Getting from Newark’s EWR airport to downtown Manhattan doesn’t have to be so hard. There are tons of options to get you to the city that are cheaper and faster than ever.
This blog will tell you all the cheapest, most efficient and easiest ways to get from Newark to Manhattan, and even which ways to avoid!
During my recent trip to NYC, I learned the meaning of ‘you get what you pay for’. Not to say that the cheapest ways to get to Manhattan are always a bad choice, but for me personally that seemed to be the case.
First let me tell you about my personal mishap at EWR airport so that you might learn from my mistake on your next trip to NYC. Then I will go into detail about ALL the ways to get from Newark Airport to downtown Manhattan.
*If you don’t care about my transportation horror story, just scroll down and I promise you’ll love all the detailed info I have for EWR to NYC transportation options.
What I Learned About EWR to NYC Transportation
Let’s face it, NYC is not a cheap place to visit. Between expensive cabs, pricey hotels and overpriced meals, it all starts to add up quickly. Out of pure convenience (and being slightly high-maintenance), I have a habit of booking black car sedans to pick me up, but in NYC that service isn’t cheap!
I was landing mid-day and not in a rush at all, so I figured I would try a shared-shuttle to save some money. A few days before my flight I researched two different EWR to NYC shuttle operators. The most legit ones I could find were GoAirLink and SuperShuttle. Both get a respective 1.9 and 2 out of 5 stars on Google and TripAdvisor reviews.
So, not good.
I read through the reviews and saw very recent 1 stars with titles like: “The only reason I gave them 1 star is because I had to.” and “The worst service I have ever experienced.”
But what can I say, I’m a rebel, so I booked anyway. I decided on SuperShuttle by random selection and went through the motions.
The total cost was $35 to get me from EWR Newark Airport to my friend’s house on Barrow St in the West Village. Pretty cheap! What I liked about the shuttle was that it would actually take me to an address instead of dropping me at a bus station. They even had an app I could download so I could watch my shuttle driver approach my pickup location, kind of like how Uber works. Cool, I was ready to go.
When I arrived at Terminal C at Newark Airport, that is when everything went wrong. I am Canadian and had turned my Canadian cell phone service off (as I was headed to Mexico for 6 months) so I had no cell service. No biggie, the airport has free Wi-Fi, right? Not in the location where you are supposed to wait for the shuttle. Crap.
I usually travel with a portable hotspot, but I had accidentally put it in my husband’s bag who was meeting me a few days later.
I went back inside the terminal and messaged the driver of the shuttle on the app to say I WAS there, but I don’t have cell service. He couldn’t respond to me because the app only lets him SMS my phone back, and with no cell service, no message could come through. Not cool. I waited and waited and nothing. His little icon on the tracking map never moved. I sent another message saying I didn’t see him moving, but that I’m still waiting for him. Still nothing.
While I was waiting I saw a vending machine that sold local SIM cards at extortionist rates and figured I should get one. I put $60 USD into the machine and it ate my money without delivering a SIM. Noooo!
So, I spent the next hour walking outside to check for the shuttle, and then running back inside to see if my app was updating.
Still a no show.
I could only play that game for so long before I started to get cranky. Turns out all the reviews were right. The shuttle service SUCKS and they don’t show up on time at all, nor do they communicate properly.
I had just lost $35 for the shuttle and $60 for a SIM card, so I figured why not make it a truly expensive day and just order an Uber on top of that. Best decision ever. The Uber came within 2 minutes and got me to my friend’s house in the West Village in no time at all. It was so easy and only came to $50 total, which was only $15 more than the shuttle.
Here is where I am going to say it:→ I should have just taken an Uber from the start. I never should have booked the shuttle.
For what I ended up spending on all total charges that day, I could have just taken a black limo sedan. Lesson learned. Don’t use the 3rd party airport shuttle buses.
How to Get From Newark Airport to Manhattan
Most efficient way to get from Newark Airport to Manhattan:
Uber is 100% the most efficient way to get from EWR to NYC. Uber is even easier than a taxi because it’s cashless, and depending on traffic, might come out cheaper than a taxi’s flat-rate. I you don’t have cell service, you can order the Uber from inside the terminal using a free Wi-Fi connection and then meet him at the pick-up spot.
How Much is an Uber from EWR to NYC:
- Get dropped off at specific address
- Easy car to door service
- Can order level/class of car at your discretion
- You need an Uber account already set up with payment method/etc.
- Not the cheapest method out there
Cheapest way to get from Newark Airport to Manhattan:
If you want to keep costs a low as possible during your NYC visit, consider taking the AirTrain, as it’s the cheapest way to get from EWR to downtown Manhattan. Yes, this option is going to take a little more grunt work than the others, so consider how much luggage you will be traveling with and your level of mobility.
The train takes about 30 minutes to get downtown and it only costs $13!
The good news is the train will drop you off at New York Penn Station, which is a hop skip and a jump from Times Square and the Empire State Building. The bad news is you might still have a far walk ahead of you, or a few more subway rides. This is why I said it’s important to take into consideration your baggage and mobility. If you are a carry-on only kind of person, the train is a no-brainer. Even if you have one heavy checked bag, but don’t mind wheeling it around NYC, you’re still good to go. If you have several bags, a bad back and a short temper, the train is not for you.
