Discussion during workshop.

Participants discussed topics from crowd management to apps for navigating the transit system.

Inaugural workshop convened international leaders in large-event execution, including transportation planners of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

More than one million soccer fans will travel from across the world to the New York/New Jersey region in 2026, as MetLife Stadium hosts eight FIFA World Cup games including the international competition’s prestigious final match.

Transporting this many people to games and throughout the region is no small task and requires coordinated efforts across the state and region. On Monday, NJ TRANSIT hosted the first of many workshops dedicated to planning and preparing transportation systems for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Held in partnership with the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and the Rutgers University School of Engineering’s Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT), the workshop convened experts from around the world at the Rutgers University—Newark Business School to share insights and best practices from past large events.

“This partnership with UITP and Rutgers CAIT allows us to take best practices from around the globe and incorporate them in our planning to make this the best World Cup ever,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “This workshop represents a key component of our broader strategy to ensure the best possible transit experience for all those attending the FIFA 2026 World Cup Finals, along with the seven additional matches at MetLife Stadium.”

Workshop participants included Sir Peter Hendy, who was commissioner of Transport for London from 2006 to 2015, and who led the successful operation of London’s transportation for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Hendy and other speakers from the United States Department of Transportation, LA Metro, and the FIFA NYNJ Host Committee shared best practices and common challenges from their experiences with major international events.

Topics covered at the workshop included approaches to keeping crowds calm, security improvements, accessibility and mobility services, integrated ticketing, and user-friendly apps and signs for navigating transit stations.

Large event planning workshop.

Future workshops will build from this discussion as planning continues for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

“A successful FIFA World Cup 2026 will require cross-agency collaboration to ensure transportation infrastructure is reliable, accessible, and accommodates the diverse needs of millions of fans worldwide,” said Ali Maher, CAIT director and professor in the School of Engineering. “This workshop is the first of many to bring stakeholders and experts together to share best practices. CAIT is proud to be at the table and leverage our resources to support this major undertaking.”

Rutgers students and CAIT researchers participated in the event, taking notes, contributing to discussions, and sharing their expertise in transportation. CAIT will also be assisting NJ Transit in synthesizing best practices stemming from the workshop.

“With the FIFA World Cup 2026 less than two years away, there is a concentrated focus on transportation, infrastructure and security efficiencies for the highly anticipated Final match,” said Lauren LaRusso and Bruce Revman, Co-Host City Managers of the FIFA World Cup 26™ NYNJ Host Committee. “Working in tandem with NJ Transit and leveraging the expertise of UITP and Rutgers CAIT, we’re committed to further enhancing our transportation system and making the FIFA World Cup 2026 a remarkable experience for all who visit.”