We are talking here of one of the biggest and more important cities of the world and as such it has several airports. Newark and JFK are two impressive international airports, impressive more in the sense of the number of flights and the diversity of destinations. What is true is that being two of the main gates for the USA and being one kind of close to the other, public transportation options are so limited and complicated.
Any ground connection from Newark to JFK will involve several stops using a train system that is very complicated or getting into a bus with the possibility of being caught in the nightmare of traffic of this huge Metropolis or jumping into a Cab to pay a fortune without including tips and tolls.
I know we sound quite negative about the issue but the truth is that for hose who want to prevent a nightmare probably the best advice is to avoid connection options that imply moving from Newark to JFK.
At first glance it does not seem so complicated, basically the Air Train connects Newark with several parts of the city of New York and Newark itself. So for around 15 USD one can get to Penn Station in Newark or in Manhattan, but even on their website information is so unclear that one just ends up being totally confused about the issue. Once one has figured out how to do it, frustration increases when it is announced that the Air Train system will not be operating for almost two months, as it is the case this May through July 2014.
From JFK to downtown Manhattan things seem to work a little better, the Air Train will take passengers for around 7,50 USD in little less than an hour. It still involves a train connection.
There are many private shuttle companies that offer transfers between the two international airports or even including LaGuardia international airport. It costs from 15 to 30 USD. Reviews are very mixed about the quality and punctuality of the service and most of the time reviews tend toward the very negative side. What is true is that going from Newark to JFK takes no less than 2 hours and with traffic in rush hour it can be as long as one can imagine. Another thing to keep in mind is that it seems none of these private shuttles make the trip non stop, but one gets a kind of ‘complimentary city tour’ before reaching the destination that includes several stops on the way.
It is kind of sad that such a big tourist destination and an important gate for the world is so limited in options for ground transportation. This is in part because the local culture of driving, even if one goes just two blocks away. In part because a destination like this thinks that visitors will still come no matter what. But it is about time that New York improves its airports and with that their connectivity.