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Old 10-21-2008, 12:59 PM
Location: Lyme Center, NH
4 posts, read 21,303 times
Reputation: 14


For starters, I want to thank everyone who takes the time to read and reply! All the info on these forums has been extremely helpful in narrowing down my city-hunting search without ever having to leave my computer desk.

After thoroughly searching the forums of Westchester, LI, SI, and NJ, I've tentatively picked the Atlantic Highlands region (including Rumson, Little Silver, and Fair Haven) as the best spot for my family to find a good home. A little about me: I have 3 kids under the age of seven, 2 dogs, and a husband who will be working on Wall Street. He'll be supporting all of us on about $150,000/year. Currently we're living in beautiful back-of-the-woods New Hampshire, so we're looking for someplace green(ish) with plenty of things to do in the great outdoors. Originally we're from the Rocky Mtn. region, so we're also hoping for friendly neighbors who are open to making new friends.

And now, on to my questions. I know the SeaStreak ferry is expensive, but it seems worth the price to have a faster commute. My main question is, *will* it be a faster commute (relative to Westchester, LI, Princeton Junction, etc)? Approximately how long would it take to park and get on the ferry if I'm coming from, for example, Little Silver? Is there a good local bus system that takes people to the ferry terminal so that my husband doesn't have to drive every day? How do I look up the specific bus schedules among the others on the extremely extensive NJT bus list?

Also, it would really help if someone could share the options for getting from Wall Street to Atlantic Highlands late at night--starting up as a banker, my husband will probably be coming home well after midnight at least once each week. I know the train is an option, but odds are high that he wouldn't have a car at the train station (it would be at the ferry terminal, probably). So are there local buses that run at night? (Yes, I could pick him up in a car--but it would be a little unpleasant to wake up three sleeping children at 2 in the morning.)

And finally, are there some good places (jogging trails, nature areas) to take dogs in the area?

Thanks again for the help!
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:12 PM
Location: Jersey Shore
1,574 posts, read 4,754,709 times
Reputation: 1016
If you are coming through Rumson to take the Ferry (from Little Silver) you can also take the Highlands Ferry. You're not limited to Atlantic Highlands.

For taking the dog out, Hartshorne Woods in the Highlands is great. Many people just take their dogs out to the beach in Sea Bright to run around....off season, of course.

Sorry, I can't help with bus schedules and the like. I'll be moving into the area (also with my 3 kids) in November. We'll be going to Highlands to be close to the Ferry.

Good luck!!
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:23 PM
Location: South Philly
1,943 posts, read 6,982,526 times
Reputation: 658
I commuted via ferry from Highlands to Pier 11. There's no question that the commute is faster. I mean, it's 40 minutes from Highlands to Wall St. There's no way you could make it there that quickly in a bus, car or on the train. I can't comment on Westchester but it's decidedly faster than commuting from Princeton. From Princeton Junction to Wall St. via the PATH train and assuming you have to walk a few blocks to your office, should take you about 90 minutes +/- . . . that's if you lived across the street from the station.

You also can't discount the comfort factor. I don't know how crowded the boats get nowadays but i always had a comfortable seat, enjoyed a bagel and watching the news in the morning and enjoyed a cocktail on the way home. When the weather was nice I went up on the deck. The trains are just awfully crowded. Especially the Northeast Corridor Line. The PATH is just a crush of people during rush hour. I hated it. If you're commuting from Westchester it should probably take about an hour to Grand Central then you'll have another 15-20 minutes on some very crowded subways.

Taking nothing away from Westchester County or Princeton, both beautiful places in their own right, the part of Monmouth County you're looking at just blows them away. Atlantic Highlands is an almost Hollywood cliche of the hill overlooking the big city where all the teenagers go to make out, except the ocean is in between. It's stunning, and being able to come home from work in the summer and have your toes in the sand 10 minutes later is definitely a bonus

All of the NJTransit buses in Monmouth County are the 800 series. There's a bus from Highlands, the 834, that takes you to Red Bank via Belford, Leonardo, etc.

The ferries run pretty late and there's also the train that stops in Middletown and Red Bank.

Academy has a contract with NJTransit to run express buses from Wall St. to Highlands, Sea Bright, Red Bank and points beyond. Basically, the Sea Bright buses get off the Parkway at 117 and roll down Route 36. The Point Pleasant buses get off at exit 109, stop in Red Bank then cut through Eatonwtown and Oceanport and run the rest of the route down Ocean Ave. then Route 71

There are also multiple ferries from Highlands, Atlantic Highlands, Belford and Keyport. So bus, boat or train is really just a matter of what you're closer to.

As far as how long it would take you to get work . . . from Little Silver, which is probably the furthest, it should take you 15-20 minutes to get to the Highlands ferry depending on where in LS you are. Add in another 5 minutes to park and walk down to the dock then 40 minutes in transit. I would say that if you left your house at 7am you should be sitting at your desk watching your computer boot up by 8:20. 8:30 if your office is far from Pier 11 and you're on one of the upper floors of your building.

I made that commute from Allenhurst and it took me, at most, 75 minutes from the time I locked my front door to the time I sat down at my desk, granted my office was two blocks from the pier. By train it took 104 minutes.
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:29 AM
Location: Lyme Center, NH
4 posts, read 21,303 times
Reputation: 14
Great, that helps so much--I'll definitely look into the local bus schedules.

I guess if anyone knows of a specific bus that would take a late-night commuter from the local train station to the Highlands (or Atlantic Highlands) ferry parking area, it would save me some research time. The issue being that my husband won't know in advance whether or not he's going to miss the last ferry from Pier 11--and if he misses it, how will he get back to his car at the ferry parking lot? I checked the express buses from Wall Street to the area, and from what I can tell they don't run late at night, either.

The Rumson/A. Highlands/L. Silver area seems absolutely ideal--good schools, nice beaches, shorter NYC Commute, and friendly people (I hope?). The only difficulty for us at this point is the lack of 2am transport, which of course most people really don't need.

To tell the truth, I'm not thrilled about hubby throwing his lot in with the investment banking crowd--the schedule is absolutely horrible for anyone who wants to have a family life, and the job stability is . . . well, quite a bit less-than-stable these days. But I hope to make the most of it while we're in the area. When in Jersey, why not live on the Jersey Shore?
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:51 AM
11 posts, read 46,260 times
Reputation: 15
I don't know if there are any busses other than the 834 that go to Highlands (I moved to Highlands in May). That particular bus from the Middletown train station (the closest to Highlands/Atlantic Highlands), if you look at the bus schedule, takes almost an hour. And from what I can tell, it doesn't run often/late at night. If your husband misses the last ferry, he can take the train and hop a cab, which will be a 15-20 minute ride to the lot where his car is. I don't know how much that is, but I am told it's not cheap.
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:54 AM
Location: Lyme Center, NH
4 posts, read 21,303 times
Reputation: 14
Ah, a taxi! I guess it's not surprising I didn't think of it--here in NH cabs are a rare sight--like maybe twice a month.

Thanks for the tips, everyone!
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:57 PM
Location: South Philly
1,943 posts, read 6,982,526 times
Reputation: 658
Yes, the 834 is the only transit bus that serves Highlands. It serves the Red Bank train station, not Middletown Station. That partly explains the hour trip.

If you're going to cab it home from the station the Middletown stop is closer to Highlands/AH.

Little Silver also has a station and the town is small enough that few places are more than a 5 minute drive from the station. On that note I would also look into Shrewsbury because Little Silver station is on the border of the two towns and is like Little Silver - just without all of the waterfront properties. Shrewsbury and Little Silver share a high school with Red Bank.
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