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Tue September 21 2021

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Ideas sought for US sports complex access

31 Aug NJ Transit has awarded the first contract in an innovation challenge that seeks to optimise peak travel capacity to a major sports complex.

The Met Life Stadium is part of the complex
The Met Life Stadium is part of the complex

Its directors have approved a contract with HNTB Corporation for the concept phase of the innovation challenge for the Meadowlands Transitway project. The approximately US$3.5m (£2.5m) contract is designed to help NJ Transit increase the capacity for moving people between the Meadowlands Sports & Entertainment Complex and Secaucus Junction.

Meadowlands Station serves American Dream, Meadowlands Race Track, and MetLife Stadium. There can be 82,500 attendees at NFL games and 52,000 concert attendees at MetLife Stadium. Up to 20,000 people ride NJ Transit services to MetLife events and more than 30 million people a year vist American Dream, with anywhere between 500-6,000 transit passengers an hour depending on the season, day of the week and time of day.

Governor Phil Murphy said: “The Meadowlands Complex is home to many of our state’s premier attractions, including MetLife Stadium and American Dream. This forward-thinking initiative by NJ Transit will explore ways to get more people to and from the many sporting and entertainment events and venues in the Meadowlands, in a safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly manner.”

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New Jersey Department of Transportation commissioner and NJ Transit board chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said: “Awarding this contract brings us closer to implementing a new, sustainable, and creative public transportation system in the Meadowlands. This innovative partnership with the industry will generate environmentally friendly transportation solutions that meet both present and future needs.”

In February 2021, NJ TRANSIT advertised the request for proposals for the innovation challenge at the Meadowlands. By April, four interested firms had submitted their proposals, which were evaluated by NJ Transit. HNTB Corporation was deemed the best-qualified firm to provide conceptual development for the project at a final cost of approximately US$3.5m.

The Meadowlands represents a very distinct set of challenges to mass transit which must be addressed as the project progresses. The area is densely populated and includes heavily congested roads and an existing rail line to Secaucus Junction. Environmentally, the project will need to pay careful attention to the Hackensack River and its surrounding meadows.

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