The cities with the most manageable commute to Manhattan are Jersey City, Weehawken, and Hoboken. Depending on your budget and lifestyle, they have the fastest and most direct commutes.
If these towns don’t tickle your fancy, we’ve prepared a full list of all the viable locations in New Jersey you may want to call home.
Best Commuter Towns in New Jersey
There are quite a few pros to living in New Jersey and commuting to New York City. First of all, New Jersey is much more affordable than New York City, so you can save a lot of money on housing and other costs.
There are many parks and nature trails, and the state is also home to the Jersey Shore and Atlantic City, which are popular vacation spots. On top of that, commuting to New York City from New Jersey is surprisingly convenient.
There are many public transportation options, so you can quickly get into the city for work or play. Living in New Jersey and traveling to NYC can be a great option for those who want to save money and enjoy being close to nature. Here are some of our top picks:
Union City, NJ
Union City is located in northern Hudson County, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. It’s one of the most densely populated cities in the United States, with a population of nearly 70,000. So it’s a fantastic place for people who want to be close to the action.
The commute into Manhattan is quick and easy, and many public transportation options are available. Union City is also home to many restaurants, shops, and parks.
Newark is the largest city in New Jersey, and it’s located just outside of NYC. It’s a diverse city with a lot to offer residents. There are many public transportation options available for commuting into Manhattan.
The city is also home to the Newark Liberty International Airport, so it’s easy to travel nationally or even internationally from here. Newark has many restaurants and shops, and the city also has a lively arts and culture scene.
Hoboken is located in Hudson County, adjacent to Union City via 495. Like its counterpart, it’s densely populated and right on the river.
Getting to NYC
Hoboken is right on the Hudson River and a stone’s throw from Manhattan, so it’s easy to get into the city. Many public transportation options are available, including buses, trains, and ferries. You’ll have easy access to both the Lincoln and Holland Tunnel. The commute into Manhattan is quick and easy, making Hoboken a great option for those who work in NYC.
West New York, NJ
Shouldn’t West New York be in the state of New York? Probably. But it isn’t. West New York lives in Hudson County, just north of Union City. This town has easy access to the Lincoln Tunnel.
More Awesome Commuter Towns in New Jersey
Teaneck is located in Bergen County and a bit west of the other areas mentioned so far. If you want to sit back and take it slow after a hard day at the office, Teaneck is a good choice. Teaneck is a small city with easy access to I-95 and the George Washington bridge.
Hackensack is in Bergen County. Go west from Teaneck and cross over the aptly named Hackensack River, and you’ll be there. It’s one of the smallest suburbs of NYC, but it has a lot going on. You’re only 7 miles from the George Washington bridge, and you can see the city skyline in some parts of town.
Secaucus is another Hudson County community, and it is a small town with a population of just over 16,000. If you want a more chilled-out scene and access to midtown Manhattan, this might be the best spot.
Paramus is located in Bergen County, and it’s technically a small town with a population of just over 26,000. However, once known as a commuter town, it has recently become home to many companies and has become a commercial hub, housing several corporate headquarters.
Bloomfield is one of the few places on our list that’s in Essex County. It’s kind of a narrow town, as far as boundaries go. So while the population may look small on paper, it’s pretty dense. It’s the most western town on the list so far, but midtown and lower Manhattan are still just a dozen miles away.
If you want to live in New Jersey but want to get to midtown as fast as possible, look no further than Weehawken. Right on the Hudson River and the Lincoln Tunnel, this small but heavily populated town will keep you just a short drive from the city.
Fort Lee, NJ
Fort Lee is what Weehawken is to the George Washington bridge to the Lincoln Tunnel. It has one of the highest percentages of Korean-American populations in the country. If you enjoy Korean food, stores, and culture, this could be a quality place for you to settle.
Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Atlantic Highlands is a small town located in Monmouth County. It’s right on Sandy Hook Bay and has a population of fewer than 5,000 people. If you’re scouting for a quiet and scenic place to live with easy access to NYC, this town has you covered.
Atlantic Highlands to NYC
The ferry from Atlantic Highlands to NYC takes about an hour, making it an excellent choice for anyone who wants to avoid traffic and enjoy the scenic route. You can also take the bus or drive, but the commute will be longer.
Princeton is in Mercer County, and it’s a large town with a population of over 28,000 people. It’s home to the prestigious Ivy League school, Princeton University. Princeton may be the perfect place for you if you’re looking for a college-town atmosphere with decent but not great access to NYC.
