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What Are the Closest New Jersey Cities to New York City? | 🚅 9 Best NJ Commuter Towns

Are you exploring the possibility of living in New Jersey and working in New York? There are definitely perks. New Jersey has a lower cost of living, even in desirable New Jersey suburbs close to NYC. Housing is much more affordable (and homeownership may even be within reach!), and there are tax benefits. New York taxes are withheld by your employer, but New Jersey credits back the taxes you paid, which usually adds up to a tidy sum.

With many North Jersey towns and cities less than 30 minutes from Manhattan, your commute may even be comparable to (or better) living and working in different New York boroughs!

You probably won’t be the only New Jersey resident at work, either. Of the 4.7 million employees in New York City, about 20%, or nearly one million, commute to the city for work. There are 2.6 million workers in the Inner NJ region, which includes Hudson, Essex, and Bergen counties. A NYC Planning report found just half of Inner NJ residents live and work in the same county; the rest commute elsewhere within the metro region (19%) or elsewhere in New Jersey (29%). Over 400,000 workers crossed the Hudson every day in 2019, and that number is only expected to grow, according to the Regional Plan Association.

Depending on the New Jersey suburb you settle on, your commute to NYC may involve:

Ready to explore the best commuter towns to NYC in New Jersey? Here are the top 9 towns and cities in NJ close to NYC with the shortest commute – plus some bonus options to consider. All were chosen based on quality of life and ease/length of commute, but you’ll find other great suburbs if you’re willing to take on a longer commute to work.

Weehawken – One of the Best NJ Commuter Towns with a 15-Minute Ferry Commute

Weehawken Township is often ranked as one of the best places to live in NJ and commute to NYC, thanks to what the New York Times recently called a “dream commute.” Weehawken is on the Hudson River right across from Manhattan and directly connected to Midtown by the Lincoln Tunnel.

One of the most popular neighborhoods for commuters is Port Imperial, a luxury waterfront community home to some of the most expensive real estate in New Jersey. Imagine leaving home at 7:15 to catch the 7:20 ferry and being in your office by 7:40!

Weehawken to NYC commute: 15 minutes to Midtown on the 8-minute Port Imperial / Weehawken Ferry; 15-20 minutes by bus on NJ Transit Bus 128 to Port Authority; or 15-20 minutes by car outside rush hour. The Port Imperial Terminal is right across from the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail.

Union City – Affordable New Jersey City Near New York for Home Buyers

Just north of Weehawken is Union City, also on the Hudson River across from Manhattan and one of the largest New Jersey cities close to NYC. Living in Union City is a good choice if you want to be close to the action and enjoy dense urban living without the high cost of living in New York.

Union City is one of the best affordable places to live in NJ close to NYC. The median home price in Union City is $450,000 – a steal for the NYC metro area. By comparison, you’ll pay a median $644,000 in Jersey City, $860,000 in Hoboken, $960,000 in Weehawken, and $1.3 million in Manhattan.

The commute isn’t as short or easy as Weehawken, but Union City is still right next to the Lincoln Tunnel, and there are a few bus routes.

Union City to NYC commute: 20 minutes on NJ Transit (bus 129, 154, or 159) to Port Authority.

Hoboken – One of the Best NJ Cities Close to NYC for Young Professionals

Sometimes called New York’s sixth borough, Hoboken is just south of Weehawken and Union City on the Hudson River. Best known for its fantastic views of the NYC skyline, Hoboken has a very young, highly educated population. Its youthful, dense population (over 48,000 per square mile!) delivers an urban lifestyle without the cost and congestion of New York.

One of the perks of living in Hoboken? You’re just across the river and close to the Lincoln and Holland tunnels. You have many options for commuting to NYC. With inevitable train delays and shutdowns, you’ll appreciate having a backup means of getting to work.

Hoboken to NYC commute: 20 to 30 minutes to Midtown, depending on your transportation method. The Hoboken Ferry is 10-15 minutes to Port Authority. The Hoboken PATH train takes about 20-25 minutes to reach the World Trade Center PATH Station in Manhattan. You can also take a NJ Transit train from Hoboken to Penn Station in 30 minutes on the Bergen County Line.

Summit – NJ Town with Direct Train to NYC Ranked One of the Best Places to Live in New Jersey

Living in Summit means a longer commute than the Hudson River towns, but it’s absolutely worth it. Consistently voted as one of the best towns to live in New Jersey, Summit is popular with former city dwellers who want the space and quiet of the suburbs but still want the nightlife and entertainment. It’s also a top choice for families thanks to its excellent schools and outdoor recreation with arboretums and hiking at Watchung Reservation.

Summit to NYC commute: If you’re driving, the 23-mile commute to New York takes 40 minutes outside rush hour going through the Hudson Tunnel intro Tribeca. There are two NJ Transit direct trains from Summit to NYC that usually take less than an hour. The Morris & Essex line leaves Summit Station.

Montclair – Ranked One of the Best New Jersey Commuter Towns to Manhattan

Montclair is farther out than many suburbs on this list, but it earns a spot as one of the best New Jersey suburbs for families. This affluent community, known for its gorgeous homes and arts scene, is a bustling university town with a fun downtown area. It’s home to Montclair State University, New Jersey’s second largest university, which gives the town a younger population and nightlife options.

Montclair was recently ranked as one of the best commuter towns to NYC thanks to the easy, direct commute to Manhattan.

