Last Updated on October 22, 2020 by Anisa
Sometimes the best flight options involve travel from Newark Airport (EWR). However, getting to EWR from Manhattan is more difficult and more expensive than going to JFK or LGA. While you should take that into consideration when selecting your flight, you don’t have to avoid EWR at all costs.
There are several different ways to travel between Newark (EWR) and Manhattan. While Newark Liberty Airport is less than 20 miles from midtown Manhattan, traffic across the Hudson River regardless of what crossing you use can be a bit unpredictable, so always leave extra time.
Since people really appreciated our tips on how to get to JFK airport, I thought I should also share some of my thoughts on traveling between Manhattan and Newark Airport (EWR). If you need to travel from Newark Airport to Manhattan or vice versa keep reading for a rundown of the different transportation options that will help you choose the best one.
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COVID-19 Notice: Please follow government guidelines. If possible avoid public transportation options. If you have to take a train or bus, remember they may be operating at a reduced schedule and reduced capacity.
About Newark Airport
Newark Airport, formally known as Newark Liberty International Airport, is the busiest (by number of flights) of New York City’s three main airports. It is actually located in the cities of Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan and operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The airport has three terminals (A,B, and C) that are connected by the AirTrain. There are about 50 airlines that operate out of Newark, the largest tenant is United. It is one of the airline’s hubs. Newark Airport has three runways and a helipad.
How to Get to Newark Airport
The best way from Manhattan to Newark (EWR) is going to depend on your situation. Even if you have a car, I don’t recommend driving to Newark Airport, traffic can be terrible and parking is expensive. You could choose from New Jersey Transit Train, Newark Airport Express bus, door to door shuttle, yellow taxi, and uber/car service.
Consider the following questions:
- Are you pressed for time?
- Are you trying to save money?
- Do you have a lot of bags?
- What terminal are you going to?
- Will you be traveling to EWR during rush hour (7-9 am or 4-7pm)?
In this post, I go through the pros and cons of each Newark airport transportation option. This information applies whether you need transportation from Manhattan to Newark Airport or want to travel from Newark to Manhattan.
If you are traveling to LaGuardia Airport, check out my post on going from LGA to Manhattan.
NJ Transit Train to Newark Airport
You can take New Jersey Transit trains from Penn Station to the Newark Airport Rail Station, which takes less than 30 minutes. Then you will need to take the Air Train to your terminal. The ticket for the AirTrain is included in the price of your train ticket, but you need to use the NJ Transit train ticket to board the Air Train.
Make sure you buy your ticket before you board the train or you will have to pay a penalty fare. You can buy the tickets at the machines at the station or through the New Jersey Transit mobile app. At Penn Station, there is also a ticket window.
Please get to Penn Station early enough to allow for extra time if you need to purchase a ticket (lines can be long) and figure out what platform the train will be on. Some trains will also stop at Newark Penn Station – do NOT get off there, it is not the airport stop. Check the departure board and make sure your train has an airplane symbol or “EWR”.
Going on the train with luggage can be difficult especially during peak hours. Luckily there are escalators (and elevators) so you don’t have to worry about carrying luggage up or down stairs. Although there have been times when they have been out of service.
Also, I have to warn you about the reliability of the AirTrain. I have probably taken it 10 times and have had problems twice. Maybe I am just unlucky? Well, both times I was thankful I had time to spare.
Check the schedule for the NJ Transit Trains to EWR here.
Download the NJ Transit app here to buy tickets.
Cost: From Penn Station, it is $15.25 each way for adults or $11.25 for kids, seniors, or those that are disabled. This is the cheapest way to go between Manhattan and Newark Airport.
Newark Airport Express Bus
The Newark Airport Express bus (now operated by CoachUSA) can be a good option to get to EWR, especially if you are close to one of the stops and have a lot of bags. I pick up the bus at Bryant Park (42nd St. between 5th and 6th Avenues) but there are also stops by Grand Central and the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Newark Airport Express is cheaper than a car service, and you can buy tickets on the bus. However, the Newark Liberty Airport Express bus only runs every 20-30 minutes and can be delayed if there is traffic. I would recommend getting to the bus stop 4 hours before youf flight to allow for delays and traffic. The bus to Newark Airport does have free WIFI, although it has never worked that well for me.
For a brief period of time, they added a downtown route for the Newark Airport Express was added, but it is no longer an option. You must catch the bus from one of the midtown bus stops. Please check the Newark Airport Express website for more details.
You can buy your ticket on the bus. They accept cash and credit cards. There is no discount for buying in advance.