How Much is the AirLink from EWR to NYC:
How to buy AirTrain tickets:
There are ticket vending machines at the airport, or you can download the MyTix app and buy them there. Tickets can be purchased one-way or roundtrip.
When Does the AirTrain Run:
- Between 6am to 9pm = 6 trains per hour
- Between 9pm to 12am = 4 trains per hour
- A few trains may run 12am to 2am
- Cheapest way to get from Newark Airport to Manhattan
- You can avoid bad traffic
- Trains run up to 6 times per hour
- Only drops you off at ONE location. Penn New York City Station
- Takes a few minutes to walk to the train from the terminal. Might be hard for people with heavy luggage or mobility issues
Easiest way to get from Newark Airport to Manhattan:
Private Driver / Car service
Hiring a private driver is by far the EASIEST way to get from EWR to downtown NYC. It’s also the most expensive because that is the price you pay for convenience.
A private driver is easier than a taxi or an Uber because your driver will wait for you with a sign at arrivals. You don’t even need to touch your phone.
The vehicle will be nice and new, the ride will be smooth, and you’ll feel like a VIP. Most companies will also wait an unlimited amount of time for free, in the case that your flight is late. Nothing is easier than that.
How Much Does a Private Driver from EWR Cost?
Services start around $90-$100 USD for a Premium sedan with meet and greet service inside the terminal. Prices for an actual stretch LIMO start around $240 USD.
Here are some limo and private car companies that have 4+/5 start ratings. (Prices for a sedan with meet and greet)
- Aston Limo Service = $90
- NYC City Limo = $150
- Luxor Limo NYC = $120
- Blacklane = $105
- Most come with a ‘Meet and Greet’ with your driver meeting you inside the terminal
- You get to ride in clean newer model luxury cars
- It’s nice to have VIP service on a stressful travel day
- Prices are double what a taxi or Uber cost, and 4x’s what the AirTrain or Express shuttle bus cost.
WORST way to get from Newark Airport to Manhattan (in my opinion):
If you read my story above, you’ll already know why I don’t like the shuttle. You really don’t save much money when compared to an Uber and its SO much more stress and work. Hundreds of reviews claim the shuttle didn’t even show up at all, or if it did, hours late.
But okay, if you insist – here is the info on shuttles.
There are two main companies that do it, both rated very poorly – Go Air Link and SuperShuttle.
What makes them different from the shuttle BUSES that are also available from the airport (more info on them below) is that this shuttle will actually take you to an address. For example, I wasn’t headed to a hotel or main attraction in Manhattan, I was going to a friend’s house. IF the shuttle had shown up, I’m sure it would have taken me directly there.
How Much Does a Shared Shuttle from EWR Cost?
- $15 to $25 less than a taxi or Uber
- Both shuttle companies mentioned above will drop you at a specific address
- Notoriously late. Sometimes hours late!
- Have been known to not show up at all
- It’s a shared shuttle, so if you are the last drop-off, it could take a few hours to get to your intended destination
- Both companies lack in the customer service department if you need to request a refund because of a late/no show shuttle
Other ways to get from EWR to NYC:
The Newark Liberty Airport Express Shuttle Bus.
Another really cheap way to get from EWR to downtown Manhattan is to take the Newark Liberty Airport Express Bus. It’s cheap at less than half the cost of an Uber/taxi and has a few extra stops than if you took the AirTrain.
While the AirTrain only stops at Penn Station, the Airport Express shuttle bus stops at 3 different destinations in Manhattan. You can stop at any of the 3.
The 3 stops are: Grand Central, Bryant Park, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal
How often does the Airport Express run?:
- 4am to 1am
- Every 30 minutes
- Cheap at only $18 one way or $31 roundtrip
- Takes you to 3 different stops in downtown Manhattan
- They run every 20-30 minutes almost 24 hours a day!
- They won’t drop you off at a specific address. Only stops at three destinations.
- Takes a few minutes to walk to the bus pickup from the terminal. Might be hard for people with heavy luggage or mobility issues
- Depending on traffic, the ride can be longer than usual
- You might have to haul your luggage up into the bus yourself
Honestly I get so used to Uber than sometimes I forget good ol’ fashioned taxis do still exist!
As per the Newark Airport’s official website, this is the flat-rate a taxi should be charging you from EWR to Manhattan (depending where in Manhattan you’re looking to go).
How much is a taxi cab from EWR to NYC?
Taxi flat-rate prices from EWR to NYC
To New York City/Manhattan
I hope this article helps you make the best Manhattan transportation decisions for your budget and your personality!
Personally, I will now always take the AirTrain if I am travelling light and just hop into an Uber if I have lots of baggage.
Prices for Transportation from EWR airport to NYC Manhattan
- AirTrain $13
- Express Shuttle Bus $18
- Shared Shuttle $35
- Uber $45+
- Taxi $50+
- Private Driver Sedan $90+
- Limo $240+