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This article was prepared for the November 21, 2001 edition of

U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Train to the Plane: Newark Airport Monorail

Just in time for the holiday rush, AirTrain is taking

road congestion and parking lot roulette out of the trip to the busy

airport. The new AirTrain has made Newark Airport the most accessible

major airport by public transportation from central New Jersey. The

train to the plain is less expensive than any of the alternative ways

of getting to Newark Airport, with the possible exception of begging

a relative to brave the traffic and drop you off.

It’s convenient too. AirTrain, operated by the Port Authority of New

York and New Jersey, is a monorail that takes passengers to and from

Newark Airport Station, one station stop before Newark itself. Thus

an airline passenger can pack his or her bags in Princeton, take a

50-minute trip north to Newark, and then change trains at the Airport

Station. The side trip to the airport takes about 10 minutes, and

passengers are advised to allow 15 to 20 minutes between their arrival

at the station and their arrival at the airport.

The monorail runs frequently, and stops at each of the airport’s three

terminals. Virtually all New York-bound trains leaving Princeton

Junction

after 9 in the morning stop at the Airport Station. During the weekday

rush hour the 5:36 a.m. out of Princeton Junction stops at the Airport

Station, as does the 6:46, the 7:29, and the 8:27.

AirTrain is designed to connect with trains — only trains. Its

station contains no parking spaces at all, and no place for riders

to be dropped off. To take the AirTrain, you first have to board one

of the 794 trains per week that stop at its station. For central New

Jersey travelers that means NJ Transit or Amtrak. But, it is important

to note that not every train stops at the AirTrain station. Most do,

but make sure to check schedules.

The price of an AirTrain ticket is included in Amtrak tickets to the

station. The fare on New Jersey Transit from Princeton Junction to

the Airport stop and then through to the airport on the monorail is

$11.40. Ticket machines at the airport sell tickets to points along

the Northeast Corridor for those who did not purchase roundtrip

tickets

ahead of time — as AirTrain suggests travelers do.

While AirTrain is less expensive than a limo, and probably faster,

too, it is decidedly less commodious. Travelers are advised against

bringing multiple bulging bags aboard. Doing so is especially

miserable

during the holidays, when trains along the Northeast Corridor tend

to be jammed.

For arriving plane travelers there are ticket vending machines at

the airport. There is no service on AirTrain between 2 a.m. and 4:30

a.


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