In a public ceremony, New Jersey Transit opened a newly expanded bus plaza at the Secaucus Junction train station on Tuesday, March 29. The six new lanes at the bus plaza will serve intrastate lines, interstate lines, requested Secaucus “EZ Ride” rides, and Secaucus shuttle bus routes.
The plaza now has a total of 14 bus platforms, up from eight. Under a 590-foot canopy, the six new NJ Transit bus platforms boast new lighting, closed circuit video cameras, and a public address system whose sound level can be adjusted so riders can hear it over the sounds of idling vehicles.
Among the lines served are the Secaucus resident shuttle bus provided by NJ Transit and paid for by the town. It makes stops at places like Meadowland Parkway, 10th Street, Paterson Plank Road, and more. Now the buses also stop at the new plaza, where passengers can then catch another bus or train to New York or elsewhere. In the past, these buses did stop at the front doors of the junction, but now they are dropped off at the plaza to transfer to a greater selection of buses.
Commuters can pay $3.50 to go from the new bus plaza to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. The weekday buses leave as early as 6:41 a.m. to as late as 11:25 p.m. These New York-bound buses arrive in Secaucus every 15 minutes before noon and during rush hour on weekdays.
More bus capacity and bus lanes could mean less traffic on Exit 15X on the NJ Turnpike, Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli said.
“It’s good for the town,” he said, “because a lot of the traffic won’t be on local roadways, so it’s not really impacting us negatively. It’s a good way to get people into the city.”
“It’s beautiful the way it’s set up. It’s a good addition for commuters.” – Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli
Despite his approval, Gonnelli was upset because he was not informed about the opening until Secaucus citizens told him they read it in newspaper reports. He said he plans to send a letter to NJ Transit complaining.
He has since toured the station, however. “It’s beautiful the way it’s set up,” he said. “It’s a good addition for commuters.”
Gonnelli said he also plans to mention to NJ Transit that the platform in the new station for the Secaucus town shuttle bus is the last one, platform 14. He would like for it to be one of the closer ones to the entrance.
According to NJT Senior Public Information Officer Lisa Torbic, the new renovations and bus berths were one-third federally-funded and two-thirds state funded for a total of $15.2 million.
Port Authority extensions
On a separate note, Mayor Gonnelli wrote to Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman John Degnan recently because someone had given him information about another potential terminal being built in Secaucus, but as it turned out, the person was confused and the terminal in question is being built next to the existing Port Authority terminal in Manhattan.
The Port Authority responded with a letter telling Gonnelli that a new terminal will be built over the next nine years starting in 2017, beside the existing one. And it will serve Secaucus bus lines.
This upcoming terminal will not affect the current rides into Manhattan until some are switched over.
Gonnelli had written a letter to the Port Authority in 2014 complaining about the condition of the gate in the Port Authority serving buses to Secaucus, saying, “Empty wrappers, trash, dirt and indescribable grime, the stench of urine, vomit and other unidentifiable substances smeared on glass and walls… all of these are conditions that my constituents from the Town of Secaucus face on their daily commute through the Port Authority Building.” However, within months of the letter being sent, residents told Gonnelli that they had seen improvements near their gate.
Samantha Meyers can be reached at email@example.com .