Working Moms

F/U NJ to NYC Commute question updated to clarify

Some of you ladies mentioned Union County as a nice area to live and commute into NYC.nbsp; How do you commute from there?nbsp; When I look at NJTransit schedules it looks like you have to transfer and the total train time is like 45mins.nbsp; DH needs to get into Penn Station.nbsp; If the train is going to take 45mins, it's not worth moving.nbsp; Are there other options?
His current train time is about an hour, he's at least 1520mins from penn station, and we are 30mins from the train. If the trains out of north jersey are all 45mins or more its not worth moving. DH would like to move somewhere where his commute could be 1hr door to door.
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Re: F/U NJ to NYC Commute question updated to clarify

  • I would think cutting 1 hr  off the travel time each way would be worth it but that is just me? 2 extra hours at home per day, 10 per week!

    I lived in Westfield & I was able to walk to the train station. I worked about a 7-8 min walk from Penn Station. My commute was a little over an hour door to door. BUT I didn't have to take a subway from Penn Station and didn't have much of a commute to the train station from home since I could walk (also just a note, a lot of these stations have wait lists for parking though surrounding businesses & things will sell parking, just an additional cost to keep in mind).  And yes, unless things have changed or do change in the future, the line that runs through there is diesel & therefore can't go through the tunnel, so you change in newark. Depending on the timing of your change, that can be very little time or a little wait. It was annoying to me at first but not really that bad once I was used to it.

    IMO the best train station to live near is Maplewood  - first express stop out of the city like 35 min or something.  Nice town/area too but probably more expensive, I'm not sure.

    A lot of ppl in the northern part of the state take the bus also...I'm not sure if his office is right by penn station or if port authority is an option but depending on where you live a bus could be a great option too.

    Another thing I thought of about the daycare drop off situation- your H might be able to share in drop off in the morning if you find a daycare close to home/train with a shorter commute... like he could drop off at 745 and get on the 8am train if he works a 9am start time like a lot of ppl in NYC do...just a thought.  Pickup is a lot harder of course, esp when you run into delays & that sort of thing.

  • Hi there!  I read your previous post and just wanted to chime in.  I also live in Union County and commuted to NYC a few years back.  Even though my train went directly to Penn Station, it was still about 45 minutes.  Plus another 15 after subways.  

    Just a thought- your COL is going to go up a lot moving to NJ.  It's one of the reasons we are looking to move out of state.  DH grew up in Westfield and the town is outstanding.  It has a great community feel and the houses/neighborhoods/schools are excellent.  However, you're probably looking at paying approximately 10k-13k a year in property taxes alone.  

    Scotch Plains, Maplewood, Chatham are also great areas but they are expensive.  

    In my opinion, I would see if your DH is willing to find a job closer to where you currently live.  Job hunting sucks and change can stink, too.  But the amount of money you may save, plus the amount of home you will get in PA, may greatly outweigh the first few months of adjusting at a new job.


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  • image groovygrl:

    I would think cutting 1 hr  off the travel time each way would be worth it but that is just me? 2 extra hours at home per day, 10 per week!

    Sorry I meant that the NJT trip time is 45mins, plus time from house to the train, and subway time from Penn Station to his office.  Currently his express train on NJT is about an hour.  So dropping 15mins doesn't seem worth the much higher cost of living.  That's why I was asking if there are other options then the train.  I don't know where Port Authority is.  DH takes the subway from Penn Station to upper manhattan I think.  His office is near central park.

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  • hocushocus
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    Short of living IN Manhattan you'll have some sort of commute and 45 mins isn't bad. You will also most likely have some sort of commute. You may also work in Manhattan so that is something to consider. We consider anything over an hour out of the question and 30 mins ideal. In general you'll either live close in like Jersey City (so maybe 20 mins) and have to use private schools which is a concern if you want 3-4 children or live a little more out like Union County or spend big to live in place that is both close and has good schools.

    Overall with 2 kids I'd say go for it having a shorter commute maybe key for your husband's involvement with the kids, but if you really want 4 kids then I think you need to stay close to your support network until the kids are older and better on their own. 

     

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  • mer0504mer0504
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    As someone who commuted to NYC from Union County (Rahway) for 4 years, let me tell you--no place you are going to want to live is less than 45 min train ride. My train was 45 min plus 10-15 min walk on either side, and this was considered good. Towns that are closer really aren't safe. Westfield is nice, but with that transfer, it's going to be longer. If apartments are okay, Hoboken is great and a short commute, but it's not suburbia.

    I think if you are coming from Philly burbs, Morris County is going to be the equivalent, which is a hour at least on the train.

    Honestly, with your support system being in PA, and the tax difference, I don't think you are going to be able to make up enough time on the commute to make the move worthwhile. 30 min commute or less is very, very rare NJ to NYC.

