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Why You'll Want to Avoid Newark Airport for 75 Days This Summer

April 9, 2014 at 5:31 PM | by | ()

Granted, our usual NYC travel advice is to avoid Newark Airport whenever possible, but take it doubly serious this summer as public transportation to/from the airport is going to be the worst.

FlyerTalk alerted travelers to the situation, confirmed by the Port Authority and local news reports.

The Newark Airport AirTrain will be closed for necessary repairs for 75 days during summer's peak travel season: May 1 - July 15. Rubbing salt into the wound, not even Amtrak will be stopping at Newark Airport's train station, meaning the only option for public transportation is a replacement shuttle bus leaving from downtown Newark.

Additionally, with no AirTrain, travelers making transfers between terminals or heading out to the parking or rental car lots will also need to pile in the shuttle buses. Yuck.

So what are your options?

· Fly into another airport. This is what we'll be doing all summer, favoring LGA and JFK over EWR and even willing to pay a little more for the pleasure.
· Try your luck in a cab. Look, we definitely can't recommend taking a cab either to or from Newark, since we've notoriously had problems with both and you can bet on it costing around $70-90 each way, plus tip. [Update: this option is made doubly unattractive as the Pulaski Skyway northbound lanes (from Newark to New York) close for two years, starting this month. Taxis will be forced to drive alternate routes, extending time and fare, plus adding a possible extra toll fee if the recommended turnpike detour is taken].
· Attempt one of the various rideshare companies, like SuperShuttle. At $20 per person, it's a fraction of the taxi fare, but we've never had a smooth or speedy experience with these companies (despite giving them many chances), so we can't recommend this option either.
· Grit your teeth and ride the replacement shuttle bus. Getting to Newark from the city, you'll take the NJ Transit train from New York Penn Station to Newark Penn Station. From there, you'll have to find the shuttle bus to continue on to the airport, which will be subject to the delays of Newark traffic as it makes its rounds to the rental car area, parking lots, and all airline terminals. Budget extra time—lots—and travel light.

On the bright side, at least the construction work being completed on the AirTrain will hopefully prevent another such closure for some time. Hopefully.

[Photo: foursquare]

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