For most Americans, commuting to work is something we do every weekday, year in, year out. It’s no wonder when people are house-hunting, one of the first questions they ask a realtor is about the commute. From our northern New Jersey communities, that commute is often into New York City (NYC). 

Because a difficult commute can take its toll on a commuter’s physical and emotional well-being, many NJ towns along the convenient Midtown Direct train line have evolved into commuter havens. Moreover, with access to so many different travel options into the City from northern NJ, commuters into NYC are flocking to our area to purchase homes. 

The ins and outs of commuting

When it comes to commuting and its impact on Americans, the data is bleak. What’s worse, New Jersey commuters traveling into NYC often have a more difficult time than the average US commuter. 

Here are 10 interesting statistics about the ins and outs of commuting today: 

  1. According to a recent study by Haven Life, New York City is ranked second on the list of the top 10 cities in the United States where workers have the longest commutes. The population commuting over two hours roundtrip per day to New York City is 26.1%.
  2. About 86% of US employees commute to work by automobile every day. For commuters into New York City, 26.6% travel by car. 
  3. A mega-commuter with a 90-minute commute spends a full month of the year commuting in a car or by bus, and these longer commutes can be linked to negative health effects like obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, back and neck pain.
  4. Most of our nation’s workforce, a whopping 97.1%, is made up of commuters
  5. The typical commute in the United States is 26 minutes on average unless you’re going to New York City where the average roundtrip commute is 81.6 minutes.
  6. A 2018 Gallup poll revealed that 21% of workers find their commute to be “very” or “somewhat” stressful, and the percentage is much higher among those with longer commutes.
  7. A well-being project found that adding another 20 minutes to your commute can produce the same level of unhappiness as receiving a 19% pay cut. A tough commute was enough to make 23% of workers go so far as to quit their jobs.
  8. A mere 9% of American workers carpool. Carpooling is actually on a downward trend.
  9. Across the U.S., 5% of commuters use public transit to get to the office, according to data from the American Community Survey. Not surprisingly, that number leaps to 30% for workers commuting to New York City.
  10. A staggering 76.4% of commuters drive solo into the office, but that number goes down to around half in the New York metro area. 

Commuting from northern NJ to NYC

Midtown Direct Train Line

The logistics of commuting from northern New Jersey to New York City prompted the rollout of the Midtown Direct Morris & Essex Line train a decade ago. The Midtown Direct train helps commuters get to and from Manhattan in an hour or less, and towns like Maplewood, South Orange, and West Orange run a free jitney bus service, so residents can easily get to the main Midtown Direct stations. Springfield also provides a jitney that takes residents to the Short Hills train station on the Midtown Direct Train Line. 

NY Waterway

From the Hoboken NJ Transit Terminal, commuters can take the ferry to Manhattan. In northern New Jersey, commuters can also access ferry terminals in Weehawken, Jersey City, and Edgewater. Commuting by NY Waterway is convenient, cost-effective and is easily accessible to a large swath of northern New Jersey. 


Boxcar is a private bus service, which offers another alternative for commuting to New York City from northern New Jersey. With WiFi and restrooms, the buses have convenient pickup locations, and commuters can make a reservation in advance. Boxcar also transports commuters to various locations in midtown Manhattan. 

NJ Transit

In addition to private bus services, NJ Transit runs public buses from northern New Jersey to Manhattan. Towns like Summit have a plethora of commuter lots so residents can easily hop NJ Transit buses to New York City. 

Whether your preference is train, ferry, bus or car, living in northern New Jersey is a great option if you have to commute to New York City. People are flocking to northern New Jersey to take advantage of the many commuting options along with the great schools and family-friendly communities. 

If you are interested in looking at homes in northern New Jersey, I would love to assist you. Contact Victoria Carter at (973) 220-3050 or email


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