Updated: May 21, 2015
Going from Newark Airport (EWR) to Manhattan, New York:When you fly into Newark International Airport you have a few options if you are heading into Manhattan. Taking a taxi from EWR to midtown Manhattan will cost you at least $55 to $65 each way. Now if you have a few others to share the expense with, this is not a bad option, but sitting in traffic is no fun. On a recent trip to NYC, I flew into Newark Airport with my wife and we took the NJ Transit all the way to Penn Station in New York. I thought it was convenient and very reasonably priced at $12.50/each for the one way ticket. It's actually faster than taking a cab since the train only stops for about 1 minute at 2 stops and then you are off again. We got to Penn Station NYC in about 25 minutes. When you arrive into Newark Airport look for the Airtrain signs in the terminal. From terminal A we caught the AirTrain and headed for the train station just outside the airport. Buy your NJ Transit train ticket before getting on the AirTrain. AirTrain is just a monorail type transportation that is FREE within the terminals of the airport to shuttle passengers around.
To get details on the AirTrain Newark system, we suggest going to http://www.panynj.gov/airports/ewr-airtrain.html. The page is loaded with information and a great map of the system. Once you leave the terminal area, the AirTrain takes you past the parking garage and out to the connection where you can get off and then catch a NJ Transit or Amtrak train into New York City. The NJ Transit rail system is efficient and worked just fine. We boarded the train bound for Penn Station in NYC and relaxed for the short ride. There are luggage racks above the seats. Keep your train ticket out or have it handy as the conductor will come by and check it at some point during the ride. Upon entering Penn Station we found the subway line that would take us to Grand Central station. We arrived on a Friday evening and both Penn Station and Grand Central were packed. It's chaos for those of us not used to the hoards of people everywhere. We stood to the side of the rush and got our bearings before getting our subway pass. After having taken the train from Newark Airport to Manhattan and vice versa, I have to say coming from the airport is much easier. On the day we left (a Monday), Penn Station was bustling once again and finding the correct train to get on was a bit crazy. You buy your ticket from one of the kiosks - they are easy to find and simple to operate with a touch screen that leads you through the process. The problem is knowing which train to get on. There is a big board with trains listed and destinations posted, but the track # is not listed until about 15 minutes before departure. You'll have to watch the board and see the stops that each train makes. Trains going to the Newark Airport have an EWR on the board posting. You can always ask for assistance from a station attendant, but I would be cautious who you believe. We heard 2 different stories from both a police officer and a train station attendant. Give yourself plenty of time to get to Penn Station and for your departing train. We waited about 20 minutes for the correct train and I was thinking they come every 5 minutes or so. Once on the train everything went smoothly from Penn Station to EWR. A good notice I read on the official website for the train was "Travelers should be aware that not all trains stop at the airport station and are advised to check the schedules. When taking a NJ Transit Train be sure to choose a train that runs on the North Jersey Coast Line or Northeast Corridor Line with a scheduled stop for Newark Liberty International Airport". Also, remember that when you get to the Newark Liberty International Airport Train Station just follow the signs to the AirTrain. You will need your NJ Transit or Amtrak rail ticket to transfer through the fare gates. We strongly suggest reviewing both of the PDF files we have posted links for below. They will help in your journey.
Regional Rail Connections
AirTrain Newark Guide and MAP