  • I'm not sure what your OP was, but I live in NJ and I"m not too sure where Union is, I live in Bergen and I think that's the closest you can get to the city.  The bridge goes right into Fort Lee and you can get a ferry from Edgewater or Weehawken (which I think is in Hudson Co).  You might want to look into the ferry, I agree that any bus, even going right from the bridge, is going to take a while.
  • MrsMuqMrsMuq
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    Have you considered looking in eastern Queens (think Bayside) or Nassau County on Long Island?
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  • image MrsMuq:
    Have you considered looking in eastern Queens (think Bayside) or Nassau County on Long Island?

    No I don't want to live in NY b/c the drive to our families in PA would be more of a PITA.

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  • MrsMuqMrsMuq
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    image jf198400:

    image MrsMuq:
    Have you considered looking in eastern Queens (think Bayside) or Nassau County on Long Island?

    No I don't want to live in NY b/c the drive to our families in PA would be more of a PITA.

    ::shrugs:: The property taxes in Jersey, especially north Jersey are literally the highest in the country. And you would still have at least an hour commute each way, if not longer.

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  • I agree with the pps that finding a commute less than an hour will likely not put you in a very nice area.  Maplewood and South Orange could be options and are not a bad commute.  I live in Morristown, which I love, but it's 60 - 70 minutes by train.  I was able to walk to my old office from Penn Station, which added another 10 minutes.  Door to door, it was about 1 hr 40 minutes.  With my new job, I need to take the subway and that adds another 20 minutes.  That's a 2 hour commute one way. Luckily, I don't commute into NYC very often any more.

    Another thing you need to factor in is the cost of commuting. It is EXPENSIVE!  A monthly pass on NJ Transit from Morristown is $365. If you need a MetroCard on top of that, that's $112.  So you're spending almost $500 a month (more if you need to pay for parking) just to get to work.

     
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  • image Strunella:

    I agree with the pps that finding a commute less than an hour will likely not put you in a very nice area.  Maplewood and South Orange could be options and are not a bad commute.  I live in Morristown, which I love, but it's 60 - 70 minutes by train.  I was able to walk to my old office from Penn Station, which added another 10 minutes.  Door to door, it was about 1 hr 40 minutes.  With my new job, I need to take the subway and that adds another 20 minutes.  That's a 2 hour commute one way. Luckily, I don't commute into NYC very often any more.

    Another thing you need to factor in is the cost of commuting. It is EXPENSIVE!  A monthly pass on NJ Transit from Morristown is $365. If you need a MetroCard on top of that, that's $112.  So you're spending almost $500 a month (more if you need to pay for parking) just to get to work.

    I don't get this.  I live in Carlstadt, Bergen Co., not the nicest town in Bergen Co, but it's not the ghetto.  My town happens to have very low taxes, i pay less than $5000.  I can see the city from my front window.  I would assume with traffic and such a commute would still be close to an hour, although I'd probably drive myself to secaucus and get a more direct bus.  I work in East Orange, a good 20-25 min away from the city, so South Orange would be even further.  What's the problem with Bergen or Hudson Co?  They are on the Hudson River, you can't get any closer to the city.  

  • I personally think one day when he is older he will add up all the time commuting and wish he spent it with his kids and family and have regrets. Life is short and kids grow up fast. Another town not listed is Summit or Dunellen. Best of luck!
  • Just read your OP.  My dream, which I've accepted will never happen, was to move to Florida.  The thought of moving that far away and not knowing anything also freaked me out.  I think the only way to make a big move is to rent for a year or so to figure out exactly where you want to be.  The GWB lets out into Fort Lee, there are tons of high rises, I'm sure there must be alot of rentals that you could try out to see where you really want to be.  Edgewater and Weehawken are similar and would also be a great place to rent.
  • image mommymegan831:
    image Strunella:

    I agree with the pps that finding a commute less than an hour will likely not put you in a very nice area.  Maplewood and South Orange could be options and are not a bad commute.  I live in Morristown, which I love, but it's 60 - 70 minutes by train.  I was able to walk to my old office from Penn Station, which added another 10 minutes.  Door to door, it was about 1 hr 40 minutes.  With my new job, I need to take the subway and that adds another 20 minutes.  That's a 2 hour commute one way. Luckily, I don't commute into NYC very often any more.

    Another thing you need to factor in is the cost of commuting. It is EXPENSIVE!  A monthly pass on NJ Transit from Morristown is $365. If you need a MetroCard on top of that, that's $112.  So you're spending almost $500 a month (more if you need to pay for parking) just to get to work.

    I don't get this.  I live in Carlstadt, Bergen Co., not the nicest town in Bergen Co, but it's not the ghetto.  My town happens to have very low taxes, i pay less than $5000.  I can see the city from my front window.  I would assume with traffic and such a commute would still be close to an hour, although I'd probably drive myself to secaucus and get a more direct bus.  I work in East Orange, a good 20-25 min away from the city, so South Orange would be even further.  What's the problem with Bergen or Hudson Co?  They are on the Hudson River, you can't get any closer to the city.  

    I think b/c she wants to be a short drive to family north of Philly in PA. 

