New York travel - compare New York car hire and other transportation options in NYC
The New York City transportation system is very efficient, although, due to its complexity, somewhat confusing for the first time visitors to the Big Apple.
Car rental is available from the New York airports:
If New York car hire is not in your plans, it is recommendable to spend some time studying the options for moving around the city and between the NY airports. Comprehensive information about New York transportation system is widely available on the internet and in many cases online bookings of transfers can save you a lot of money and stress. Please find below links for major public transportation systems in New York.
New York travel by train – AirTrain, LIRR, PATH
Combined train and subway is the preferred way of travelling to the NY airports as both New York travel options are less affected by traffic and weather conditions. The temperatures in New York are known to be extreme both in summer and in winter.
JFK and Newark AirTrains
JKF and Newark AirTrains are by far the quickest and, probably, the cheapest way to travel to and from those two New York airports.
JFK train is a 3-line, 8-miles long people’s mover providing a quick connection between the airport terminal to the LIRR Long Island Rail Road, New York subway, in Queens.
JFK AirTrain has several stops at the airport, amongst them at the terminals, parkings, hotel shuttles and car rental facilities. There is no fee for using the Air Train within the limits of JFK Airport.
See the map of JFK AirTrain route.
A similar service is provided by the Newark AirTrain. Apart from covering the extensive area of Newark Airport (free of charge), the AirTrain allows a quick and inexpensive transit to New York Penn Station (Manhattan), with further connection to other transportation systems: NY subway and LIRR train.
New York PATH Train
PATH (from Port Authority Trans-Hudson) is a rapid train service covering a large area within New York City and New Jersey.
Operating 24 hours a day, PATH trains stop in Newark, Hoboken, Harrison, Jersey City and Manhattan and connect conveniently to other New York transportation systems, amongst them: New York Citysubway, Newark Light Rail, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and New Jersey Transit.
See map of PATH Rail System.
LIRR train New York
The Long Island Rail Road, LIRR is a suburban train operating across Long Island, from Manhattan to the easternmost part of Suffolk County.
See map of LIRR stations.
LIRR trains run 24 hours a day and combined with other New York transportation systems are a good option for travelling from the New York airports to the city centre. Major transit hubs on routes of LIRR trains are: Jamaica Station in Queens and Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan.
Travel in New York City Subway - the world’s largest transportation system
The famous New York subway featured in numerous Hollywood movies is undeniably one of the NYC (New York City) tourist attractions. It is also the world’s largest transportation system with the total number of 468 operational stations.
See New York City Subway map (double-click for a higher resolution).
The New York City subway network covers the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Bronx. None of the subway lines reaches any of NY airports, however, the subway can be easily combined with other transportation systems on the intersecting routes.
Find comprehensive information about NY subway fares, schedules.
New York public transportation – buses
The network of NYC (New York City) public bus systems covers all five boroughs of the metropolitan area of New York comprising the impressing number of over 14,000 bus stops.
New York buses are affected by the city’s traffic which frequently makes them unreliable if you are on a tight schedule. Also, the comfort of journey is compromised during the rush hours, when the buses get very crowded and no seating place is guaranteed. If your are travelling with a substantial amount of luggage to or from an airport, the blue-and-white New York City buses are not the best solution.
New York Taxi - NY Yellow Cabs
Taxi is the most expensive way of travelling within New York City and between the airports, and given the notorious traffic jams in the Big Apple, not necessarily the fastest one. However, if you decide to use NY taxi, getting familiar beforehand with the taxi fare system may come in handy.
Please, note that although the meter is common in New York taxis, on the most popular routes there may be a flat fare.
How to get from JFK Airport to Manhattan
John F. Kennedy Airport, commonly known as JFK is located in Queens, approx. 18 miles / 29 km south-east from Times Square in Central Manhattan. The time needed to cover this distance varies between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the traffic conditions and the means of transportation chosen.
During the rush hours in New York, JFK AirTrain turns out to be the most time and money effective solution for travelling from the airport to the city centre. Take the JKF AirTrain to Jamaica station and switch to the subway E-train to Lower Manhattan.
New York Airport transfers
Private shuttle bus service is a convenient and affordable transportation option for transfers between NY airports and the city centre.
Transfers available from a range of privately owned companies are considerably cheaper than a taxi ride on the same route, although require passengers to present at the collection points. The popular stops usually include major transportation hubs, such as Grand Central Station, Port Authority Bus Terminal, Penn Station and, in some cases, also hotels. The rates vary depending on the pick-up place. For best rates (and the guarantee of availability) online booking are recommendable.
See an example of a company offering private transfers in New York.
Newark Airport to New York City
The AirTrain Newark allows you to travel comfortably to New York Penn Station, where other transportation systems intersect, amongst them the LIRR and PATH trains, as well as the A, C and E lines of the NY subway.
Please note, that there are two Penn Stations on the route of Newark AirTrain. If you are heading towards New York city centre do not get off at Newark Penn Station.
Travel time between New York airports
Passengers with connecting flights in New York should factor in sufficient time needed to transfer between New York airports.
Getting from JFK to La Guardia - distance and time
The time needed to cover the approximate distance of 12 miles / 20 km between the two airports varies between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on traffic.
JFK to Newark - distance and time
Travelling between JFK and Newark airports usually takes around 1 – 1,5 hours as the shortest route, of approx. 30 miles / 48 km, crosses the busy areas of Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan and New Jersey City.
La Guardia – Newark Airport transfers - distance and time
The distance between La Guardia and Newark Airport is around 25 miles / 40 km and requires from 40 to 60 minutes to be covered, although it is not unusual to for this trip to take even up to 1.5 h.
New York public transportation or car hire New York?
Use New York subway or take one of the thousands of yellow New York taxis that fill the streets of Manhattan.
New York public transportation is very well developed and reaches every part of the city worth of tourist interest. The prices of New York public transport are very affordable. For the above mentioned reasons New York car hire may be unnecessary for most tourists to the city.
However, if the Big Apple is only the beginning of your US self-drive holiday, use internet search engines, such as Cartrawler US, to compare rates of New York car hire deals from many suppliers, before booking. Frequently, New York car hire offers available on the internet are more advantageous than rental cars offered directly at the counter of a car hire agency in NY.