5 NYC Suburbs for One-Car Families

May 26, 2019

Don’t want to drive EVERYWHERE? These NYC suburbs are perfect for one-car families.

We’re hearing it more and more…Manhattan families who, simply, don’t drive.

The reality? In the suburbs, you’re probably going to want or, eventually, need a car to shuttle your crew from daycare and playdates to PM tutoring and out-of-town lacrosse games. And, when those times come, you might not have the flexibility to wait on a not-so-reliable suburban Uber or you might be paying $35 just to get to Whole Foods.

That said, there are some very walkable towns in the NYC suburbs where, hands down, your family can easily get away with just one car in your garage. These towns offer incredible walkability paired with added features that make getting to and from the city a breeze and ensure you can keep up your urban-inspired walking habit, even after you’ve headed to suburbia.

“There are tons of towns where families have one car, and it’s perfect,” says Erika Ades, Suburban Jungle NYC Strategist. “Glen Ridge, Maplewood, South Orange and West Orange… all in New Jersey are ideal.”

Top Towns for One-Car Families

Glen Ridge
South Orange
West Orange
Port Washington

These towns, she explains, have a jitney that runs throughout most of the neighborhoods in town, and leaves residents at their local train station. For West Orange, that means the nearby South Orange station.


“If both parents commute, great. They can take the jitney and leave the car,” Erika adds. “If one parent commutes to the city and one drives to work, also great… the driving parent can keep the car and no one has to worry about coordinating pick up and drop off schedules. Same if one parent stays home, they can keep the car.”

Most of these services are free, Erika notes, and because you aren’t driving you won’t have to deal with train station parking, a notorious headache in many NYC suburbs.

Outside of New Jersey, Erika adds her own hometown, Port Washington, on Long Island to the one-car list. “We also have jitney that runs through neighborhoods,” she says, “and shuttles to the Port and Roslyn train stations.” Port also has a walkable downtown, close to many homes in town.

That said, Erika notes, there are plenty of other communities where families can commit to going one-car. The key, she says, is looking for a town with a good bus line that weaves throughout the town. Alternatively, look for walkability to downtown, paired with a good bus line.

“You can jump on the bus and head to the train,” she says. “Especially if parking at your station is limited or expensive, this is a great option.”

There are hundreds of towns to choose from. How do you figure it all out? You simply don’t, without getting a Suburban Jungle Strategist to help you through it all. Schedule here for your strategy session with our innovative suburbs strategy team. All services are completely free.

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