General Question

Michael's avatar

How do I get from JFK airport to the Upper West Side on public transport?

Asked by Michael (2681 points ) November 14th, 2006
I'm flying into NYC and I need to get from JFK to the Columbia campus. Easiest way?
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7 Answers

skfinkel's avatar
The shuttle will get you to Manhattan. You have to get a ticket at the public transport place down a flight at JFK. I think the cost is about $26.00--half of the cost of a taxi. Sometimes you can hook up with others going to where you want and share a cab as well. Of course, never go on unsolicited cabs.
lilakess's avatar
You can take the A train into the city from the airport (they will guide you to a bus that lets you off at the subway)--I believe 42nd street and switch to the 1/9 or 2/3. If you take the 2/3 (which is the express up the upper west side) you'll have to get off at 96th and get on (across the platform) the 1/9 to 116th or where ever you are going. You can stay on the A train all the way up to 125th but it lets you off in the Harlem, and it's a bit of a long walk to Columbia, although you can grab a bus. I recommend switching at Times Sq. (42nd). I believe you can also switch at 59th (Columbus circle). The whole things takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending, sometimes less.
williamsburger's avatar
$7 to get out of the airport and onto the A train (Manhattan-bound at ). You pay when you leave the AirTrain, just before getting onto the subway.
occ's avatar
i think the fastest cheapest way is to take the (private) bus from JFK to port authority. It costs about $15 and is super fast and easy. At Port Authority Bus Terminal you can get on the 1/9 train for two bucks and take it to 116th street which lets you off right at the Columbia campus. Alternately if you havea ton of bags, a cab from Port Authority to Columbia will be about $15. Either way, the bus to Port Authority is way faster than taking the A train.
occ's avatar
DONT take the 2/3 train to columbia campus--it goes express after 96th street and won't stop at columbia. you need to take the 2/3 to 96th and switch to teh 1/9, or just take the 1/9 direct from port authority.
manahouri's avatar

You’re all wrong.

Fastest is the airtrain to Jamaica, switch to a LIRR to Penn station. LIRR will get you a lot closer a lot faster. From there, catch the A/E up to Columbus Circle and transfer to the 1/9, or from Penn Station just walk the corrider to the 2/3 and transfer to the 1/9 up at 96th.

lrk's avatar

Where on the UWS?

Options:

Airtrain to Jamaica, LIRR to Penn Station, 1/2/3 or A/C up to the UWS. 5 + 12 + 2= 19 dollars. You avoid all traffic this way, and the LIRR is speedy—but not necessarily frequent. Depending on time of day, 1/2/3 and A/C may be crowded.

Airtrain to Jamaica, E train to 42nd street, backtrack uptown on the A/C or 1/2/3 trains. 5 + 2 = 7 dollars. Cheapest option, avoids all traffic, but depending on time of day, E train [as well as A/C 1/2/3] may be crowded.

New York Airport Service Bus from JFK to Port Authority, then A/C 1/2/3 uptown. 12 + 2 = 14 dollars. The bus is comfortable enough, but you might get stuck in traffic. A/C 1/2/3 may be crowded.

Taxi. 45 dollars. Will be comfortable. May get stuck in traffic.

Supershuttle or Airlink, shared vans from airport. Usually around 15 dollars. May be cramped (sitting next to someone you don’t know), but more comfortable than the E train. May get stuck in traffic.

I’d probably do cab if I were really tired (easily the easiest and most comfortable option; getting stuck in traffic wouldn’t matter to me if I could stretch out across a huge seat), or Airtrain to LIRR to a subway (A/C 1/2/3) if I wanted the most reliably quick trip during rush hour.

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