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Traveling between JFK Airport and NYC using public transportation

Traveling between JFK Airport and NYC using public transportation

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Traveling to any airport in your own car is of course the best and the fastest option. Unfortunately, this option is not available to you if you are a tourist. Even if you have your own car in NYC, you might not want to use it if you are going out for a long period and do not want to pay for the parking.


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But you can rest easy – this is New York City, and there are numerous public transit options available to travel between JFK International Airport and NYC.


Subway / Bus + AirTrain Combination

If you are travelling to or from JFK with relatively less luggage, AirTrain is your best – and the cheapest – option. You can travel for just $7.25 per person – that’s pretty neat for a budget traveler! The journey between JFK and Manhattan takes just about an hour.

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You can take the AirTrain from any JFK terminal – the signs for the AirTrain are prominantly placed at all the terminals. You can get down at either Howard Beach or Jamaica Stations for a transfer to the NYC Subway / LIRR (Long Island Railroad). NYC Subway would take you to any part in NYC, whereas LIRR is your best option if you want to go to the Penn station in Manhattan.

You can also take MTA’s NYC Transit buses after getting down from the AirTrain at the Jamaica station.

The fare is $5 for the AirTrain + $2.25 for the Subway / bus – both payable by the MetroCard which is sold conveniently at AirTrain exits at these stations. The MetroCard vending machines accept cash and credit cards.

Bonus tip: AirTrain offers completely free service between various terminals of JFK international Airport.

More information on AirTrain (Official website)


Taxi / Cab

Taxis are easily available outside all the terminals of JFK. You can either go to the taxi stand near a terminal, or can flag down a taxi.

There is a fixed $45 fare to any location in Manhattan (excludes any tolls and tips). This is the fare per car, and includes up to four passengers. There is no additional charge for luggage. Fares for destinations outside vary – you can get an estimate from the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission website.

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Please keep in mind that most taxis accept only cash. The travel time from JFK to Manhattan is normally between 30-60 minutes.

This fixed fare is not applicable when you travel from NYC to JFK. In this case, the regular metered fare (plus tolls and tips) would apply.


Limo / Private Car Service

You can also prearrange a private car or a limousine. This option is costlier than the other options, but it has its own perks! You would get a uniformed chauffeur with all the frills like greeting you at the terminal, opening doors, helping with the luggage, and more.

Apart from the luxury aspect, it is also a good option if you are travelling in a large group – you can hire a van (usually a 14-seater) or a stretch limo that can fit all the people in your party.

(You might also be interested in “Traveling between JFK / La Guardia (LGA) / Newark (EWR) Airports and NYC using shuttles and van services“)


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