Commuting between Jersey City and Manhattan

Mar 3rd, 2013, 06:14 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 583
Commuting between Jersey City and Manhattan

We're 3 adults planning a 4-day vacation in NYC, and our accommodation is across the Hudson River in Jersey City (half the price compared to a Manhattan accommodation, not surprisingly).

I'm looking for a daily / weekly pass that can cover most of our daily commute between Jersey City and NYC, which would involve the light rail (HBLR) and PATH in NJ — with Manhattan's subway system... Is there such a pass?

Thanks...
mamamia2 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2013, 06:44 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,469
Though the PATH and NYC transit (MTA) systems are separate systems, you can use the MTA Metrocard on PATH trains but only the pay-per ride type of card. In other words, you can have the convenience of using a single card, but there is no combination pass you can buy.
http://www.mta.info/metrocard/where_accept.htm

By the way, thought MTA fares have just gone up as of today, one new feature is that you can load a MetroCard with both an umlimited pass(for one week $30 or for 30 days $112) and also pay per ride. Depending on how much you plan to use transit within NYC, it may still be worth getting a one week card (The fares are new so I haven't done the calculation of the break even point) The way it works is that if a ride (any NYC subway or regular bus)is eligible for the unlimited, it counts against the unlimted , but if not, it deducts money from the amount you have as pay per ride
http://www.mta.info/metrocard/mcgtreng.htm

Note unlimited cards are per person, you can't share. You can share a pay per ride, but unless kids are traveling, I think it's better for each person to have his/her own card so they aren't always stuck traveling all together.

I've never even heard of the HBLR light rail so I have no info there.
nyer is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 04:48 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Apparently this is the Hudson/Bergen Light Rail. Had never heard of it until I googled.

There is no combo pass with PATH or NYC subway system. And I have no clue as to what stations you're talking about or what the fares would be.

I would contact your hotel to find out:

How close they are to this rail
How you would get there - bus or cab or?
How much that would cost
What the schedules are for each

Many of these obscure services are designed for commuters and don;t run very late into the evening so I would get info on the schedules - or you may yourself having to pay for a very expensive cab to get back to your hotel after dinner or a show.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 06:14 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,189
Much of your savings is going to be eaten up in the cost of commuting daily, and it will take a good deal of time, so just plan on that. Unfortunately, there are no daily passes for any of these systems, so you'll have to pay the individual fares. This is why we try to steer people way from staying in NJ particularly when they have to take multiple transit systems into the city.

Light rail: $2.10 per ride
PATH: $2.25 per ride
NYC Subway/Bus: $2.50 per ride

You can buy a Metrocard to use on both the PATH and NYC Subway/buses, but it doesn't work on the light rail, so you have to pay for that separately. So you're looking at about $7 per person each way into Manhattan daily, $14 round-trip.

By the way, there are also ferries from Hoboken, but they are much more expensive per ride than the trains.

But none of these options is "obscure". They are widely ridden, run 24 hours a day (or virtually so), but Light Rail doesn't run nearly as often as the other systems, so you'll have to plan your leaving and returning carefully. Still, people in Hoboken go to the theater all the time and manage to get home without driving, so I'm sure you can do that unless you plan to be out past midnight every night. The schedule is indeed skewed toward commuters, but you can check the schedule online at the NJ Transit web site. PATH also has a schedule but runs 24 hours (much less frequently late at night, as does the subway).

You may find that you want to take different PATH lines into the city each day. If you are going to downtown, for instance, it might be worth it to take light rail all the way to Exchange Place and then take the PATH directly to the World Trade Center. You can always go uptown from there if you don't spend the entire day down in the financial district.
doug_stallings is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 07:29 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
So the OP will be paying $42 per day to get to and fro the city - plus whatever it might cost for them to get form their lodging TO the light rail station.

Sorry if I should not have called it obscure- but have never heard of it - but then I don;t live in Jersey. Just hope the OP is not too far from the station.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 01:08 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 583
Thanks for all the info...

Our accommodation (Candlewood Suites on the Waterfront) is actually 8 minutes away from the Exchange Place mentioned above, so I'm not even sure we would need the Light Rail.

We plan commuting daily to mostly Lower Manhattan (our daughter was accepted to a school there), Tribecca, Greenwich Village, but will take the subway up north.

On our last day we plan visiting friends in Queens/Long Island (before our-late evening flight leaving LGA).

So all in all, I would like to use a pass for the above commutes: PATH, NYC subway, and taking the train to Queens/Long Island.

