By; Mike Mustiglione
New Jersey Transit needs help.
The group is reaching out to the private sector for help in moving people easily and efficiently to a new mega-mall located just west of Manhattan.
“It can’t take 10 years,” Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, New Jersey’s transportation commissioner and NJ Transit board chairwoman, said during an East Rutherford event on Thursday that included possible partners. “Frankly it can’t take five.”
October 25 saw the soft opening of the nearly three-million square foot American Dream entertainment and shopping complex located nearly nine miles west of Manhattan. According to Crain’s New York Business, New Jersey Transit rail “was to serve the mall and its neighbors, a harness racetrack and a sports stadium whose two teams, the Jets and Giants, make it the National Football League’s busiest venue. But the cash-strapped railroad never built a crucial Meadowlands track loop, and says it can’t operate regular service there without upending the New York City commute. The region’s highways are among the nation’s most traffic-choked and promise to worsen, as American Dream is forecasting 40 million visitors annually.”
“We are looking for firms that we can potentially partner with on the design, build, operating, maintenance and finance of the solution,” NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said in an email on Nov. 6,” according to Crain’s. “State officials have said they would consider electric rail, similar to the $5 billion line under construction at Los Angeles International Airport, a magnetic-levitation train and bus rapid transit.”
Getting people to and from American Dream is something of a logistic marvel to begin with. NJ Transit bus service leaves from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The 355 express provides service every 30 minutes from gate 305 at Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. From Secaucus Junction, the 356 express provides service every 30 minutes from platforms 8, 9, and 10 at Secaucus Junction.
In addition, three local bus routes offer expanded operating hours:
85 Hoboken / Union City
As the mall notes on its web site, “Lyft, the Official Rideshare Partner of American Dream, makes getting to and from the property even easier. You can now request a driver from your current location and then select our exclusive pickup or drop-off zone at American Dream.”
There is also the ferry: NY Waterway offers quick and easy service to American Dream from the Midtown W39th Street Ferry Terminal and Port Imperial, Weehawken.