Cost: $30 round trip or $17 each way for adults. Children aged 0-16 can get a $5 one-way ticket. Seniors and travelers with disabilities can buy $17 Round Trip or $8.50 One Way tickets. Note that there is a $1.50 administrative fee added to each ticket sale.
Door to Door Newark Airport Shuttle
Go Airlink NYC offers a shuttle service which picks you up at your door and takes you directly to Newark Airport. Most likely you will also be making stops to pick up other passengers, so it is not going to be the fastest option.
The EWR airport shuttle could make things a lot easier if you have heavy luggage, so the extra time might be worth it. They have a similar baggage policy to many airlines – one large suitcase and one carryon are allowed free of charge. Taking the shuttle to Newark Airport makes the most sense if you are traveling alone as they charge per person.
You will need to book the service in advance to make sure you have a seat on the van. They will ask for your flight information so that they can track delays. You won’t need to print out any voucher, just show the online confirmation code to the driver.
Cost: Prices for the Newark Airport Shuttle start at $20 per person each way. Each adult can bring along one child under three for free. Additional children and children four and older, must pay the regular price. I have found this shuttle to be cheaper than other similar options.
Taxi between Newark and Manhattan
Of course, you can just get a taxi to Newark Airport from NYC if you are in a pinch, but I would not recommend it. It will cost you whatever the meter reads plus tolls ($10.50 – $15.00) and the Newark surcharge ($17.50). Additionally, I would say getting a taxi from Newark to Manhattan should be your last resort.
Coming from EWR to the city you will have to use a Newark Taxi instead of an NYC one. Newark Airport to Manhattan taxi fares range $50 to $70 but also be prepared for lots of extra fees like:
- surcharges for using a credit card ($5.50)
- traveling during rush hour ($5)
- bags over 24 inches (varies)
The taxi from EWR to Manhattan will also charge you for the toll ($10.50 – $15.00 above the base rate) and of course gratuity is not included.
Cost: $65 – $105 depending on the time of day and where in Manhattan you are going. You can split the taxi fare with other passengers as there are no per person charges.
Car Service to EWR
As long as it is not rush hour and there are no accidents, this will be the fastest way to get to or from the airport, but it can be pricey. You are paying to save time and not have to worry about carrying your bags around. It’s so nice to have a driver meet you at baggage claim when you land. Seeing my name on a sign, makes me feel important!
A car service to Newark airport from Manhattan will vary a lot in price and many need advance booking. I think Carmel is best car service to Newark airport. They have special airport pricing which usually ends up being about the same as (or sometimes even less than) a taxi, but the cars are much nicer. Also, you can book online in advance and earn frequent flyer miles with most airlines for your trip to or from the airport. Carmel also has a handy app.
I should mention you should never accept a ride from the drivers that come up to you at the airport and ask you if you need a taxi. This is against the law and many of these drivers may not be properly insured.
Cost: Quotes for fares do not include tax, toll, or tip. The fare for taking a car to EWR can range from $40 – $150 depending on where exactly you are coming from, what type of car, and if you are able to get a discount. However, you can split the cost when traveling with others, there are no fees for additional passengers.
Uber to EWR
Taking an Uber to Newark Airport is also an option, but pricing can vary greatly depending on the demand. A couple times, I have been lucky and have been able to get an Uber pool for $29 from Newark to my apartment in midtown. Both times this happened, I didn’t even have to share a ride from Newark airport to Manhattan with anyone. However, you cannot count on being able to get that price and I have not seen any Uber deals going to Newark Airport from Manhattan.
Cost: Quotes for fares do not include tip. The fare for taking for taking an Uber to EWR can range from $29 (Uber Pool) – $150 depending on where exactly you are coming from and the demand at the time you order the uber. However, you can split the cost when traveling with others, there are no fees for additional passengers.
The Verdict on the Best Way to Get from Manhattan to Newark Airport
As you can see, there are several different options for transportation to Newark Airport. In summary, when I am traveling between Manhattan and Newark Airport for work, I like to take a car service or taxi, unless it is during rush hour.
If I am trying to be frugal or it is rush hour, I will take the train to Newark Airport. When I have a lot of luggage and want to be frugal, I would take the bus. If I have extra time and don’t want to deal with my luggage at all, I would take the Newark Airport Shuttle.
Late at night (i.e. midnight to 4 am) you won’t be able to take any of the public transportation options. So it’s best to either book a car service or airport shuttle or plan on waiting in the taxi line.
Regardless of what option you choose, please make sure you leave extra time when traveling between Manhattan and Newark Airport. So what do you think is the best way to get to EWR from Manhattan or from Manhattan to EWR?
Have a safe flight!
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