NJ and Rockland County Commute Options

The commute to Columbia from New Jersey and Rockland County can be unpredictable and time consuming regardless of whether you’re driving or taking public transportation. Affiliates should familiarize themselves and try the many travel alternatives to make an informed decision as well as have the swift ability to switch commutes if your normal commute is impacted.

Columbia encourages affiliates to consider their impact to the environment and choose a sustainable, car-free or car-light commute mode to reduce traffic congestion and emissions and support NYC’s and Columbia’s sustainability goals.

Provided below is a range of commute to options that have been specially chosen for a Columbia commute from New Jersey and Rockland County.

NJ Transit

NJ Transit provides bus and train services that connect New Jersey to Manhattan at Penn Station, the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the George Washington Bridge bus terminal in Washington Heights. Plan a trip with NJ Transit.

NJ Transit bus routes to George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal:

  • 722 - Paterson - Paramus Park
  • 160 - Elmwood Park-Wallington-NY
  • 321 - Vince Lombardi Park/Ride-NY
  • 175 - Van Neste Square

Search and view these key bus routes and other NJ Transit services on the NJ Transit website.

NJ Transit 25% Student Discount

Columbia University has partnered with NJ Transit to offer full-time undergraduate and graduate students the option to purchase a bus, rail, or light rail monthly pass at 25 percent off the regular monthly pass price. For more information. Learn more and sign up here.

Commuter Coaches to Manhattan

Coach USA operate commuter coach bus routes connecting New Jersey, Rockland County, Orange County, Sullivan County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Somerset County and Pennsylvania to Manhattan via the George Washington Bridge as well as via the Lincoln Tunnel to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. If the bus does not pass near to your home, consider parking at a local commuter parking area to meet the bus.

Rockland County, Orange County and Bergen County Bus Services to Manhattan:

Coach USA Rockland Coaches operate coach bus service from Bergen and Rockland counties to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and George Washington Bridge Bus Station in New York City. To view a list of the stops on this route that connects to the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal in Washington Heights, search “GW Bridge Terminal – New York, NY” in the “Origin” search bar.

Coach USA ShortLine operates coach bus service to New York City from Bergen County (via Route 17), Rockland County, Orange County, Sullivan County and Pennsylvania. Note that Coach USA ShortLine’s Eastside Manhattan Commuter Service connects directly to CUIMC in Washington Heights. To view the stops on this service, in the origin field search “Broadway & W 167th Street – New York, NY” on the Coach USA website.

Central New Jersey

Coach USA Suburban Transit operate coach bus service from Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset Counties to Port to the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Hudsonlink – Rockland County to Tarrytown’s Metro-North Railroad station

To make the Rockland County - NYC commute easier, New York State Department of Transportation offers Hudsonlink which is coach bus service that connects communities in Rockland County to Metro-North Railroad’s Tarrytown, NY station, and other locations in Westchester County.

Riders can then take the Metro-North Railroad from Tarrytown station to Marble Hill station to then connect to the Subway’s 1 train that connects to Columbia. Alternatively, disembark Metro-North Railroad at Harlem-125th Street station to then choose to walk, use Citi Bike, take the M60 Select Bus Service, or a free Columbia shuttle to Manhattanville or Morningside campus.

Citi Bike is usually the fastest and most reliable travel option to travel short distances in NYC and would be a good option for this trip. Additionally, Citi Bike offers pedal assist e-bikes to make biking easy.

Total commute time to Columbia is about an hour.

Many of Hudsonlink bus stops in Rockland County are at locations with parking, such as Palisades Center and the Nanuet Exit 14 Park and Ride.

Metro-North Railroad

The Metro-North Railroad connects Rockland, Orange and Westchester counties to Penn Station in Manhattan. Passengers can then connect to the NYC subway for easy connection between Penn Station and Columbia’s Manhattan campuses.

NJ Jitney Shuttles to the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal

Jitney shuttles are privately operated 15 to 25 passenger shuttle buses that provide frequent and fast transportation along specific routes. Cost is based on distance traveled, ranging from about $1.50 to $8. Generally running every 3 - 10 minutes during the day time during the week and generally every 10 minutes on the weekend. Less frequently in the evening.   

NJ communities with Jitney services to the George Washington Bridge (GWB) Bus Terminal in, Manhattan at 179th Street:

  • Paterson, NJ (From Main and Broadway), Elmwood Park, Fair Lawn, Paramus, Hackensack, Teaneck, Englewood, Fort Lee to GWB
  • Bergenline Avenue, connecting Jersey City, Union City, West New York, Guttenberg, North Bergen, Fairview, Cliffside Park, Fort Lee to GWB
  • West New York, Guttenberg, North Bergen, Edgewater, Fort Lee to GWB

From the GWB bus station, the Medical Center is a 10min walk, or you can connect to the A or 1 train to reach Manhattanville and Morningside campus.

More information these and other Jitney shuttle services in New Jersey visit The Jitney Buses of New Jersey website.

Columbia Shuttles that connect to New Jersey and Rockland County

Columbia offers free shuttle buses that support intercampus travel as well as commute travel. Below lists two shuttle services that connect Columbia to Bergen and Rockland counties.

  • GWB/Fort Lee shuttle which connects Fort Lee, NJ to CUIMC. Municipal parking in Fort Lee is located a 10 minute walk to the Parker Plaza shuttle stop in Fort Lee.
  • The Lamont shuttle connects the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory campus in Palisades, NY to Manhattanville and Morningside campuses generally every hour during the day, and to the Medical Center campus during the middle and early afternoon times. Columbia offers a Park and Ride service at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for this commute option.

Electric mobility and biking

Traveling by bicycle or an electric mobility device such as an e-bike or e-scooter is often the fastest and most reliable travel option for a New Jersey commute. Travel to Columbia’s Morningside campus from Fort Lee, NJ is about 25 minutes using an e-bike. Columbia offers bike parking enclosures and other resources and services to support e-mobility and bicycle travel.


Carpooling can help you save money, while making friends along the way.


The NY Waterway ferry service connects Manhattan to New Jersey and also operates free shuttle bus services to allow commuters to make convenient connections between ferry terminals and the NYC subway system.

Get Inspired by other Columbia commuters

Columbia’s Wow Commute Stories webpage highlights other Columbia commutes who have made a conscious commute decision for something sustainable and fun! These stories are provided to inspire change among Columbia affiliates to choose sustainable commute modes.

If you have an inspiring, monumental, interesting or fun commute, please let us know by emailing [email protected]. Affiliates whose stories are selected receive 20 Flex Dollars on their CUID.