The Trailblazer

Take the train for a beach day

Jolie Newman

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When the sun shines brighter, the air is warmer, and life gets better, it’s evident that the most beloved season, summer, is here.

With the days quickly counting down to the first day of school, many students scramble to make the most out of and savor their favorite season. One of the best ways to have a memorable day and beat the undeniable heat is a trip with friends down to the Jersey Shore.

However, while teenagers have weeks of free time, parents may not be so lucky, as many have jobs and other important commitments to attend do. As a result, having a parent drive down to the beach is unrealistic, and to be honest- boring. In high school, students are at the age where they are more independent and feel the need to spend more time with friends than family.

While upperclassmen can simply just drive to the beach with friends, underclassmen do not have the same privilege. To avoid needing to be driven to the beach by parents, a simple, easy solution is to take the train. Although parental permission is necessary to take the journey, taking the train down to the beach is the perfect way for a group of friends to have a beach day.  

For people living in the Pascack Hills area, the most ideal way to take the train down the shore is to leave from the Pascack Valley line (at either the Woodcliff Lake or Montvale stations, for example). Next, transfer at Secaucus Junction to the New Jersey Coast line down to Long Branch/Bay Head, the last stop. There are plenty of other stops too, but Long Branch is ideal since the beach and Pier Village is a very short walk from the station. For information about times and tickets for this journey, visit njtransit.com.

 

“It’s really easy to take the train to the beach and it barely takes time to buy the tickets,” said Pascack Hills junior Tiffany Georges, who has taken the journey before. “It (taking the train) also helps you gain independence because learning how to use public transportation is useful when going to college.”

Getting comfortable with public transportation is an important life skill that will follow someone forever; reading maps, signs, and feeling at ease in a chaotic transportation station is vital. Furthermore, preferably before college, students must learn independence.

However, not all parents may feel comfortable sending their kid off on a train and letting them fend for themselves for the day. Despite the hesitation for some parents, permitting students to take the train is beneficial for all.

“Taking the train to the beach with friends is great for a few reasons,” said Pascack Hills junior Alexa Tarabocchia, who has taken the train to the beach before. “First of all, being on your own time and not having to wait for your parents makes the day more fun, since you and your friends can always decide what to do. Also, when someone is able to take the train down, it saves their parent from having to drive a total of about three hours. It’s also great for high school students to learn independence and for them to understand how to use public transport.”

The Woodcliff Lake train station, one stop on the Pascack Valley line and a possible starting point to take the train to Long Branch, or other beach locations.

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