What’s the best solution to go from JFK to Manhattan? Taxi? Air-Train + Subway? Shuttle Bus?

In today’s article we are going to examine the key info of each possible solution:

AirTrain + Subway

JFK Airport consists of 6 passenger terminals, all connected by a train called the AirTrain.

This is the cheapest solution ($7.75 for the AirTrain + $2.75 for the subway, for a total of $10.5) and sometimes the fastest. In fact, the trip from the airport to Manhattan will take you between 60 and 90 minutes. With a cab you might take longer in case there is a lot of traffic. Taking the AirTrain and the subway is still the least comfortable option if you are traveling with a lot or large suitcases.

As you can see from the map above, the Airtrain takes you to two possible subway stops: Jamaica Station (Lines E, Z or J) or Howard Beach Station (Line A). Either one is fine in case you need to go to Manhattan. The lines that leave from Jamaica Station will, barring unforeseen circumstances, get you into Manhattan faster than the A Line from Howard Beach Station.

Yellow Taxi

This is the most convenient way to reach Manhattan, but also the most expensive. The fare is fixed: $52 but you have to add the highway tolls. In addition, if you travel during the busiest hours of the day (4:00 pm to 8:00 pm on weekdays), you will be charged an additional $4.5. You must also include in the price the informally obligatory tip for the taxi driver: between 15 and 20 percent. Add it all up and it comes to about 80$.

Quite expensive but still the most convenient solution if you are traveling with large luggage.

AirTrain + Train

This is definitely the fastest solution. Take the AirTrain as explained above and arrive at Jamaica Station. From here take the LIRR train that will take you to Penn Station in Manhattan in about 25 minutes. In case you are traveling alone, this is definitely a good solution. If you are in a group of 3 or more people, taking a cab may be more convenient, dividing the price by the number of passengers and considering that the cab will take you directly to your final destination.

Bus Shuttle

Once you arrive at JFK, you will notice near the cab stand many Bus Shuttle advertisements that take you into Manhattan, with flexible destinations: Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, Times Square or even your hotel. The price varies from company to company, but it is definitely less expensive than the Taxi. 

These are the 4 most common solutions that are used to go from JFK to Manhattan.

The biggest advice we can give you (and it also applies to cabs) is to take only official transportation. If you find someone who promises you cheap private transportation, don’t trust them. Take the subway or the train instead.

We really hope this mini-guide has been helpful to you. We’re also preparing other guides to help you get from La Guardia and Newark to Manhattan.

Message us on Instagram if you have any questions, we’ll be more than happy to answer them.