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New Jersey Metro Tips: A Beginner's Guide to the Transit System

By Amy Wood in New Jersey Commute


15 hours ago

It’s no surprise that Central New Jersey roads and highways can get a little crowded at times. After all, nearly 9 million people live in the Garden State. Fortunately, New Jersey’s excellent public transportation system makes it possible to get to work, dine out or shop without ever slipping behind the wheel of a car or truck. These basics will help you navigate the transportation options in our area.

NJ Transit Offers Train and Bus Options

NJ Transit covers 5,235 square miles of the state with 1,231 trains, 2,221 buses, and 93 light rail vehicles.  Do you plan to commute to Newark or New York City via train? NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley line offers several stops in our area, including ones in Fanwood, Netherwood, Plainfield, Dunellen, Bound Brook, Bridgewater, Somerville, Raritan, North Branch, White House, Lebanon, Annandale, and High Bridge.

Traveling to New York City requires a change of trains in Newark Penn Station. During rush hour, you’ll probably wait 10 minutes or less for your next train. Once you arrive at New York Penn Station, you can transfer to other NJ Transit lines if Manhattan isn’t your final destination.

NJ Transit buses offer another transportation option and are particularly convenient for traveling in Central New Jersey. You’ll find plenty of stops throughout the area for your convenience.

Train and bus tickets can be purchased using vending machines at train stations or through the NJ Transit mobile app. One-way tickets, 10-trip tickets, weekly and monthly passes are available, as is FLEXPASS, an option that provides 20 one-way tickets at a 20% discount.  If you plan to ride the bus, you can also pay cash when you enter the bus but must have exact change.

In addition to providing a way to purchase tickets remotely, the app also provides real-time status on the arrival of buses and trains, tells you how full your train or bus will be, and notifies you about delays or other issues.

Traveling in Somerset County? Try a County Shuttle    

Somerset County offers shuttles that travel to a variety of towns, businesses, and train stations. The SCOOT bus travels through the central part of the country and stops in Hillsborough, Bridgewater, Manville, Somerville, Bound Brook, and Bedminster. During peak hours, SCOOT provides transportation to local companies, business parks, and Bridgewater Commons Mall.

The DASH bus offers service between Bound Brook and the New Brunswick train station, with stops in between, while the CAT line travels throughout Central New Jersey to Raritan Valley Community College. The cost to ride one of the Somerset County buses is $2 one way, payable in exact change. Buses can be flagged down at any point along their routes.

Amtrak Offers Another Transportation Option   

Amtrak also offers train service in the area and is a good choice if you work or have a meeting in Philadelphia or other east coast cities. If you’d like to take an Amtrak train, you can drive or take the NJ Transit train to Newark Penn Station and catch a train at the station. Amtrak tickets can be bought on the train or at Amtrak.com. (If you buy a ticket on the train, you’ll pay more for your ticket.)

Things to Think About 

When you’re running late, the last thing you’ll want to do is circle the train station parking lot hoping an empty spot will magically appear. Some train stations have more parking spots available than others. If you start work later than the majority of commuters, you may have trouble finding a place to park in certain stations. Take a look at the station information available on the New Jersey Transit website to find out how many cars your desired station will hold. The website also provides information on daily and monthly parking fees for each station.

You’ll save when you purchase multi-day tickets rather than single-use tickets. Depending on the length of the ticket and your destination, the savings can be substantial over the course of a month or year.

Are you looking for the perfect place to live? Country Classics’ apartment communities are centrally located and offer easy access to public transportation. Contact us for information about current availability if you’d like to become one of our newest residents.


Amy Wood

Vice President of Operations at Country Classics

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