Shoppers and theme park enthusiasts hoping to take public transportation to the American Dream mega-mall, slated to open on Oct. 25, will have to take a bus on already traffic-choked roads, unless a private helicopter falls within their budget.
According to estimates, the mall could draw 40 million people each year.
NJ Transit released a plan for public review more than a month later than an agreed-upon deadline,which relies entirely on beefing up bus routes.
NJ Transit’s plan calls for a new bus route to be created, Route No. 355, which will operate daily express service from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan to American Dream every 30 minutes, starting on the mega-mall’s opening date. New Yorkers who take this route will pay a “premium” price for tickets, $9 one-way and $18 round-trip.
NY Waterway adds shuttle buses
NY Waterway recently announced that it will partner with American Dream to coordinate shuttles from its Port Imperial Terminal in Weehawken to the American Dream Mall.
NY Waterway ferries depart from the West 39th Street terminal and reach the Port Imperial terminal every ten minutes. Starting on Oct. 25, shuttles will be there to pick up shoppers.
Shuttle buses will keep long hours, leaving frequently for American Dream. Tickets will be available at nywaterway.com/americandream. Prices have not yet been announced.
“We are honored to be the exclusive ferry partner for American Dream, a visionary and exciting new destination,” said founding NY Waterway president Arthur E. Imperatore. “American Dream guests will enjoy an exhilarating, fast, convenient trip from Manhattan with NY Waterway’s unrivaled reputation for safety and reliability.”
Other NJ Transit routes
More NJ Transit buses along Route No. 772, which operates between Paramus, Hackensack, and the Meadowlands District, and Route No. 119, which operates between Bayonne, Jersey City, and New York City, will see expanded service to accommodate the anticipated transit demand.
Route No. 356, will offer express service to the American Dream from Secaucus Junction every 30 minutes. Route No. 85, which operates in Hoboken, Union City, and Secaucus, began making American Dream stops on Aug. 31, as did Route No. 703, which operates from Paterson and Passaic to East Rutherford.
NJ Transit’s plan banks on buses alleviating traffic on local roads and highways, but some observers don’t expect a significant portion of the mall’s visitors to opt for public transportation.
Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli told The Hudson Reporter that he is among those who fear the worst when it comes to the anticipated impact the mall’s opening will have on local traffic. Traffic jams on Route 3 already plague the township during football games at MetLife Stadium.
Only 15 percent of football fans currently rely on public transportation to get to MetLife Stadium. The overwhelming majority take their own cars. Whether that rate will be better or worse among shoppers weighed down by purchases and wet waterpark clothes will be determined after the mall opens.
With the opening of American Dream slated for Oct. 25, the Hudson County region will see the NJ Transit’s transportation plan kick into action, as shoppers flood local roadways by bus or car.