Parking in Newark for a trip to NYC?
March 13, 2014 7:35 AM   Subscribe

Does it make sense to drive to Newark Airport and park there for a long weekend in New York?

I'm heading for NYC from Pittsburgh in a couple weeks, staying Thu-Sat nights. I'll be driving, but I don't want to deal with parking in the city.

How hairbrained is this idea? I want to drive to Newark Airport and park, then get public transportation to the hotel in Manhattan. Then do the reverse on Sunday. It looks like it'll cost approximately ($18x3=) $54 for the three nights at the airport.

Is this a viable plan? The airport won't care that we're using them as a park-n-ride, right? Is there a better plan?

posted by booth to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (27 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
It's only harebrained because I'm pretty sure there are places when you can find cheaper, if not free, parking on a NJ transit train line. Hopefully someone else will chime in with a location, but if not, maybe you can search for convenient park and ride spots here.
posted by Grither at 7:44 AM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's do-able, but I'd only do it if your hotel doesn't offer any sort of parking facility or the parking there was outrageous. Getting into the city from Newark is something like $70 to $90 bucks in a cab, and an hour-long, multi-transfer PITA on public transport. If there's a free or cheap hotel shuttle of some sort you can take then maybe it'd be worth it.

Otherwise, if you're going to have to drag your bags out to Newark on PATH I'd just think about chucking driving altogether and taking Amtrak or a megabus from Pittsburg to Penn Station. The hassle elements are about equal, and I can't imagine it takes any longer to train from Pitt to Penn than to truck out to Newark and then drive from there.

I haven't flown out of Newark in several years, though, others people may have more updated info on your options.
posted by Diablevert at 7:50 AM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

My Philly friend parks in Hamilton and then takes NJ transit into NY (Northeast Corridor line) which works well and I imagine is cheaper.
posted by mlle valentine at 8:02 AM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

You can park in the Municipal Parking Lot at the Staten Island Ferry for $8 per day.
Plus, the ferry ride to Manhattan is much more scenic than the train.
posted by Flood at 8:05 AM on March 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

Also, taking the train to and from city will be at least $30 round trip. Metropark is $9 a day, so much cheaper than Newark.

From NJ Transit:

If you are traveling from Southern New Jersey, you may consider parking at Trenton Train Station where you can catch a Northeast Corridor train to New York Penn Station located in midtown Manhattan at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue. For related parking information at Trenton Transit Center, please call (609)599-9614.
If you are in Central New Jersey, you may consider taking the New Jersey Turnpike to Exit 11 and taking the Garden State Parkway North for two miles to Exit 131A to Metropark Station where you can catch a Northeast Corridor train to New York Penn Station. For related parking information at Metropark Station, please call (732) 906-1661.
If you are coming from the Northwestern portion of New Jersey via Route 80, you may want to consider parking at Dover Station and taking a Midtown Direct train to New York Penn Station. For related parking information at Dover Station, please call (973) 366-2200.

posted by sandmanwv at 8:05 AM on March 13, 2014

I park at the Hamilton train station as well, but I'm coming up from Delaware. Maybe Metropark is better from Pittsburgh.
posted by interplanetjanet at 8:21 AM on March 13, 2014

Metropark works pretty well, provided there's room in the lot. (It can be a little touch and go at certain times.) From there, it's only about 45 minutes to NY Penn Station by NJ Transit.
posted by fifthrider at 8:34 AM on March 13, 2014

an hour-long, multi-transfer PITA on public transport

It's not that bad, but if you're not familiar with NYC public transit, it might be stressful.

Nthing that you can probably find cheaper parking somewhere else, and you should definitely price out what it would cost to park at your hotel or a garage near your hotel. Don't forget to factor in the $30 per person it'll cost to get into the city from the airport.

Manhattan driving isn't actually that bad, it's just not how you want to get around town as a tourist.
posted by Sara C. at 8:40 AM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

OP, what part of NYC are you staying in? I agree with everyone that there are cheaper & more convenient places to park than Newark airport. there's a Kinney parking lot across the street from the Journal Square (in Jersey City) PATH train that charges $12 a night I think, and then you'd just take the PATH into the city and the subway wherever else.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:57 AM on March 13, 2014

I would just park in Brooklyn near a train and leave it there. Most street cleaning happens during the week so leaving a car would be fine. I live in Clinton Hill and have had friends drive up on the weekends, find plenty of street parking, and leave their cars in one spot for three days no problem. And it's free.
posted by greta simone at 9:45 AM on March 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

One time I thought I would take public transportation from the Newark airport and save the money on a cab. From the terminal you need to take the monorail to the parking lot, take another monorail to the NJ transit stop, pay $9 to take NJ transit one stop to Newark Penn Station and then transfer again to the PATH (which might also require another transfer depending on destination or time of day). You could potentially make this easier on yourself by parking right by the correct monorail stop and/or taking NJ transit right into the city for a little extra money, but I'm personally not planning on doing this again any time soon.

