NJ Transit announced its plans for service to the American Dream shopping and entertainment complex, some of which has already started.

The 3-million-square-foot complex in the Meadowlands with more than 450 retail shops and 15 entertainment attractions will open to the public on Oct. 25 when the Nickelodeon Universe theme park, DreamWorks Water Park and the Big SNOW Ski and Snowboard Park begin operations.

A schedule for the retail operations, restaurants and other entertainment areas has not been announced by developer Triple Five.

NJ Transit will operate express bus service from New York's Port Authority bus terminal as well as an express bus service from Secaucus beginning on opening day. Three local bus routes have already been expanded to accommodate the mall's workers.

The new and expanded service:

  • Bus Route 355: A new line will operate daily from the Port Authority Bus Terminal to the American Dream every 30 minutes.
  • Bus Route 356: Daily express service from Secaucus Junction to the American Dream every 30 minutes.
  • Bus Routes #85 (Hoboken/Union City to Secaucus), #703 (Paterson/Passaic to East Rutherford) and #772 (Hackensack to the Meadowlands)  have already expanded their hours of operation and will stop at the American Dream. Until the "dedicated hub" is completed buses will stop at the race track.

The schedule is not written in stone and NJ Transit said it will monitor the initial service and make adjustments as needed. Meetings will be held to get public input.

The service came under scrutiny from Janna Chernetz, New Jersey policy director for the non-profit Tri-State Transportation Campaign. She told Bloomberg that the bus may not be the best way for people loaded with purchases.

NJ Transit did not announce fares or a schedule for the new lines.

The agency said regular rail service would be announced "once the rail system is resilient enough that doing so won’t adversely affect NJ Transit commuters," according to a statement.

Service on the Meadowlands line is currently scheduled for events that will attract crowds of 50,000 or more, including Jets and Giants games.

It can only operate one train at a time with a maximum of 7,500 riders per hour.  NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder has said $250 million would help to "buy a better system."

Gov. Phil Murphy, speaking on a panel in May at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, said state Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti is looking at magnetic monorail to connect train lines to the American Dream mall.

According to the mall website, customers will be able to get to the complex via a shuttle from a NY Waterway ferry in Weehawken.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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