Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page > Commute from RPI, Albany to Newark Airport for Monday night
Notices

Commute from RPI, Albany to Newark Airport for Monday night

Reply

Mar 4th, 2011, 07:38 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Commute from RPI, Albany to Newark Airport for Monday night

Hi,

I am going to RPI and then I need to catch a flight out of Newark airport leaving at 8:45 pm on Monday night. I need to return the rental car and take the airport shuttle to go to the terminal. Good news is, I have no bggage to check. Just go through secruity.

How late I can leave RPI? I have a campus tour for my daughter from 2:30 to 3:30. Please advise how traffic is going to be around Newark area past I-87S. What are the traffic bottleneck areas? Are there any safe bets to avoid any congestions? Thanks much.
mcotocjb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2011, 08:20 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 9,891
This is a really long drive (at least 3 hours), so I wouldn't leave any later than 3:30. It's a pretty straightforward drive, but it's well over 150 miles. I don't commute by car anywhere, so I can't give you any suggestions, but I would expect you'd still hit fairly bad rush-hour traffic as you near the airport, and that can be really bad at times. If you have bad luck, this could be a real nail-biter.

Be aware that security at EWR can take a while, so you don't want to cut things too close.
doug_stallings is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2011, 09:23 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,639
I think leaving at 3:30 is cutting this very close. You can easily hit traffic anywhere in the general Metro area until 7:30 or so - amd there's no way of knowing what wil be better or worse on any specific day.

Listen to the local news channel - 1010 WINS - to hear about accidents or esp bad delays so you can avoid them. And have a good large size map of the area in case you need to make detours - a GPS would be useless.
nytraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2011, 09:34 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,709
I would forget driving altogether. There's a 4:15 pm Amtrak.com train from Albany that gets into NYC Penn station at 6:45. From there you take a NJtransit.com train to EWR. You avoid having to return a rental car at the airport and any traffic issues. There's a drop box for Hertz cars at the Albany train station (double check this) that would save you a lot of time.
mclaurie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2011, 11:13 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 674
I'm with McLaurie on this. Take the train. Traffic can be horrendous during rush hour in the EWR area. And the confluence of highways, combined with particularly poor signage, makes driving all the more difficult for drivers unfamiliar with the area.

If you do take Amtrak 244 from Albany at 4:15 arriving at New York Penn at 6:45, then NJTransit to EWR, you can catch NJT 3977 at 7:03 arriving at EWR at 7:28, NJT 3279 at 7:08 arriving at 7:33, NJT 3177 at 7:16 arriving at 7:37, or NJT 3281 at 7:22 arriving at 7:48.

The transfer within Penn Station can be confusing, but, by about 7:00, most of the commuter traffic will be gone and there will likely be a transit official or police officer you can ask for directions within the rabbit-warren-like station.

Once you get to the EWR NJTransit station, you'll then need to transfer (a five-minute walk) to the AirTrain, a monorail system that runs every three minutes and takes you directly to your airline terminal, a trip of no more than 11 minutes. There are combined fares for NJTransit and the AirTrain, about which you can get information here: http://1.usa.gov/i6YmvQ. Be sure to buy your NJTransit/AirTrain tickets before you board NJTransit or you'll pay a $5 on-board purchase surcharge. (Thus the 7:03 NJT may not be possible.)

This sounds much more complicated than it really is, but the bottom line: don't drive.
bspielman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2011, 11:37 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,880
I'd also suggest the train over driving, and if there are any delays, you might have a back up plan to stay overnight or maybe there is a later flight you can catch. This will be a close one even if the train gods are with you and everything is on time. Security at Newark can be long depending on flights leaving, so just in case have a back up plan, or just come into the city, stay overnight site-see, catch a show and leave the next day.
travelbuff is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2011, 08:45 PM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
We may skip RPI and leave from Albany Medical College right after lunch to avoid any delay or excitements. Renting and taking train tends get too expensive. I am opting for the rental car option all the way. It looks like 287S to 78E is the better option to reach airport. Are there any constructions going on out there? How long would it be from downton Albany to reach Newark airport via 287 and 78?
mcotocjb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2011, 09:08 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,880
This is at least a 3 hour drive, and longer if you factor in rush hour. Leave as early as possible.
travelbuff is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 7th, 2011, 12:10 AM
  #9
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,647
From RPI campus it'll only take you about 20min to get onto the NYS Thruway at Albany, so leaving from Albany Med doesn't save that much driving time.

Personally I'd have no concerns leaving RPI at 3:30 to get to Newark for an 8:45 flights out of Newark. The 1st 120 miles are wide open road with an effective speed limit of 70-75.

The route I'd normally take in NJ would be Rt17 to 80 to the Turnpike/I95, but you could get stuck in the Rt17 bottleneck just south of Rt4.

So I'd take 287 to 80 to 280 to GSP to 78, or some variation on the final few miles. Taking 287 all the way to 78 adds about 30miles to the trip.

RPI is an excellent technology school, with a huge new biomed engineering facility. If that's her interest then by all means try to find time to visit the campus. The main campus isn't large at all and won't take long to tour.

If you are concerned about time then leave by 3 to give yourself an extra buffer.
J62 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Mar 7th, 2011, 06:19 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,449
I think the train is a very good idea. The problem with traffic in the NYC area is you need to consider the "you never know" aspect. The NY State Thruway (I-87) is the easier part of the drive. (I used to regularly drive that route from Hoboken to Mt. Snow in Vermont and would that I-87 route past Albany and Troy to Rt. 7)

That part of the trip should be roughly 2 hours.

