Your JFK International Airport Transportation Information

Getting out of JFK International Airport is confusing. Not only are you recovering from a long flight, but you are in a big, busy airport that can overwhelm you with large crowds, lots of signs, and unfamiliarity. However, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that operate airports in New York City are trying to help you get to your final destination by installing Welcome Centers that are manned by hosts and hostesses sporting blue blazers. If you spot one of these fine folk, ask them any question and they will be eager to help you. These hosts and hostesses will be able to provide you information regarding the public and all other ground transportation that is available at JFK. In fact you can get subway and bus maps as well as some tourist information at these brightly lit Welcome Centers. There is a Welcome Center at each terminal.

When you arrive at JFK and need to make a connection at another terminal, the easiest way to get around is to use the AirTrain. There are eight terminals in JFK and the AirTrain stops at all of them.  Go to the Airtrain platform, a train comes every ten minutes during peak hours, and you'll want to pay attention regarding the direction it's going. You will want to observe the signs that declare the terminals it will be servicing and board a train correspondingly. Best of all, the AirTrain doesn't cost anything when you are making terminal to terminal transfers.

Getting out of JFK International Airport using AirTrain and Public Transportation

Airtrain will take you to two transportation hubs: Jamaica Station and Howard Beach Station. You will want to go to Jamaica Station if your final destination is a location in Long Island, Queens, and Manhattan. The Howard Beach Station is more convenient if your final destination is a location in Brooklyn. At both stations, you will be able to connect for other buses and a subway station that will bring you to your final destination. When you get to either transportation hubs, get your wallet ready because it will cost you money to get out of the AirTrain station. So if you are departing JFK International Airport, you will pay for your AirTrain fare at the transportation hub, not at your originating terminal. Buy a MetroCard from the vending machine to cover the price of the AirTrain fare. Get out of the AirTrain platform by swiping your MetroCard at the turnstyle; the appropriate price will be deducted from the card. MetroCard vending machines are available at either transportation hub. The MetroCard is a stored value card that New Yorkers use to pay for their subway or bus ride. You can use cash or credit card to to buy a MetroCard.

To get to Manhattan, ride the AirTrain to Jamaica Station, buy a MetroCard so that it covers the price of the AirTrain fare and the subway fare. Swipe your MetroCard to pay for your AirTrain fare at the turnstyle. Walk towards the subway station, there will be agents there to direct you, and swipe your card the second time at the subway turnstyle so that you can go to the platform and ride the E train to Manhattan. Once you are in Manhattan you can transfer to any subway line to get you to your final destination.

If your destination is one of the villages of Long Island, it is easy to reach it by using the Long Island Railroad train service.  You cannot use the MetroCard for the Long Island Railroad. There are different ticket vending machines for Long Island Railroad (LIRR) tickets and they can be found at the LIRR station, near the Jamaica Station transportation hub. Once you have purchased your ticket, you will go to the corresponding platform and the ticket will be collected by the LIRR conductor. Be sure to buy the ticket before you board your LIRR train, it will be much cheaper. If you buy your ticket on the train there will be a $5 surcharge!

Other Ground Transportation

To LaGuardia Airport, your options are:

  • New York Airport Express Bus
  • ETS Airport Shuttle (which is a shared ride van service)
  • Taxi
  • Car Service/Limo

Go to the Welcome Center for additional information.

To Newark Liberty Airport, your options are:

  • ETS Airport Shuttle
  • Taxi
  • Car Service/Limo

Go to the Welcome Center for additional information.

To Manhattan, your options are:

  • New York Airport Express Bus (to Grand Central Station, Penn Station, and Port Authority Bus Terminal)
  • Go Airlink Shuttle (a shared van ride)
  • Super Shuttle (a shared van ride)
  • Private Car/Limo
  • Taxi

For all other destinations to Long Island, Westchester, or Connecticutt, ask the host or hostess at a Welcome Center for additional information.

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Comments 2 comments

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Thanks for the research.

Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 5 years ago from The East Coast Author

Your welcome, dallas.

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