I was going to suggest what greta simone just suggested and park in Brooklyn where it's free and no permit is required. I've lived in Park Slope where spots were very hard to come by but the street sweeping was mostly Monday/Tuesday so you'd be fine once you eventually found a spot. It sounds like Clinton Hill is better.

If you don't want to venture into the city at all, I'm nthing that parking at one of the NJ transit stops or in a lot at Journal Square would probably be a good idea.
posted by cali59 at 10:20 AM on March 13, 2014

If you are looking at just street parking, you can probably find free street parking near your hotel (or in easy enough walking distance) rather than driving from Pittsburgh through New Jersey and then through Manhattan to Brooklyn, only to double back into Manhattan afterwards via public transit.

Check the street cleaning times before you commit to a spot, but in most of Manhattan you should be fine over the weekend.

If you are staying in Times Square or near Herald Square this will be more difficult, but still by no means impossible and better to park in Hell's Kitchen or Murray Hill than Brooklyn, in terms of convenience.
posted by Sara C. at 10:55 AM on March 13, 2014

Seconding greta simone. Park in Carroll Gardens, where alternate side parking is on a Tuesday/Thursday schedule. Totally free, totally safe, totally convenient. Feel free to email me if you'd like more specific info.
posted by saladin at 11:01 AM on March 13, 2014

Using the Parkme website, it seems there are many options in upper Manhattan for garage parking for less than the cost of airport parking plus train tickets. Park in Hudson Heights/Inwood right off the GWB for less than $60 for 3 nights. There's also free street parking there, if you find a spot.

There are a number of Icon parking garages for circa $100 and they have coupons. Quikpark has a number of garages for under $100.

Your plan sounds exhausting and not worth the potential minimal savings.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:03 AM on March 13, 2014

Response by poster: So many great options. Thanks! I guess I was getting freaked about traffic into the city. (A Pittsburgh guy, I shouldn't be stressed about tunnels and bridges.)

oh yeah!, I'll be at the Yotel, Times Square West.
posted by booth at 11:29 AM on March 13, 2014

There is no way traffic into Manhattan is going to take longer than parking at an airport and taking a series of shuttles to a series of public transit points, unless you plan to arrive during the weekday morning B&T rush. And even then, it's not THAT bad.
posted by Sara C. at 11:54 AM on March 13, 2014

I'm pretty surprised that people are telling you to drive all the way into Brooklyn to park your car. That just sounds like an enormous pain in the ass, and in my personal experience, street parking in Brooklyn is a huge hassle and very difficult to find unless you're familiar with the neighborhood and know where to go. (Street parking is also an excellent way to get your car sideswiped.)

Driving into Manhattan isn't great but isn't terrible. Stay on the west side, find a garage near your hotel, you'll probably be fine. Just don't get anywhere near Times Square and don't try and get in or out of the city in the vicinity of rush hour.

(I personally hate driving in Manhattan, though, and would park in one of the NJT lots people have suggested above and take the train into the city.)
posted by Narrative Priorities at 12:00 PM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Narrative Priorities - all of the Brooklyn suggestions came in before the OP updated with their hotel location, we were shooting in the dark.

Given the update, seems like you might as well drive into the city and go to the cheapest lot you can find in walking distance of the hotel. You could probably find free parking on the street, but I think the cost of a garage is worth the peace of mind of not having to worry about getting sideswiped or towed for misreading the parking signs. And traffic is not so bad if you avoid rush hour, and be wary of taxis. And remember that you can't make a right turn on a red light in NYC. And don't let someone else's crazed honking pressure you into trying to make it through a light only to get stuck in the middle of the intersection (i.e. blocking the box)
posted by oh yeah! at 12:40 PM on March 13, 2014

all the way into Brooklyn

Googlemaps suggests that it's about 20-30 minutes extra driving time over the poster's original Newark suggestion.

in my personal experience, street parking in Brooklyn is a huge hassle and very difficult to find unless you're familiar with the neighborhood and know where to go. (Street parking is also an excellent way to get your car sideswiped.)

