NY-NJ transit agencies outline Super Bowl plans

The New York area’s major transportation agencies announced

separate plans for moving crowds of football fans for February’s

Super Bowl, and their presentations Monday carried a common theme:

Don’t drive.

”I think it’s the smartest thing – people don’t know where

they’re going and it’s a dense area,” said Al Kelly, head of the

Super Bowl host committee. ”If you want to party, it’s a safe way

to get around, a reliable way to get around. I think people should

put the getting around in the hands of the professionals.”

Those professionals gathered at the Secaucus Junction rail

station to outline their plans. Absent was a plan to offer an

all-purpose pass that could be used on all transit systems in New

York and New Jersey. That had been discussed in the early stages

after the game was awarded to MetLife Stadium in 2010, but was

ultimately deemed too complicated, Kelly said Monday.

Organizers are billing the first outdoor, cold-weather Super

Bowl as the first mass-transit Super Bowl, and their fervent hope

is that fans will use public transportation to get to the game as

well as to the official and non-official activities leading up to

it.

Those hopes are rooted in pragmatism. With hundreds of thousands

of commuters moving into and out of New York on an average day, the

influx of an estimated 400,000 people for the Super Bowl – most of

whom won’t have tickets to the Feb. 2 game – could throw the

region’s roads into chaos.

In addition, MetLife Stadium’s approximately 28,000 parking

spaces for a New York Giants or New York Jets game will be pared to

12,000 to 13,000 due to security and television requirements.

Ticketholders will be required to buy a parking pass to park at the

stadium, as will buses and shuttles as they won’t be allowed to

drop off passengers and leave. There will be about 1,600 spaces set

aside for buses, Kelly said.

The host committee will offer buses for ticketholders on game

day for $51 from five locations in New York City and three in New

Jersey. New Jersey Transit is selling a $50 commemorative ”Super

Pass” good for travel on its rail, light rail and bus lines from

Jan. 27 to Feb. 3, and has expanded its platform at Secaucus to

accommodate longer trains to MetLife Stadium.

Trains will be added on Port Authority Trans-Hudson service

between New York and Hoboken, Jersey City and Newark, and on the

Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Long Island Railroad and

Hudson lines.

In addition, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will

dedicate additional lanes at its Hudson River tunnels to traffic

heading to New Jersey before the game and to New York after the

game, and Amtrak will suspend regular repair work on tunnels going

into New York’s Penn Station and will add a stop at the Secaucus

station for some of its trains on Super Bowl Sunday.

Much of the game-day burden figures to fall on NJ Transit, which

is expected to carry as many as three times as many passengers from

Secaucus on Super Bowl Sunday than it did for Sunday’s Jets-Oakland

game, according to executive director James Weinstein.

Weinstein said Monday the agency has conducted drills at a

recent Giants and Jets game and has made adjustments.

”It can be as simple as people walking all the way to the end

of the platform and the doors opening up and everybody getting on,

instead of lingering,” he said. ”In order to get 1,300 to 1,500

people on the train efficiently, that’s what has to happen. We

believe it’s probably going to be less of a challenge getting

people who are unfamiliar with our system to do that.”