You asked for it, you got it!! As a realtor with a focus on Manalapan Township, one question I get asked over and over again is... "What can you tell me about the commute to New York City?"
"EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COMMUTING FROM MANALAPAN, NEW JERSEY!!!"
Myself, my husband, my Dad and many friends have commuted to the New York City area for years and years!
The important questions to start with are where are you going (Midtown vs. Downtown) and how do you prefer to get there (bus or train).
Travel to Midtown Manhattan (Port Authority)
NJ Transit Bus Route #139 (Route 9 all local Stops) and #132 (Gordon's Corner Express). Click for NJ Transit Bus Route #139 Schedule Note - NJ Transit also runs limited service to and from Covered Bridge and NYC as noted on the above schedule.
From the Gordon's Corner Road stop, New Jersey Transit's 7:00 am bus will get you to the Port Authority at 8:11 am (1 hr 11 mins). I did confirm with friends that the total trip time is pretty consistent, barring any unforeseen events.
NJ Transit bus tickets can be purchased at the Deli near the Gordon's Corner Road bus stop, the Gulf Station on Ryan Road and the Penny Pantry on Texas Road in Marlboro and with a credit card at the automated ticket dispenser at the Union Hill Road Park & Ride.
One way fare for NJ Transit from Gordons Corner Road is $13.75 with a monthly pass costing $324.
Travel to Downtown Manhattan (Wall Street Area)
Academy Bus Lines services the Downtown Manhattan and Wall Street area commuters.
Academy Bus Line is the Route 9 to Wall Street. Click for Academy's Route 9 to Wall Street Bus Schedule.
From the Gordon's Corner Road stop, Academy's 7:11 am bus will get you to the Wall Street Area at 8:31 am (1 hr, 20 mins).
Academy bus tickets can be purchased at the Penny Pantry on Texas Road in Marlboro or in the Pond Road Shopping Center in Freehold. There is also Academy Bus tickets sold at the Gordons Corner Stop, however there may be limited hours.
One way fare for Academy is $16 with a monthly pass costing $340).
Manalapan Township Commuter Parking
Manalapan Township has three yearly commuter parking lots which require an annual permit (cost $201/year). If you would like to put your name on the waiting list for a parking permit in Manalapan, please call the Municipal Clerk's office at (732) 446-8316. Wait times can be significant to sign up sooner rather than later!
Franklin Lane Lot - Franklin Lane runs parallel with Route 9N and is in the vicinity of Gordons Corner Road and Route 9 Intersection. Pretty much behind the Gordon's Corner Road bus stop)
Symmes Drive Lot - Symmes Drive intersects with Route 9S and Ryan Road across from the Epicentre Shopping Mall (Bonefish Grill).
Towne Pointe Lot - This lot is located at the Towne Pointe Shopping Center and is accessible from Tennent Road or Route 9S. Note, when facing Towne Pointe, the commuter lot is on the right, in
the back. Not to be confused with the parking for patrons of the shopping center.
Craig Road Lot - This is the REAR lot located at the Vornado Shopping Center (Best Buy), Route 9 and Craig Road. (Behind the Bed, Bath & Beyond building).
Monmouth Heights Swim Club - This lot is located on Ryan Road at the entrance to the Monmouth Heights Swim Club.
There is also a daily park and ride lot located at the Franklin Lane Lot. You need a daily permit which costs $5 for the year. The daily fee is $2.00. In addition, there is also daily parking available near the Union Hill Road Park and Ride (located down Union Hill Road, past Home Depot, on the left side). Check with Marlboro Township, as I believe there may now be a small yearly fee for a day parking permit, although I do not believe there is a wait for these permits.
Additional commuter parking is provided by Vornado Shopping Center (Best Buy) (Route 9 and Craig Road) in the FRONT lot (near Wells Fargo Bank) in designated blue lined spaces. This is on a first come-first served basis and no fee is charged or permit required.
Finally, Manalapan has a reciprocal agreement with Marlboro Township for 100 commuter parking spaces. Should a resident of Manalapan desire to obtain a permit in the Marlboro Township lot located on Union Hill Road, please call the Marlboro Municipal Clerk at (732) 536-0200 to have your name put on the waiting list. Since they only give 100 spots to Manalapan residents, the wait will be long.
For folks who prefer taking the train, New Jersey Transit offers rail service via the North Jersey Coast Line to New York's Penn Station (8th Avenue and 31st Street).
The closest train station is Aberdeen-Matawan, approximately 25 minutes north east of Manalapan. Click for NJ Transit's North Jersey Coast Line Schedule.
The 7:17 am train will get you into Penn Station at 8:00.
NJ Transit Rail Tickets can be purchased at the Aberdeen-Matawan Station.
One way fare is $13.75 with a monthly pass costing $386.
There are four commuter lots at the Matawan Train Station. Two are controlled by Matawan Borough (732-290-2004) and two by Aberdeen Township (732-583-4200). Contact the municipal clerk in each town to request to be placed on the waiting lists for a parking permit, although the waiting lists are years long! The Lots 1 and 4 are by permit only. Lots 2 and 3 offer daily parking for $3/day. The daily lots fill early, usually by 6:30 am! No permit is required in any of the lots after 11:00 am, with cars needing to be gone by 4:00 am. All lots are free, with no permit required, on the weekends.
TRAVEL TO JERSEY CITY
More recently, I have been having people asking about commuting to Jersey City. As such, I thought it would be helpful to include some information on that commute as well.
NJ Transit Bus Route #63 (Express) or #64 (Local). Click for NJ Transit Bus Route #63 and #64 Schedule.
New Jersey Transit runs buses from Manalapan to Jersey City, through Hoboken and ultimately ending up in Weehawken. Buses run approximately every 8-10 minutes between 5:30 am and 7:45 am. The last bus to Manalapan leaves Jersey City at approximately 6:45 pm.
The 7:04 am (Express) gets you to Exchange Place (Jersey City) at 8:14 am (1 hour, 10 minutes total).
One way bus fare is $18 with a monthly pass costing $324.
You may also consider taking the train from Aberdeen-Matawan to the Newark/Penn Station Stop and take the subway to the Jersey City Exchange Place Path Station. Travel time, including the change of train would be just over an hour.
THE COMMUTING TAKEAWAY
If you are interested in a first-hand account of what it is like to commute from the Manalapan area, please feel free to give me a call!
The takeaway on commuting from Manalapan is that sure, some days it can be hectic, but the lifestyle is certainly worth it! The closer you live to "the city," the more "city" it will be. The higher the taxes, the smaller the lot sizes, the less "house" your money can buy.
As I mentioned earlier, I commuted for years, as did most of my family and many of my friends. For this post, went back and asked many of them if they had any regrets about making the move and not a single one said yes!
If you've taken the time to read this post, then you have probably done your fair share of commuting.
I KNOW you'll appreciate a little commuting humor. Check out my recent blog post...
(Information contained in this post is deemed reliable as of 11/29/2010, but cannot be guaranteed)