As part of Gov. Phil Murphy’s attempt to secure the World Cup final to New Jersey in 2026, NJ Transit is prioritizing increased capacity for public transportation to the Meadowlands Complex.
To that end, the transit agency advanced the Secaucus to Meadowlands Transitway Project with engineering for Phase 2 underway. NJT’s board budget for the next store is $35 million plus five percent for contingencies, subject to the availability of funds.
“By once again advancing this innovative project, NJ Transit shows that we are more than ready to tackle the world’s largest events,” said the agency’s President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “With this project advancing, NJ Transit is poised to provide an exceptional service experience to the Meadowlands Sports and Entertainment Complex, bolstering New Jersey’s prominence on the global stage.”
The goal of the project is to offer a solution that increases service capacity to seamlessly move customers between the Meadowlands Sports and Entertainment Complex and Secaucus Junction Station.
The Transityway is expected to utilize mostly-existing infrastructure and roadways to provide additional capacity, but the project will construct a new ground-level terminal at the Meadowlands.
Additionally, the agency will make modifications to the existing bus circulation configuration and terminal at Secaucus Junction to move a stadium’s worth of people between Secaucus Junction and the Meadowlands Sports and Entertainment Complex, anchored by MetLife Stadium.
“This critical initiative will support economic growth in the state, while effectively meeting the anticipated travel demands to New Jersey’s premier sports, retail and entertainment destinations,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJT’s Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti.
As part of the overall project, transit modes studied and advanced as a part of this work shall be configured such that they are capable of either being implemented with zero emission vehicles or be readily transitioned to zero emission vehicles in the future, with the capability of being scalable to fully autonomous vehicle operation as demonstrated advances in the industry allow.
Learning from Prior Mistakes
Questions about the mass transit connection between the MetLife and Secaucus Junction have loomed since Super Bowl XLVIII and Wrestlemania 35, two infamous events that resulted in wait times measured in hours.
But NJT officials point they have fewer issues handling larger crowds, especially noting their success for a May 2019 concert for K-pop band BTS that experts predicted would result in long wait times.
The U.S. last hosted the men’s FIFA World Cup in 1994, when Giants Stadium played host to seven games, including a quarterfinal and semifinal match. Additionally, Giants Stadium hosted the opening match for the women’s FIFA World Cup in 1999.