadership to the full Board on a wide range of planning, policy and administrative issues. It meets as needed to review financial, personnel and policy matters. Board membership is an uncompensated position.

The NJTPA is the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for 13 northern New Jersey counties. Under federal legislation, MPOs provide a forum where local officials, public transportation providers and state agency representatives can come together and cooperatively plan to meet the region’s current and future transportation needs. It establishes the region’s eligibility to receive federal tax dollars for transportation projects.

The NJTPA Board consists of one local elected official from each of the 13 counties in the region (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren), and the cities of Newark and Jersey City. The Board also includes a Governor’s Representative, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the Executive Director of NJ TRANSIT, the Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and a Citizen’s Representative appointed by the Governor.