Princeton to NYC
The NJ Transit train from Princeton to NYC takes about an hour, making it a great option for those who want to avoid traffic and enjoy the scenic route. However, if you need to make a daily commute, you may want to look for a home closer to the city.
Jersey City, NJ
Jersey City is in Hudson County. It’s the second-largest city in New Jersey, with over 247,000. It’s right across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan, with the Holland Tunnel at your fingertips. While it’s in New Jersey, it has more of an NYC-extended feel, making it a popular choice for those who want to be close to the action.
Is it worth working in NYC and living in NJ?
Whether or not it is worth working in New York City and living in New Jersey depends on a number of factors. For some people, the proximity to New York City is worth the trade-off of higher living costs and more traffic.
Others find that the reverse is true – they would rather live in New Jersey and commute into the city for work. Both scenarios have pros and cons, and ultimately it comes down to what is most important to the individual.
Assuming that proximity to New York City is the most important factor, then working in New York City and living in New Jersey makes sense. It eliminates the need for a long commute, which can be stressful and time-consuming.
It also means you will have more time to enjoy all that NYC offers – from world-class dining and shopping to world-renowned museums and performing arts venues. On the downside, living costs are typically higher in New Jersey than in other parts of the country, and traffic can be a nightmare.
If you prioritize affordability and quality of life, then working in NYC but living in NJ may not be the best option. Commuting into the city can be challenging, but saving on living expenses may be worth it to specific individuals.
New Jersey also has a lot to offer in terms of its own attractions – from beaches and hiking trails to wineries and historical sites. So while working in NYC has its perks, for some people, it may not be worth the trade-off of living further from the city.
Can you commute from NJ to NYC?
Yes, it is possible to commute from New Jersey to New York City. There are several ways to do so, including by car, bus, train, or ferry. The best option for you will depend on many factors, including your budget and preferred mode of transportation.
If you have your own car, you can drive into the city. This is typically the fastest and most convenient option, but it can also be the most expensive, as you will need to pay for parking, tolls, and gas.
If you don’t have your own car, or you prefer not to drive, you can take a bus or train into the city. Both options are relatively affordable, but the bus may be faster during rush hour.
Finally, if you want to avoid traffic altogether, you can take a ferry into the city. It’s usually the most expensive option, but it can be worth it for the convenience and the views.
How do people commute from New Jersey to New York?
Thousands of people commute daily from New Jersey to New York City for work. While some take the iconic train ride into Penn Station, others drive their cars across the Hudson River via one of the numerous bridges or tunnels.
No matter how they make the journey, these commuters face a common challenge: getting from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. For many, that means avoiding traffic congestion and finding a route that gets them to their destination as quickly as possible.
Thankfully, many apps and websites can help with this task, providing real-time traffic updates and detour information. By planning ahead and using these tools, commuters can help make their daily journeys a little bit easier.
Best places to live in New Jersey for families
There are some great places to live in New Jersey for families. Some of the best options include:
Summit: This small city in Union County is known for its excellent schools and safe, suburban feel. It’s also just a short train ride away from NYC, making it a perfect option for commuters.
Montclair: This town in Essex County is another great choice for families. It offers a diverse range of housing options, top-notch schools, and various cultural attractions.
Princeton: This picturesque town in Mercer County is home to Princeton University and several other colleges and universities. It’s also an amazing place to raise a family, with excellent public schools and a safe, small-town feel.
Red Bank: This Monmouth County town is located on the Jersey Shore and is a popular tourist destination. However, it’s also a great place to live, with a quaint downtown area and a number of family-friendly neighborhoods.
There are many other great places to live in New Jersey for families. These are just a few of the best options.
NJ towns with direct train to NYC
There are several towns in New Jersey that offer direct train service to New York City. Some of the best options include Summit, Morristown, Englewood, and Montclair. Atlantic Highlands and Belford will probably be your best options if you prefer to travel by ferry. Train service is great, but it gets old after a while, and it’s always crowded.
How many NJ residents commute to NYC?
There is no hard answer to this question, as the number of New Jersey residents who commute to New York City varies depending on many factors.
However, according to a 2018 article from the NY Times, more than 300,000 people make the trip to the city for work. NBC estimated in 2019 that the figure was closer to half a million. So no one really knows for sure. But it’s a lot. And it can make for a long commute.