NJ Transit (NJT) continued to advance its “Innovation Challenge” project for the Meadowlands by submitting a Request for Proposals to increase capacity between the Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station at Secaucus Junction and the Meadowlands Complex.
NJT officials noted it was looking to post-pandemic demands on the mass transit situation and making investments, plans and design choices for projects with long lead times.
It is looking for proposals that could provide end-to-end solutions for peak capacity service, with plans to be submitted accounting for design, build, operations, management options, and funding for each.
“This RFP will allow NJ Transit to receive and evaluate proposals from the best and the brightest in the industry,” said President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “It’s an encouraging and important step forward in our goal to provide more robust public transit, with increased capacity, to the Meadowlands Sports and Entertainment Complex from Secaucus.”
Moving Mass Amounts of People
The agency is looking for a solution to a unique challenge. The transit agency wants to figure out a way to move a stadium’s worth of people seamlessly and continuously between Secaucus Junction and the Meadowlands Sports and Entertainment Complex.
NJT noted the Meadowlands faced unique challenges in the mass transit sphere. The center welcomed 40 million visitors annually, hosted sporting events and concerts. Additionally, highly-sensitive environmental features needed to be protected, and a patchwork of existing roads and rail lines had to be considered.
“Partnering with industry to find innovative, creative and sustainable solutions to enhance our public transportation system, particularly to a popular destination like the Meadowlands, is a way to generate viable environmentally-friendly projects to meet our future needs,” New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said.
2026 FIFA World Cup Bid
MetLife Stadium, which stands in the Meadowlands Sports and Entertainment Complex alongside the racetrack and American Dream mall, hopes to serve as a host venue for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
“The forward thinking ideas that are sure to emerge will better connect the Meadowlands with the rest of the NYC-Metro area, allow people to visit for major events without getting into their cars, attract new entertainment, meetings and hospitality businesses, and reestablish the Meadowlands Region as New Jersey’s major economic driver,” said Jim Kirkos, CEO of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber.
The Meadowlands hosted the Super Bowl in 2014, and hundreds were left waiting at the stadium more than two hours after the event concluded, according to a report from USA Today at the time.
At the time, the Super Bowl—billed as the first-ever “Mass Transit Super Bowl”—occured delays that left frustrated fans who were looking to return home.