New York is hands down one of the most exciting cities in the world, so there are always plenty of reasons to visit. John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport is the main and biggest airport servicing the city. There are numerous methods of transportation from JFK Airport to Midtown Manhattan or Times Square, in the heart of New York. The most convenient travel options is either by taking a taxi or a JFK Airport private shuttle. Alternatively, you can utilise the efficient NYC subway system, or take a bus.Welcome Pickups offers meet and greet services and a friendly introduction to New York at the same price as a regular taxi. Click here to see the cost.
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Transportation Options from JFK Airport to Manhattan
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Comparison of the options
|Taxi or private shuttle||€44||45min||24/7|
How to get from JFK Airport to city centre by taxi or private shuttle
Taking a taxi or private shuttle from JFK airport is by far the most comfortable option to get to downtown Manhattan. Taxis in NYC are traditionally yellow with a “TAXI” roof-sign and are numerous. There will be attendants available to assist you at all taxi ranks outside the arrivals terminal. If you wish to take a private shuttle service, you can book a shuttle in advance. The journey will take around 45 minutes into the city centre, however be warned that in peak traffic it can be very slow, taking up to 2 hours. The ride also includes tolls, payable by the customer.
Taxi fare from JFK Airport to city centre
Taxis and private shuttles travelling between JFK airport and the Manhattan area operate on a fixed rate (excluding tolls) of $52USD (€44). There is no additional charge for luggage and the cost is per car.
There is a $1.00USD Peak-Hour Surcharge between 16:00 to 20:00, Monday to Friday for taxis.
*The price of the taxi ride may vary unless booked in advance.
Value for Money
Taxis and private shuttles are available 24/7 from JFK Airport
Where do I get it from?
There are official taxi ranks located outside every terminal at JFK Airport. They are easily located by following the signage within the airport.
If you wish to take a private shuttle, your driver will send you a meeting point before your arrival.
NYC taxis and private shuttles are controlled by law and therefore you can be ensured that any taxi taken from an official rank or a shuttle ordered online, will be reliable and safe. As well as this, taxis and shuttles provide door-to-door service and are the most comfortable option for those travelling with luggage. It is always best to avoid rush hour if you wish to make it to the city centre in reasonable time, as traffic can be extremely bad.
Trips beyond the city limits are either charged below the flat rate or have the portion of the trip beyond the city limit doubled, when travelling with a taxi. To always ensure a fixed price, you can book a private shuttle in advance.
How to get from JFK Airport to city centre by train
For a quick (especially during rush hours) and cheap option, there is a subway service that runs from JFK Airport into Midtown Manhattan. For this option, you will need to first take the JFK ‘Airtrain’, the internal train system that links the airport to the closest major subway station. The Airtrain runs between all the terminals and then to Jamaica Station, where you will be able to take the MTA E Subway line to Midtown, Penn Station, which is located within walking distance from Times Square, on W34th Street.
How much is the subway from JFK Airport to city centre?
The standard one way ticket for a subway in NYC is $2.25USD, however in order to reach the station from the airport you will need to take AirTrain, which costs an additional $5.00USD. In total, the journey will cost $7.25USD (€6.67).
You can pay in cash at the ticket machines and offices in the station.
There can be up to a 20 minute wait for the train.
Value for Money
The MTA Subway and AirTrain JFK operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The trains run more frequently during peak hours (every 3-5 or 6-8 minutes) but can be longer at other times.
Where do I get it from?
The subway into Midtown is taken from Jamaica Station. In order to get there, you will need to take the JFK AirTrain, which goes between all terminals at the station. It is easy to catch, just follow the signs in any terminal building to the AirTrain station.
Despite its good price and running hours, the metro can be a hassle for those short on time or with lots of luggage as there are multiple transfers involved with taking this method of transport. Most importantly, the subway will only take you to the central Manhattan stations and not to your end destination.
The best method of purchasing bus and/or subway tickets in NYC is with a rechargeable MetroCard. You can get them from the vending machines at the stations (for $1USD) and they can provide bonuses on your rides with certain top ups. They can be time based, ride based or value based. They can be purchased with cash, credit or debit.
How to get the bus from JFK to city centre
The bus routes from JFK are numerous, however transit time is longer due to the stops along the way. In order to get to Midtown you have to take the bus Q3 from Terminal 5 at JFK to Jamaica Station. From there you can take any of the marked ‘QM’ Express buses into Manhattan. Each of these services takes the same route out of Queens but varies slightly in the route that they take throughout Manhattan, so you are able to check which one goes closest to your destination.
How much is the bus from JFK to city centre?
The bus from the airport will only set you back a very reasonable $2.75USD (€2.40). However if you take the express bus service into Manhattan, you will need to pay an additional $6.50USD, so the whole trip costs $9.25USD (€7.95). Tickets are purchasable from the machines at the stations, either individually or with a MetroCard.
There can be up to a 15 minute wait for the bus.
Value for Money
Buses run on their own timetables and are not 24/7. It is always best to check the timetables on the MTA website before relying on a bus.
Where do I get it from?
The express bus services leave from Jamaica Station, so in order to catch one you will need to take the Q3 bus which leaves from Terminal 5 at JFK to reach Jamaica Station.
Although it is cheap, the bus is a very long transit for those who have just had a long flight. As well as this, the express bus service is not always reliable and times are different for every bus which can cause extra stress and time.
Standard MetroCards allow free transfers between subways and buses within a 2-hour period, as do normal tickets. However, the express bus routes are not included. Be prepared to pay and have exact change.
Welcome Pickups transfer
Book a trained, English-speaking taxi driver to pick you up at the same price as a regular cab from the line
If you feel more relaxed knowing that somebody is waiting for you, you may as well book a Welcome Pickups transfer. As soon as you arrive at the airport you will be greeted by your driver. He will be waiting for you at the terminal of your arrival with a sign that has your name on it. Your driver will help you out with your luggage and together you will make your way to the vehicle. While he is driving you to your accommodation, the driver can give you some tips and recommendations on what to do during your holidays in New york. Our drivers are hand-picked and speak fluent English. No need to worry about miscommunication issues that you may face with the local taxi drivers regarding your destination. Relax and enjoy your ride.
Hand-picked english-speaking drivers
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Frequently asked questions
How much is a taxi or private shuttle from JFK Airport to Manhattan?
Taxis and private shuttles from JFK operate on a flat rate of $52USD (€44) to any location within the Manhattan area.
How many transfer options are there from JFK to Downtown Manhattan?
There are 4 ways to get to Midtown Manhattan from JFK Airport: by taxi, by private shuttle, by subway and by bus. A taxi or private shuttle will be the quickest but the most expensive option, followed by the bus and then the subway being a good balance between cheap and quick.
How far is JFK Airport from New York City Centre?
The JFK Airport is located around 25.7 km away from Manhattan and the drive will take approximately 45 minutes in normal traffic. The route will also include tolls.
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