Passaic, New Jersey

Passaic is a vibrant city in Passaic County, New Jersey, with a population of over 70,000. Its roots date back to a 1679 Dutch settlement known initially as Acquackanonk. The name “Passaic” is derived from the Lenape word meaning “valley” or “place where the land splits.” Throughout the 19th century, Passaic transformed from a quaint village into an industrial hub for textiles and metalworking, centered around its strategic location on the Passaic River. Zip codes 07055 and 07077 are assigned to Passaic. 

One of Passaic’s most remarkable claims is being the “Birthplace of Television.” In 1931, the experimental station W2XCD began transmitting from the DeForest Radio Corporation, making it among the first to broadcast to homes. Pioneering television manufacturer Allen B. DuMont later launched the world’s first commercial TV network, the DuMont Television Network, from his Passaic-based DuMont Laboratories in 1946.

While honoring its industrial heritage, modern-day Passaic is a diverse community offering cultural attractions, parks, and recreational areas. Its proximity to major cities adds to its appeal as a commuter-friendly destination.

With a rich history and welcoming spirit, Passaic invites residents and visitors to experience its unique charms and discover why it remains a beloved city in New Jersey.

Things To Do & Places to See in Passaic, NJ

Passaic blends urban amenities and natural escapes, providing plenty of options to explore. From bustling city centers to serene parks, uncover the leading indoor and outdoor attractions that make this New Jersey locale appealing.


Industrial warehouse hosting haunted house attractions for Halloween & other holidays.


Play center & party venue with video games, pool tables, pinball machines, rides & food. 


Goth-themed watering hole with live rock & metal performances.


Lively nightclub with DJs and weekly Latino music nights & drag shows.

Restaurants: Best Food Places in Passaic


Serves happy hour food. Has live music. Good spot for watching your favorites sports team. 


Has kids’ menu. Does not accept reservations. 

Photo of Nachos

Mexican Restaurant


Serves tacos, fajitas & other Mexican fare, plus creative cocktails & happy hour.




Transit: Passaic's Public Transportation

In Passaic, New Jersey, getting around is convenient thanks to a mix of roads and highways. The city maintains most roads, some under Passaic County and a few managed by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. Route 21 is the primary highway for entering and exiting Passaic. Other major roads like Route 3, the Garden State Parkway, and I-80 are readily accessible nearby. Six bridges over the Passaic River allow car traffic, with one additional bridge dedicated to unused train tracks.

NJ Transit: Passaic boasts at least one NJ Transit train station in the Passaic Park area. The NJT Main Line offers southbound service to Hoboken, northbound service to Paterson, and even New York State.

Local Buses: The Passaic Bus Terminal is the hub for local bus routes. These buses connect you to nearby cities like Paterson, Newark, and New York City, as well as the Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) in Midtown Manhattan.

Commuter Jitneys: Commuter jitneys operate along Main Avenue for a more flexible option. These shared-ride vans offer frequent trips to Paterson, Union City, and directly into Manhattan for a fixed fare.

Schools: Education Centers

The district offers a variety of schools, including elementary schools like Vincent Capuana and Sallie D. Gamble and Passaic High School for older students. Each school focuses on fostering a positive learning environment for all.

Beyond public schools, Passaic boasts several private and religious schools catering to diverse needs. 

These include St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic School, The Collegiate School, Yeshiva Gedola of Passaic, and the Noble Leadership Academy (Islamic school), which offers pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade education. This variety reflects Passaic’s commitment to accommodating various educational preferences within its community.

Elementary School

Economy: Urban Enterprise Zones (UEZ)

The city of Passaic benefits from designated sections participating in the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program. Urban Enterprise Zones (UEZs) in New Jersey are designated areas within cities that aim to stimulate economic development and job creation by offering tax advantages and incentives to businesses.

Participating businesses can charge a reduced sales tax rate, receive tax credits for hiring local workers, and benefit from other financial incentives. This program is designed to attract investment, enhance commercial and retail services, and improve the quality of life for residents in economically distressed communities.

One significant benefit for businesses located within Passaic’s UEZ is a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate on eligible purchases for shoppers. This discounted rate is half of the regular 6.625% sales tax charged throughout the rest of the state. This tax incentive helps attract customers and boost sales for UEZ merchants.

In addition to the sales tax savings, the UEZ program offers other advantages to spur hiring and economic activity within designated zones. The city’s UEZ status, overseen by the Passaic Enterprise Zone Development Corporation, has been active since August 1994.

This economic development program has proven successful in Passaic, generating around $1.2 million in tax revenues annually. That money is reinvested into the local UEZ areas to support further growth and improvements benefiting city businesses and residents. Passaic’s participation in the UEZ initiative continues to be a critical economic driver for the city.

Local Geography

Passaic is a compact, entirely urban city in Passaic County, New Jersey, spanning only 3.24 square miles. Most of its area (3.13 sq mi) is land, with a small portion of water (0.11 sq mi). Clifton borders Passaic to the north, south, and west, while the Passaic River forms its eastern border.

Several bridges connect Passaic to neighboring towns across the river: Wallington, Garfield, and Rutherford. East Rutherford is not directly accessible by bridge but can be reached through these neighboring communities.

Passaic’s convenient location, just 10 miles from New York City and 12 miles from Newark Airport, makes it an attractive choice for commuters and those seeking easy access to a central metropolitan area. Its compact size and proximity to major transportation routes further enhance its appeal.

Discover the Charm of Passaic: Where Culture and Community Thrive Together

Dive into the heart of Passaic, New Jersey, and find yourself surrounded by its charm. Here, history meets the hustle and bustle of daily life. Wander through streets lined with shops that tell stories of the city’s diverse cultures. Taste the flavors of the world without ever leaving the neighborhood, and feel the community’s spirit welcoming you at every corner.

Your adventure in Passaic is filled with discoveries. From the echoes of the city’s industrial past to the lively parks and cozy neighborhoods, there’s always something new to experience. Whether you’re looking to explore the roots of television or enjoy a quiet afternoon in a beautiful park, Passaic has surprises waiting for you.