Montclair to NYC commute: Montclair is one of several North Jersey towns with direct trains to NYC. The Montclair-Boonton Line has trains running about every 30 minutes on weekdays. Depending on the Montclair train station, the commute is 30-45 minutes to Penn Station – but during rush hour, the commute gets longer, and you may get stuck in the tunnel. You can park in a Newark train station and use the PATH train for later-night trips home.

Englewood – Hilly Suburb Minutes from the George Washington Bridge

Englewood is one of the most overlooked places in NJ, close to NYC. Just inland from the Hudson and tucked away between Fort Lee, Tenafly, and Teaneck, Englewood is a quiet city with plenty to offer. The city offers convenient shopping and entertainment with a large commercial area, outdoor recreation with the Flat Rock Brook Nature Center and nearby Overpeck County Park, and affordable, diverse housing options.

The highlight of the city is its location. It’s one of the best commuter towns to NYC if you work in Yonkers, the Bronx, or Upper Manhattan, unlike most communities on this list focused on Midtown workers. Englewood is only five minutes from the George Washington Bridge, with bus and train service to New York.

Englewood to NYC commute: You can take a bus to the GW Bridge Bus Station and take the subway at the 175th Street-George Washington Bridge station in Upper Manhattan.

Short Hills – Affluent North Jersey Commuter Town with Excellent Transportation Options

Short Hills is one of the wealthiest North Jersey communities and a true haven from the congestion and bustle of the city. This is a suburb you choose for the quality of life and great education, not the cost of living. Living in Short Hills offers a quiet lifestyle with walkable neighborhoods, top-rated schools, a fun downtown area, and beautiful scenery. You’ll feel worlds away from New York but enjoy a short commute from NJ to NYC and elsewhere with many transportation options.

You’ll have fast and easy access to I-78, I-95, the Garden State Parkway, and the New Jersey Turnpike. The town is served by two NJ Transit train lines:

Short Hills to NYC commute: Most people commute by NJ Transit trains. The Gladstone Branch Line takes you to Hoboken with direct trains to Penn Station, and the Morristown Line (or Midtown Direct) provides direct service to Penn Station as fast as 35 minutes. If you take the Gladstone line to Hoboken, you can take the PATH rail line or the ferry.

You can also make the drive to Manhattan or the Upper East Side in about an hour outside of rush hour. The Lakeland Bus Line is a third option with service from Summit to Wall Street or Midtown. The Summit Park & Ride is 4 miles from Short Hill.

Teaneck – Great NJ Commuter Town with Outdoor Recreation and Peaceful Setting

Home to more than 40,000 people, Teaneck is the perfect place to live near NYC for a tranquil retreat surrounded by nature. Enjoy a peaceful suburban lifestyle along Hackensack River with 250 acres of parks, including Overpeck County Park and golfing but get to work in New York in just 30 minutes.

Teaneck is farther west than many of these popular commuter towns in New Jersey yet offers a surprisingly short commute. It’s close to the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, and I-95, with fast bus service.

Teaneck to NYC commute: A NJ Transit bus can get you to Midtown or Upper Manhattan in about 30 minutes. You can also make the drive in 20-30 minutes outside rush hour.

Hackensack – Upscale, Family-Friendly NJ City Close to NYC

The largest city in Bergen County, Hackensack is about 12 miles outside Midtown and 7 miles from the George Washington Bridge. This densely populated city is one of the safest places to live in the area, with family-friendly neighborhoods and highly rated schools. One of the benefits of living in Hackensack is you have several ways to commute to New York City, including driving, bus, or train service. You can be at work in 30-60 minutes with a backup route in case of delays.

Hackensack to NYC commute: The drive to NYC is 20 miles and as short as 40 minutes outside rush hour. You can take the Holland Tunnel to Lower Manhattan or the George Washington Bridge to Washington Heights. Another option is taking a NJ Transit bus from the Hackensack Bus Terminal to Port Authority which usually takes around one hour. The train requires transferring. Take the Pascack Valley Line from Anderson St. Station to Secaucus and transfer to the North Jersey Coast Line to Penn Station.

Other Great New Jersey Cities Near New York for Commuters

Haven’t quite found the right town for you? Here are some honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the list of best places to live in NJ close to NYC, mostly due to longer commutes.

  • Morristown: A very diverse and historic town with a highly rated school system. They have a direct train to NYC with a 70-minute commute to Manhattan.
  • Atlantic Highlands: Small Victorian town overlooking lower New York Bay. The commute is about an hour by ferry and longer by bus.
  • Upper Montclair: Very affluent community in Montclair with excellent public and private schools. The commute is under an hour by train.
  • Fort Lee: Densely populated borough on the Hudson River with a rich history and Fort Lee Historic Park. The commute from Fort Lee to NYC is about 50 minutes by train or bus.
  • Berkeley Heights: Great place to live for outdoor enthusiasts with fishing, horseback riding, and hiking. The direct train from Berkeley Heights to Manhattan is about an hour.
  • Millburn: One of the best school districts in New Jersey with family-friendly amenities. The commute to Manhattan is about 45 minutes by train.

Best Commuter Towns in NJ Map

As you can see, there’s a long list of best NJ towns to commute to NYC; it all comes down to your preferred way to commute and what you’re looking for in your new home. Have you found the perfect place to settle down in New Jersey? Catlow Movers is here to help! Call our dependable North Jersey movers today for a free, personalized moving quote and a stress-free moving experience.

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