  • image groovygrl:
    image mommymegan831:
    image Strunella:

    I agree with the pps that finding a commute less than an hour will likely not put you in a very nice area.  Maplewood and South Orange could be options and are not a bad commute.  I live in Morristown, which I love, but it's 60 - 70 minutes by train.  I was able to walk to my old office from Penn Station, which added another 10 minutes.  Door to door, it was about 1 hr 40 minutes.  With my new job, I need to take the subway and that adds another 20 minutes.  That's a 2 hour commute one way. Luckily, I don't commute into NYC very often any more.

    Another thing you need to factor in is the cost of commuting. It is EXPENSIVE!  A monthly pass on NJ Transit from Morristown is $365. If you need a MetroCard on top of that, that's $112.  So you're spending almost $500 a month (more if you need to pay for parking) just to get to work.

    I don't get this.  I live in Carlstadt, Bergen Co., not the nicest town in Bergen Co, but it's not the ghetto.  My town happens to have very low taxes, i pay less than $5000.  I can see the city from my front window.  I would assume with traffic and such a commute would still be close to an hour, although I'd probably drive myself to secaucus and get a more direct bus.  I work in East Orange, a good 20-25 min away from the city, so South Orange would be even further.  What's the problem with Bergen or Hudson Co?  They are on the Hudson River, you can't get any closer to the city.  

    I think b/c she wants to be a short drive to family north of Philly in PA. 

    Ok.  We've been to the Please Touch Museum a couple of times in Philly, but it is a 2 hour ride, so if you're trying to do something in the middle it would be an hour.  I think I'd rather be closer to work though.  Your DH needs to go to work everyday, you could go down by your family once a month and they could come up by you once a month.  I would think that would be plenty. 

  • image Strunella:

    I agree with the pps that finding a commute less than an hour will likely not put you in a very nice area.  Maplewood and South Orange could be options and are not a bad commute.  I live in Morristown, which I love, but it's 60 - 70 minutes by train.  I was able to walk to my old office from Penn Station, which added another 10 minutes.  Door to door, it was about 1 hr 40 minutes.  With my new job, I need to take the subway and that adds another 20 minutes.  That's a 2 hour commute one way. Luckily, I don't commute into NYC very often any more.

    Another thing you need to factor in is the cost of commuting. It is EXPENSIVE!  A monthly pass on NJ Transit from Morristown is $365. If you need a MetroCard on top of that, that's $112.  So you're spending almost $500 a month (more if you need to pay for parking) just to get to work.

    See this is exactly why I don't want to move at all.  The express trains out of Trenton or Hamilton are about 60-70mins, add in time on either side of the train and there's DH's current 2hr commute.  It costs $420/month for train plus $100 parking. 

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  • image jf198400:
    image Strunella:

    I agree with the pps that finding a commute less than an hour will likely not put you in a very nice area.  Maplewood and South Orange could be options and are not a bad commute.  I live in Morristown, which I love, but it's 60 - 70 minutes by train.  I was able to walk to my old office from Penn Station, which added another 10 minutes.  Door to door, it was about 1 hr 40 minutes.  With my new job, I need to take the subway and that adds another 20 minutes.  That's a 2 hour commute one way. Luckily, I don't commute into NYC very often any more.

    Another thing you need to factor in is the cost of commuting. It is EXPENSIVE!  A monthly pass on NJ Transit from Morristown is $365. If you need a MetroCard on top of that, that's $112.  So you're spending almost $500 a month (more if you need to pay for parking) just to get to work.

    See this is exactly why I don't want to move at all.  The express trains out of Trenton or Hamilton are about 60-70mins, add in time on either side of the train and there's DH's current 2hr commute.  It costs $420/month for train plus $100 parking. 

    Then dont move! I agree with PP in the other thread that said your DH is asking a lot to expect the entire family to uproot because he wants a shorter commute time. If he wants that, then he should start looking for a job closer to home.

    I would think that the number of changes you will encounter moving closer to the city far outweight the number of changes your DH will experience moving companies.

     

  • I didn't read through all the responses, but it sounds like you were looking on the Trenton line, but have you looked into Coast line?  DH and I lived for a few years in Matawan/Aberdeen area, and I commuted daily to NYC.  The express train was about 50 min and my office was a quick subway ride from there.  I think I took a 6:20am train and was at my desk by 7:30am.  It does put you further away from the Philly area, but it was a really nice area, lots of nice housing right by the train station.  Towns like Holmdel, Woodbridge and Old Bridge are nice, lower cost of living than the area you are looking.

    To give perspective, the commute was too much for me after two years (I left the house at 6am and didn't get home until 830pm), so I convinced H to move closer to Manhattan (he was working in NJ), and we lived at the new apt buildings in Secaucus, right by the train station.  My commute from that station was still about 25-30 min, and it was one stop from Penn Station.  The area SUCKED though, and I would never live there with kids.  We moved to the Baltimore suburbs after our yr living there.

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