Couldn't disagree more. Parking in and around Carroll Gardens is pretty painless and safe, and the area is generally a simple grid that's right off the BQE. The sweeping days are Tuesday and Thursday for the main bulk of the neighborhood, making it perfect for long weekends. And the F train is right there, which gives you not one but two easy opportunities to transfer to the A/C, which is the most convenient subway to the asker's hotel. I'm sticking with my suggestion!
posted by saladin at 1:47 PM on March 13, 2014

Well, OP -- obviously opinions on what's convenient differ!

I don't know how familiar you are with the NYC subway system, but if you're going to have a significant amount of luggage with you, keep in mind that most stations don't have elevators or escalators, and that when there are elevators or escalators, they often aren't working. If you're going to be bringing anything with you that you aren't comfortable carrying up and down multiple flights of stairs, it might be good to skip the subway, especially in the outer boroughs. (Note also that many transfers between different subway lines involve going up and down stairs to different platforms and/or dragging your suitcase down long corridors.)
posted by Narrative Priorities at 2:25 PM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Check out the Hudson River ferries too. The parking and ferry ride is pretty affordable, and it will drop you right off on the coast of Midtown West (with free buses that take you further into town).
posted by cvp at 4:02 PM on March 13, 2014

That's insane. Find the cheapest garage that you can near your hotel (you can use the website Best Parking and others to find rates). Stick your car there for the duration, and use the Subway while in Manhattan.

I say this as someone who cannot stand to drive in Manhattan. A garage will be A LOT cheaper than parking at the airport, then paying cab fare or hassling with long-distance public transit.

I don't understand why people are sending you to Brooklyn or Staten Island to park; that seems like far more of a hassle than it is worth.

Alternatively, you may want to look into taking an Amtrak train from Philadelphia or even Pittsburgh if you're still two weeks or more out (ticket prices are cheapest if you're at least two weeks out). Subway and cabs from Penn Station are quite convenient, depending on where in Manhattan you're headed.
posted by tckma at 4:17 PM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

We always take the Lincoln tunnel into the city and park in the self-park garage on 42nd st (I believe) right at the exit to the tunnel. If you follow the traffic you literally hit a T where you can go either left, right or directly into the parking garage.

It's really the easiest way we have found to park with essentially no driving in the city and since it's a self park you can easily get back into your car if you need something.

I have not used it over night, so I don't know if that is an issue (either for safety or cost).

One other thing we have done is park at liberty state park and take the ferry over - but again I'm not sure if this works for more than a day...
posted by NoDef at 4:19 PM on March 13, 2014

You're on the right track parking in Jersey, but you should park at Secaucus Junction in Secaucus, NJ and take the 10 min, frequently scheduled train ride into Penn Station. I can't tell you how many times I've done this or recommended to others.
posted by paradeofblimps at 7:42 PM on March 13, 2014

Response by poster: Again, thanks to everyone for the tips. Sounds like the answer is "Yes, harebrained." (And not "hairbrained.")

Amtrak and Megabus don't offer workable departure times from here, so finding parking is the way to go. And I appreciate greta simone's suggestion to find street parking near a subway stop.

This will take a little more research, but you've given me a lot of good guidance.
posted by booth at 9:01 AM on March 14, 2014

I don't know the best idea for your parking issue, but I can tell you that the folks saying that transit from Newark airport is a nightmare are wrong. I LOVE flying into Newark. NJTransit costs $12.50 - that includes a fee for the Airport tram - not sure if you can avoid that price. In 3 stops and 25 minutes it takes you to Penn Station in NYC. There is also a Penn Station in NJ, and the same train stops there, but you don't get off and you don't transfer to the PATH, just keep riding.

Very simple, connects to the subway that I need in NYC, and I don't bring luggage, just a backpack, so it works for me.
posted by CathyG at 12:17 PM on March 15, 2014

Response by poster: Okay, we decided to park in a garage near the hotel. I did some research and found something affordable just around the corner. When we got there, though, it was full. I hadn't even considered that possibility. So we used the hotel's lot for $52 a night. And again, that lot only had two openings. We were lucky.

Driving into Manhattan was no problem at all at 8pm on a Thursday night.

Thanks again.
posted by booth at 12:15 PM on March 29, 2014

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