Cab or car service between Manhattan and Teaneck, NJ?
June 13, 2009 5:34 PM   Subscribe

I will be visiting Manhattan and staying on the Upper West Side (near 80th St), but I want to visit friends in Teaneck, New Jersey. What's the most sensible and convenient way to travel between these locations? Rent a car, call a cab, or use a car service? I'm aware that I can take a bus from the Port Authority, but I'll be bringing little kids.
posted by Joe in Australia to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total)
Are the kids little enough to require car seats?
posted by winston at 5:43 PM on June 13, 2009

Little kids love the bus! I see people bring little kids on the bus all the time, I'm sure you'd be fine. I imagine both a cab AND a car service would run you no less than $60, and probably more than $90 one way, plus you'd probably have to pay tolls in both directions despite the tolls only being on one side. What a ripoff! But I am poor, and would never ever consider such an option.

From the upper west side, you'd want to take a bus leaving the George Washington Bus station. A taxi cab ought to get you to the bus station real easy. You'd want something like Bus #175? #171? NJ Transit ought to give you the right information there.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 5:49 PM on June 13, 2009

Mmmmm....I would think renting a car for the day, if you're okay with driving in the city. Most of the friends I've visited in Jersey have been off the PATH train, but Teaneck is well out of there, and there's no NJ Transit train station anywhere near. Cabs between the city and Newark are US$75-90, plus tolls; not sure if you'd escape for less than that to Teaneck, might want to see if there's a car service in Jersey willing to quote you a price. But even so I'd think lowest you'd be talking is $50 each way, and at that rate you might as well rent a car. Bus would possibly be cheaper, but there'd be a lot of wrangling and you'd have to deal with their schedules, which aren't super-convenient on the weekends. Or at least they weren't the last time I went out to deep Jersey for a wedding. And there are several rental dealerships on the Upper West side.
posted by Diablevert at 6:00 PM on June 13, 2009

I would drive. With little kids it's nice to be in charge of your own schedule. It's a wash, price-wise, between a car service and renting, so rent if you want the flexibility, order the car service if you don't like driving in Manhattan.
posted by agentwills at 6:39 PM on June 13, 2009

Best answer: Be forewarned, renting a car in Manhattan is much more expensive than elsewhere in the U.S. Daily rates during the week are upwards of $75; weekends can run you $120 a day—and that is IF you can find a car on Friday or Saturday (most rental places are closed on Sundays or open only for returns). Summer weekends are booked months in advance by Manhattanites fleeing to the beach.

The bus is not a terrible idea. You can take the A train directly to the George Washington Bridge bus station, and Teaneck shouldn't be more than 15 minutes from there. You can also take a jitney from the GWB, too, rather than NJ Transit, if you're feeling really adventurous. It's about $3 a person; kids might be free.

I sometimes rent my cars at the Enterprise in Fort Lee, NJ, rather than the Upper West Side, taking the subway to the GWB and walking across the bridge. I saved about $200 on a three-day rental last weekend.
posted by stargell at 7:12 PM on June 13, 2009

If you do rent, Thrifty and Enterprise, both on 83rd, tend to be cheaper than Hertz or Avis.
posted by stargell at 7:23 PM on June 13, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the help. I think I'll rule out taking a cab - I can't imagine spending so much on a short ride. So it will come down to the bus or car rental. Will parking be a big problem in that area? It's near the American Museum of Natural History.

Winston - they're little kids, but big little kids. They can get by without a car seat but I should probably pack boosters.

Geckwoistmeinauto - I'm spending a lot on this trip but I can't imagine spending that much on such a short cab ride. Thanks for letting me know about the GW Bus Station. For some reason Google Maps was only telling me about the Port Authority one. Yes, my kids love the bus too - but it's an hour there (walk, subway, bus, walk), an hour back ... I'll have to think about it.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:41 PM on June 13, 2009

Joe, it seems reasonable that you could ask your friends how they commute in and out of the city. Do they have a car? Could they pick you up? New Jersey has its own special set of rules for getting into Manhattan. Seconding NJ Transit from the GW Bridge if they have no advice.
posted by onalark at 8:35 PM on June 13, 2009

Best answer: Actually, taking the bus would be very easy. If you are on the UWS, you just take the 1 train from 79th & Broadway to 181st street. (If you can, wait on the platform at the front car - little kids LOVE to look out the front window to see the tracks, though this may not be possible in some newer trains. The last car is cool, too.) Then it's just a two-block walk to the GWB bus station, and you hop a short bus ride (15 mins if no traffic) from there to Teaneck. The kids will probably enjoy the ride over the GWB, especially since they'll be able to see over the guardrails since they'll be on a bus.

All in all, it shouldn't take you much more than an hour. Even if you discount for having a couple of kids in tow, I think 90 minutes would be reasonable. And it'll be a lot cheaper than renting any cars or hiring any cabs. Presumably your friends in Teaneck will have a car and be able to pick you up at the bus stop.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:10 PM on June 13, 2009

I often go northern Jersey when I'm in NY, to visit friends as well as make my pilgrimage to the Mitsuwa supermarket in Edgewater, and I always rent a car. It's not that big a hassle, it frees you up to explore along the Hudson if you want to (some beautiful scenery there), and it's a nice change of pace from Manhattan. Unless you're on a very tight budget, I'd recommend renting a car really, especially with kids in tow.
posted by thread_makimaki at 11:00 PM on June 13, 2009

The bus depends on where your friends in Teaneck live and whether thay can pick you up. What's the address? Teaneck is a sprawly suburb, and the buses from GWB tend to travel the main commercial streets (Teaneck Road, Cedar lane) or drop you near the highway (Route 4 from the GW Bridge.) If your destination is near Route 4 consider the so-called "Spanish bus" - these are smaller buses run out of the lower level of the GW Bridge terminal. They bring (mostly) Latin American workers from NYC to jobs in New Jersey and are cheaper than the regular big buses.

I should mention that the above poster suggests Mitsuwa: there is a bus that runs in front of the Mitsuwa Market to Teaneck hourly... and there is a direct shuttle to Mitsuwa from the 42nd st. bus terminal every half hour.
posted by zaelic at 7:01 AM on June 14, 2009

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