NJ Transit ran the bus service to Friday, but for some bus operators, it was the loneliest job in town.
In some cases, the buses arrived at the complex with no one on board. For lucky riders like me, I got a private ride on the biggest NJ Transit limo. Despite the threat of back-ups on the New Jersey Turnpike, and crowds swarming the public transportation options, I was the sole rider on the shuttle bus from Secaucus train station to American Dream and Nickelodeon Universe. on Friday.
I had a glitch before my ride even started when I could not use the Trip Planner or My Bus features on its smartphone app, which I'm a regular user of. Putting in American Dream got no results. NJ Transit spokeswoman Lisa Torbic came to the rescue and said the version of the app on my phone ̵
Once that glitch was conquered, I took a train to Secaucus Junction. NJ Transit had plenty of ambassadors to direct us, ok, me, to buses. The 356 bus stop is literally the first one after exiting the building.
I boarded the bus and had a private ride all to myself. No one else was on board. An employee was overheard saying there were three people and five buses as of 10 a.m.
My ride from Secaucus train station took less than 15 minutes, door-to-door. The bus ride was non-stop and seamless, cutting through the industrial areas of Secaucus before reaching Route 3 west of the Berry's Creek Bridge.
The Izod Center to American Dream , Nickelodeon Universe theme park and the ice rink.
I did that most unmasculine thing and asked for directions , A security worker talking on the way to the parking lot. Safety first. That worked until I ran out of walkway. Walking time was five minutes.
at the top of the stairs, it smelled like fest retail entertainment nirvana. Ok, more like a new car.
After 10:30 am, bus riders were met by vans that shuttled them to American Dream.
Among them was Diana Alexander and Walter Kvedar of Bayonne took Hudson -Belgen Light Rail to the 85 bus at Hoboken to American Dream.
"The ride was not too bad," Alexander said, adding they do not have a car.
But even if they did, Kvedar said they
"We just came to see it," he said.
I rode the 85 bus back and took the "scenic" route, meandering through the Mall at Mill Creek and Union City on the way to Hoboken, where shoppers can connect to Hudson's mountains Light rail trains. Thats a 54-minute end-to-end trip.
A couple who got on the 85 bus at American Dream got off at the next stop at the Mall at Mill Creek in Secaucus, perhaps to scratch a retail itch that the " Dream could not satisfy until next month. This bus is now in the middle of the creek.
For other people, the last minute, decided-to-go spontaneous option.
Gage Gomez of Islip, Long Island is said to be the bus from the Port Authority Bus Terminal after it leaves City College in Manhattan.
"It was very easy and super convenient," he said.
Gomez said he was doing some joining friends at American Dream.
"The word got around, it's a pretty cool attraction," he said.
Planners are counting on more people using the transit option to reduce the potential of gridlock on Route 3 to and from American Dream.
Eventually, the American Dream mall wants to include a DreamWorks waterpark, massive indoor ski slope called Big SNOW, more than 350 retailers and 100 dining options, aquarium, LEGOLand Discovery Center, CMX Luxury Movie Theater, Kidzania, and a 300-foot observation wheel. The next attraction is in a three-story candy department store, IT'SUGAR, on Nov. 7.
Nickelodeon Universe, the ice skating rink, and a small Sliver of the mall between the two attractions.
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