New Jersey Transit to Manhattan

Getting the New Jersey Transit to Manhattan is a cheap, easy, and quick way to get into Manhattan from Newark Liberty International Airport. The Manhattan traffic can be a nightmare and getting into the City can be a long grind by road.

By jumping onto the New Jersey Transit Train You cut out all the traffic. You can be in the center of Manhattan only 40 minutes after reclaiming your bag. Budget a full hour and you will almost certainly be early. It’s also up there as one of the cheapest methods of getting into the city. The combined AirTrain and NJ Transit Train ticket costs $15.25 (as of Mar 2021) per person.

New Jersey Transit to Manhattan

The only downside, apart from having to slum it on public transport, Is the fact you are going to Penn Station New York. Like it or not. This may be great and right near your hotel, as Penn Station is right in the middle of Midtown that’s highly likely. But it might not be the case in which case you are going to have to transfer somewhere else. Either by Taxi or Subway. And if it’s Subway, your suitcases are going to feel mighty heavy all of a sudden.

So What’s the trip actually like ? Read on and we will guide you through the process

Read Our Guide here for alternatives for getting from Newark liberty airport to Manhattan

Newark Airport AirTrain

After leaving immigration and collecting your luggage you head out of the terminal. You need to look for signs saying “AirTrain”. You are looking for the AirTrain to New York.  But in reality, it only goes as far as the Newark Liberty International Airport Train Station where you change onto an NJ Transit Train. The signs however state “AirTrain to New York” along with other destinations but you need to make sure you keep following for New York.

automated ticket machines at the newark liberty international airport train station new jersey

It’s not far and any changes in elevation are escalated or elevators provided.

Before the entrance, there will be ticket machines. Here you can buy your combined ticket for the journey into Penn Station. The cost is $15.25. The machines are normally manned by an attendant who will help you through the process. If not Its fairly self-explanatory. Just remember you are going all the way to Penn Station New York.

The Airtrain Loops around the airport serving all terminals and the car parks and Hire car locations. So remember to head toward the Newark Liberty International Airport Train Station or it will be a LONG journey The AirTrains are very frequent and you won’t have a long wait at all. A few minutes at most.

Newark AirTrain map

The Final Stop is the Newark Liberty International Airport Train Station where you need to board the train into Manhattan.

nj transit multilevel train

New Jersey Transit Train

Within a few minutes, the AirTrain will arrive at Newark Liberty International Airport Train Station. From here you need to follow signs to board the train headed for New York, Penn Station. The Platform is open-air and the trains are fairly frequent depending on the time. There are digitized displays on the platform telling you when the next train is.

Once on the Train, the 3rd Stop will be Penn Station, New York. This is the Terminus of the Train so you won’t miss it. But it’s important to note that you will pass through Penn Station New Jersey. DO NOT get off here. You are still on the wrong side of the Hudson River and you really don’t want to go swimming with your suitcase. Stay on until you reach Penn Station, New York. The last time We visited a group of Chinese tourists did indeed get off at Penn Station New Jersey despite a friendly New Yorker trying to convey the message this probably wasn’t the stop they wanted…who knows maybe it was?

At Penn Station New York Head for the Exits. The station is all escalated so luggage is no problem.

What Next?

If you are walking to your hotel from here, take a few minutes outside to catch your breath and orientate yourself. Manhattan is the easiest city in the world to navigate but only if you know which way North is! Be prepared to be approached by Hawkers. This will be a theme for your entire trip. So get used to a polite smile and a “No Thanks”. Try not to engage more than that.

If your hotel is further than you wish to walk then you can hail a Cab. They will be waiting for you kerbside.

New York Subway

You can also catch a Subway from here to a stop a little closer to your hotel. Explaining the Subway is beyond the scope of this article. But almost anywhere in New York City is accessible via the Subway from Penn station. The problem here is the Subway stations are not as easily accessible with your luggage as Penn Station is. You will need to Hump your bag up and down a few flights of stairs. Which is not to everyone’s tastes.

A single Trip Costs $2.75 or a 7-day unlimited pass is $33.00 (you need to buy a re-usable metro card for a one-off $1 fee as well)

So to Recap.

  • AirTrain from your Terminal to Newark Liberty International airport train Station
  • Change from AirTrain to NJ Transit Train headed for Penn Station New York
  • Stay on at Penn Station New Jersey
  • Disembark at Penn Station New York
  • Connect to your Hotel via Taxi, Subway or by foot.
  • Cost: $15.25  (+taxi fare or $2.75 tube)
  • Time: Less than 1hr to Penn Station New York

Getting Back

The Process is exactly the same in Reverse. Just Follow the Signs at Penn Station for the NJ Transit. Inside you can Purchase a Ticket for both the NJ Transit and AirTrain, this time there will be manned Kiosks. Once on the train, The 3rd stop is Newark Liberty International Airport Train Station. Change here for the AirTrain to Your Terminal. Don’t assume it’s the same terminal you landed at check your Airline Booking to be 100% sure.

While the Timings are the Same on the reverse leg, Always plan a larger buffer in to make sure you get there in plenty of time. Delays can and do happen and Being late for a hotel Checking doesn’t matter. Being late for your flight does.

Have Your Say

have you Used the NJ Transit from Newark to Manhattan? Let me know how you got on in the comments below or feel free to ask questions. If you want alternative Transportation alternatives read Our guide here

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