The issue will be the traffic and at what point you hit the NYC area. If you leave at 3:30, you will arrive smack in the middle of rush hour. On a normal day, an hour should be more than enough time from the NY/NJ border near Mahwah on the route via 17. However, you could easily hit a bottleneck where Route 17 and 4 intersect. For a bit I reverse commuted into Manhattan from near where route 17 intersects in Seacaucus with Route 3 heading towards NY. Some days I could at the Lincoln Tunnel in 20 minutes. Other times 60 minutes.

The benefit of the train is that it has more certainty to it.

3 hours should give you enough time. But, 3 could easily be 4 with just a few things wrong here or there or even normal traffic once you hit the area within 30 miles of the airport.

If you do want to drive, haven't factored in food breaks or gas if you give yourself 3 hours. It might sound like a long time, but you might want to consider leaving at 2:30. That'll keep you out of the heart of rush hour traffic, give you time to get gas near the airport (this will require an entire seperate thread btw once you decide the route), and have a chance to grab a bite to eat before getting on the plane.
Ryan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 7th, 2011, 06:24 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 419
I have used this route in the past:
Stay on NY Thruway to the Garden State Parkway Exit (14A)
Stay on GS Parkway to Clifton RT 3 East toward Lincoln Tunnel NYC. (This way you avoid the bottleneck on RT 17/ Rt 46) Go to NJ Turnpike exit ( Rt 95) South To exit 14 ( This exit is busy during rush hours) and take RT 78 West Follow signs to Airport and car return.
Depending on car company, there is a central car return area and you still need to ride people mover to your terminal. You will need to allow at least 20 minutes for this.
Google maps shows 165 miles from RPI to EWR and allows 3 hours 10 min.
joethekay is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 7th, 2011, 06:24 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,449
BTW, noticed the 287 route once you hit the NJ border - do not take that option. You are really taking yourself out of the way doing that and potentially putting yourself into really bad traffic.

If you're going to drive, best route in NYS Thruway to 17 South in NJ. 17 South intersects with Route 3 and the NJ Turnpike. I would take the Turnpike South and get off at the airport exit.
Ryan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 7th, 2011, 07:16 AM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
All,

Thanks for the response. Here is my game plan. Leave Albany Med College at 1:15 pm, take 87-S. I travel for close to 2 hrs, and then I am like 35 miles from Newark airport. The time should be close to 3:15 pm. Now what do I do? What is the best route to take now to reach the car rental agency. Of course, I need to fill gas before I return the car. Thanks guys.
mcotocjb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 7th, 2011, 07:24 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 674
The Amtrak fare for two from Albany to NY Penn is $76, and the NJTransit/AirTrain combo is $25 for two, a total of $101. Hertz charges over $100/day for its smallest car, plus the cost of gas and insurance, etc.

Rush hour traffic in the New York metro area, no matter what route you take to get here, can be a madhouse.

As for the best route (there really is no best route at that hour), you could take the NY State Thruway south to I-287, then, about 30 miles south of the NY/NJ state line, NJ24 east to I-78, then I-78 east to EWR. However, 24 begins to back up at its intersection with 78 by about 4:00 every weekday.

Your choice. Stress or no stress.
bspielman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 7th, 2011, 07:46 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,449
There are multiple ways to go. Problem you will have is everyone is going to have their favorite route but the reality is EVERY route has it's positives and negatives.

To complicate matters, Newark Airport is accessible from three major roads that are reachable by various routes once you hit NJ - The NJ Turnpike coming from the North, I-78 coming from the West, and The Garden State Parkway from the North which puts you onto 78 closer to the airport.

Personally, I would take the NYS Thruway to 17 South where the connection is at Mahwah. If traffic isn't bad, I would stay on 17 to Route 3 and get on the NJ Turnpike South. This is the most direct route, but you're also getting on a local road that can be congested - especially in bad weather.

If traffic on 17 was heavy, I would use getting on the Garden State Parkway South around Paramus as my Plan B. You can take the Parkway South is 78 East, which will put you at most 10 miles west of the airport. But, traffic might not be a picnic.

The route I would least likely take is to take I87 in NY into I287 in New Jersey. You're taking yourself pretty far West and into a different set of traffic issues.

If you do leave at 1:30 and find you're by the airport before 5, you could certainly hit the Jersey Gardens Mall which is about 10 minutes from the main rental car dropoff at the airport.

Like I said, there is no one great way once at the NJ border.
Ryan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 7th, 2011, 07:59 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 419
There is no "best" route, everyone has their favorite route depending on time of day, weather, traffic, accidents, etc.
Any combination of taking RT 17/ to I-80- To I 95, or the Garden State Parkway to Rt 3 to I-95 will work. If you arrive in Suffern, NY at 3:15 figure 90 min to Newark Airport from there. Even in rush hour, you should make it by 5- 5:30
I suggest mapquest a route, study it, have an alternative plan, and go for it.

As for gas fill up,There are some gas stations on the GS Parkway, also there should be plenty along Rt 17 and or Rt 3 at the exits.
Fill up there before you get to the airport as you will have to search hard to find one off the expwy at Newark Airport. Or prepay the gas when you pick up the car and don't worry about it.
joethekay is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:03 AM.