Also, our arrival from LGA is late evening, landing at 9pm. I was thinking we better reserve a car (limo service) to drive us to the Candlewood Suites, which (based on some online search) I estimate to be around $75, rather than rely on catching a cab, whose fare is less predictable, and might be almost the same.... But I'd appreciate your feedback about this also...
mamamia2 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 01:30 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,469
So as we've mentioned above, you're OK with using a MetroCard pay per ride version to cover both PATH and the subways. If you will use the subway many times per day, the 7 day unlimited might be worthwhile, but you still have to add additional money as pay-per-ride for the PATH trains

If you go to Queens by subway (which people also commonly refer to as the train) that's included. If you go to Long Island by LIRR (railroad) that's yet another system.("Long Island City" is a place in Queens, just to confuse things)
I have to say that I don't completely understand what the LIRR says about using Metrocards on its system
http://www.mta.info/lirr/about/TicketInfo/#metrocard

The best I can figure is that you can get a LIRR pass that has a Metrocard ("on the reverse side"?? ) but not the other way around. If any trip on the LIRR is just a one time thing, I wouldn't worry about having it all be one pass.
nyer is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 03:37 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,060
Can you change flight into EWR out of LGA?
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 03:45 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
How you will get to visit people in Queens (which is a county with a couple of million people) depends on exactly where they are - versus Manhattan and versus the airport. Subway and city bus might work - or you might need Long Island Railroad or taxi to visit the friends and then get to the airport.

Agree to take car service to NJ - you need to arrange in advance - I would try the web sites of Carmel and Dial 7. Be aware that the fare quoted is plus bridge or tunnel tolls and tip (20% of the fare) - so way well be more than $75.

And you may need a car service to get to LGA from the friends in Queens - depending on where they are. (By public transit might be several buses and/or trains.)
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 04:14 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 583
I was originally trying to get a flight into EWR, but the fares were higher, at least for that specific date.

One friend lives in Baldwin, Long Island, and the other is in Forest Hill, Queens.
mamamia2 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 04:53 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
ok -

Baldwin is Nassau County and has no connections to the NYC subway/bus systen - you would probably have to go there by LIRR train and have your friends pick you up or take a cab to their house.

Forest Hills is Queens and nowhere near Baldwin. You may be able to get near them by Long Island RR - but from the station may also requie a cab. If you are going to try to visit these people on the way frm Manhattan to LGA that will be a real bear and hard to do in one day. The easiest way to do it would be a car rental - esp if you are hauling luggage around with you.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 05:38 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 583
I see Forest Hills on the LIRR line map, as well as Baldwin (though the two lines have different colors, so 2 different trains), but also according to the LIRR schedules, we can take the train from Penn station to Baldwin (a 40 min. ride), and then Baldwin - Forest Hills (Connect in Jamaica), a 25 min. ride. So it's doable. Our friends will pick us up, and probably take us to LGA later that night.

What you're saying is, we won't be able to use the MetroCard for that trip, right?
mamamia2 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 05:46 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,469
"What you're saying is, we won't be able to use the MetroCard for that trip, right?"
Correct
nyer is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 05:56 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 583
As to cab vs. "limo" -- I found a website (http://www.worldtaximeter.com) that can calculate taxi fares, and according to them, the comparison is $43.25 (calculating distance, wait in traffic, and 15% tip) vs $65 at Dial7 Limo service. Both do not include tip & tolls. So, comparing apples to apples, I think it would be "safer" to take the "limo" which will be waiting for us, and we would know the charge up front, rather than wait in line for a taxi, hoping the driver would be honest enough, dealing with the "unaware tourist"...
mamamia2 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 06:10 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,469
You don't need to worry abnout taxis taking advantage of you. There are dispatchers at the airports and the cabs know they can be identified.

But I see two big problems with your calculation
1)You're crossing state lines. NYC taxis do not have to take you to NJ (other than to Newark Airport) so you may not even get one right away, Also the part of the fare once you cross into NJ is double since you have to pay for the driver to get back into NYC where they can leglly pick up another fare. That $43 sounds way too low to me

2)Traffic. Big time money waster.You never know how much it will be and a jam can easily double your fare. A car service is peace of mind (not to mention generally a much better car) and maybe even a bargain.
nyer is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 06:14 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,469
by the way The prices you see on "limo" services usually do not include being there waiting for you., That costs extra, You can make a researvation in advance and then call when you arrive, They'll tell you the pickup point and are usually there within 10 minutes.
nyer is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 07:27 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 583
Thanks, nyer, yes, that's what I was planning, reserve ahead of time, and call the guy once we land, since we don't plan any checked-in baggage, we can estimate better when to be picked up.

Is there a "preferred" limo service that one could recommend here?.....
mamamia2 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 07:38 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,195
Dial7 and Carmel are well considered car services. These are NOT limos--just private town cars.
ellenem is offline  
Mar 4th, 2013, 07:46 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,469
I alternate between Dial7 and Carmel, depending on who's available. Both can be reserved online (last time I checked) and they often have discount coupons or codes to save about $5

The cars have alwys been good, but are not necessarily town cars, They can be late model sedans (full size) and occasionally an SUV or minivan. I always reserve the lowest priced car available but sometimes they "upgrade" you to a different type of vehicle
nyer is offline  
Mar 5th, 2013, 04:26 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Either Dial7 or Carmel should be fine. they ar both large services with hundreds of cars so usually have someone already at the ariport or about to drop someone off.

Just be aware that you need to pay the bridge or tunnel tolls and 20% tip (on far but not toll). You will notice in local cabs that when you charge the tip option starts at 20% - although you can go to other to put in a different amount if you want.
nytraveler is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:40 PM.