Corrections or additions?
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
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
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
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
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