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Old 05-20-2009, 07:12 PM
 
20 posts, read 30,980 times
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Hi all. I've read much of this forum, so I think I'm doing this right... I'm moving with my wife and 4 kids (10, 5, 4, 2) to NJ from PA in the next couple months. I'll be working in Elizabeth (seaport area) and attending Rutgers School of Law in Newark at night. I'm looking for a place to rent that's easily accessible to both places by train. I need 3 bedrooms at least, and preferably a house. I can't afford to pay a lot, so if I could somehow keep it under $1200/mo. without bullets whizzing by my head at night, that would be great. I don't mind 60-90 minutes commute time. Any suggestions of good towns/areas to look in? Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:19 PM
 
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Congrats on law school and the move. As far as I know, Elizabeth doesn't have train service. Hopefully somebody with more knowledge of Elizabeth will be able to respond. That's all I've got (I just didn't want you to think people were ignoring your post ).
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:28 PM
 
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^Elizabeth has train service via northeast corridor and north jersey coast line. Elizabeth seaport does not have train service, though.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:42 PM
 
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Rutgers law school at night is going to be tricky if you're looking for safe + train commute. I'm not sure if Rutgers offers any type of van service to/from school and the two train stations in Newark (Penn Station, and Broad St. Station).

You can do the walk between Rutgers and either train station at night (I've done it myself quite a few times) but over the long term, doing it for 4 years worth of night school, well, you're increasing the odds that you may run into some problems.

Distance-wise Rutgers is closer to Broad St. station, which would put you on the midtown direct train line. But no trains on that line go to Elizabeth.

The longer walk is to Penn Station Newark. From there, you can catch the Northeast Corridor train to Elizabeth (or more likely, from Elizabeth after work you can catch the train to Newark for school). But it doesn't sound like your job in Elizabeth is going to be close to the Elizabeth train station.

Honestly, the best move sounds like it might be for you to plan on driving to work/school. There are a number of nice town within easy driving distance from Rutgers. It doesn't sound like you're going to be able to get by strictly with train commuting, and buses late at night probably are not worthwhile.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lusitan View Post
Rutgers law school at night is going to be tricky if you're looking for safe + train commute. I'm not sure if Rutgers offers any type of van service to/from school and the two train stations in Newark (Penn Station, and Broad St. Station).

You can do the walk between Rutgers and either train station at night (I've done it myself quite a few times) but over the long term, doing it for 4 years worth of night school, well, you're increasing the odds that you may run into some problems.

Distance-wise Rutgers is closer to Broad St. station, which would put you on the midtown direct train line. But no trains on that line go to Elizabeth.

The longer walk is to Penn Station Newark. From there, you can catch the Northeast Corridor train to Elizabeth (or more likely, from Elizabeth after work you can catch the train to Newark for school). But it doesn't sound like your job in Elizabeth is going to be close to the Elizabeth train station.

Honestly, the best move sounds like it might be for you to plan on driving to work/school. There are a number of nice town within easy driving distance from Rutgers. It doesn't sound like you're going to be able to get by strictly with train commuting, and buses late at night probably are not worthwhile.
There are shuttles and such to get from Rutgers to the train stations and I thought the bus system has a stop near my work in Elizabeth and to the train station. I could have read the map wrong I suppose. The problem with driving every day is then I lose valuable study time/reading on the train. That being said, if I have to drive, what nice/affordable towns should I look at?

Last edited by king3780; 05-21-2009 at 09:10 AM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:50 AM
 
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If I understand you correctly, you are considering taking the bus to work in the AM (or possibly train+bus?) and then taking a bus in the afternoon to Rutgers/Newark (or taking a bus+train?) and then taking a shuttle van to the train station at the end of each evening and taking the train home. This is a bad idea -- it's much more important to keep your commute simple, with as few connections as possible, especially given you'll be traveling late at night most of the week. I really don't think you will get much studying done on the bus anyway, under any circumstances.

I think you're really dwelling too much on the "valuable study time" you think you'd be losing by driving. Trust me, in the end you will save more by keeping your commute simple. And in your case, based on where you work, in my opinion your best bet is to plan on driving to/from work and school.

Just try to find a place to live within short driving distance/time to your job in Elizabeth so your morning commute is not that bad. Elizabeth is pretty close to Newark, so your evening commute to school by car should not be too bad either (you should be able to test this out right now, pick a few days and leave work at 5pm and drive to Rutgers Law School and see how bad the traffic is, experiment with different routes). It might not be a quick ride because of traffic at that time, but I highly doubt that taking the bus + train + walking to Rutgers is going to be any faster.

And at the end of the night, after a long day of work and classes, you will have a quick and easy drive home instead of schlepping on the shuttle van, then the train ...

There are plenty of towns within short driving distance to Elizabeth. As you will soon learn, "nice" and "affordable" do not go together in NJ, at least not around the NYC metro area. At least yet (the housing market is crashing around here, so by next year things may be more reasonable). Best bet is to look for a rental townhouse/apartment in one of the nearby towns, here are a few ideas:

- South Orange
- Maplewood
- Rahway (lots of new rentals going up)

You really need to come up here and check out the towns to get a feel for things, but these are good places to start.

Good luck.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:33 AM
 
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I commuted from Elizabeth to Rutgers Newark for 2 years for graduate school (mostly evening classes). Elizabeth train station parking deck is ok, at night there's always a couple of police cars in front of the station. I've never had a problem with the parking or walking back to my apt on the Elmora end of West Jersey St. at 9 pm. You can take the Northeast Corridor or local North Jersey Coast lines into Newark Penn Station (10 mins ride). Rutgers offers a free shuttle bus which runs from Penn Station to various places on campus (including right in front of the criminal justice/law building) every 20 minutes from 4 pm-midnight. You can also take the light rail from Penn Station to the corner of Washington Ave. and University Blvd. Alternatively, you can take the NJ Transit 59 bus into Newark from various places around Elizabeth, it takes almost an hour but it drops you off near Rutgers. I wouldn't advise taking the bus after dark, though. As for houses, if you want to stay in Elizabeth, check the Elmora Hills section. I wouldn't buy a house there (and didn't) but it's a nice neighborhood. Like some people here have suggested, look for any town on the Northeast Corridor line. You could also consider Edison, North Edison has good schools, the area is nice, and it's barely a half hour from Elizabeth seaport.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:38 AM
 
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P.S. Just a word of advice-- you should avoid driving into Newark for evening classes. There is NO parking available ANYWHERE (not even student parking decks) after 5 pm, and traffic is a mess. Your best bet would be taking the train into Penn Station from wherever you choose to live, and take the shuttle or light rail into Rutgers. At least this way, you might get some studying done on the train! Good luck
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:06 AM
 
1,529 posts, read 2,939,887 times
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Originally Posted by rubschy View Post
P.S. Just a word of advice-- you should avoid driving into Newark for evening classes. There is NO parking available ANYWHERE (not even student parking decks) after 5 pm, and traffic is a mess.
Wow - I had no idea this was the case. That definitely affects the calculation! I'm shocked though, that this situation has been tolerated. I can't fathom how a school can claim to support a viable evening school program and not offer any available parking (even at a cost) to its students.
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Rahway
138 posts, read 397,494 times
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You are going to have trouble getting 3 BR's in a decent area with that budget.
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