Transportation from JFK to Manhattan

JFK AirportTransportation

Transfer Options from New York Airport to Manhattan (City Center)

Reaching the heart of the Big Apple -Manhattan- after landing at JFK Airport won’t be a challenging task. Apart from the famous and comfortable NYC airport taxis, the lavish and premium New York airport transfers, and the autonomous JFK airport car rentals, you can also traverse the 16-mile (26km) distance from JFK Airport to Manhattan via the subway or the Long Island Railroad (LIRR).


OptionsPrice ($)Price (€)Duration
Taxi65$-75$65€-75€45 min
Subway (+ AirTrain)10.75$10.75€60 min
Train (+ AirTrain)18.75$18.75€35 min

JFK to Manhattan by Taxi

JFK airport taxis are one of the most popular transfer options from New York Airport to Manhattan. The iconic yellow NYC cabs are waiting in the airport’s taxi stands, located just outside each JFK terminal’s doors, providing top services around the clock. Nevertheless, JFK is one of the busiest hubs in the world. Thus, during peak hours, the waiting time for an airport taxi can reach 30 minutes.

In any case, the ride from JFK to Manhattan lasts approximately 45 minutes under normal traffic conditions. Still, traffic jams are notorious in NYC, raising the trip duration to even 90 minutes. Fortunately, JFK airport taxis offer set prices for transfers to Manhattan. Hence, their tariff isn’t affected by the traffic levels. However, many other extra charges apply. In detail, you can expect to be charged:

  • 52$/52€ (the fixed price for rides from JFK to Manhattan)
  • 0.50$/0.50€ (NY State Tax)
  • 1.25$/1.25€  (PANYNJ Airport Access Fee imposed only to airport pick-ups)
  • 0.30$/0.30€ (Improvement Surcharge)
  • 2.50$/2.50€ (the New York State Congestion Surcharge for yellow taxis’ trips passing through Manhattan south of 96th Street)
  • 4.50$/4.50€ (the extra charge for rides during rush hours -from 04:00 pm to 08:00 pm-, but not on weekends and public holidays)
  • toll fees (approximately 6.55$/6.55€)
  • a 15%-20% tip (the customary although not obligatory tip, depending on the provided services)
  • no fee applies for luggage or night transfers

Therefore, the total cost of your ride will be around 65$-75$/65€-75€. Please keep in mind that the surcharges are imposed per ride and not per passenger, and make sure that the taximeter displays “Rate #2- JFK Airport” once beginning your transfer. In any case, NYC taxi drivers accept payments both in cash and via cards. Should you have any complaints or in cases of forgotten items, feel free to call 311.

Our Tip 1: NYC airport taxis can fit up to 4 passengers (minivans up to 5).

Our Tip 2: Please be aware of the scamming incidents at New York Airport. Many individual drivers claim to be licensed and offer skip-the-line services and cheaper rides. Nevertheless, they intend to overcharge passengers and especially tourists not familiar with New York City.

We selected one of the best, most trustworthy and convenient 5-star airport taxi companies for your transfer from New York JFK Airport based on user reviews across various platforms such as Google, Tripadvisor and Trustpilot. Welcome Pickups offers a great experience and safety to its travelers.

  • Local English-speaking drivers
  • Flat, pre-paid fee
  • Flight monitoring for delays
  • 24/7 Customer support + free cancellation

JFK to Manhattan by Subway

The NYC subway is the cheapest way to get from JFK Airport to Manhattan. However, you won’t find a metro station inside New York Airport. Thus, you’ll have to take the AirTrain to Jamaica Station or Howard Beach Station. Fortunately, the AirTrain calls at all JFK terminals, operates around the clock on a 7-15-minute frequency, and needs only 15 minutes to reach either of the subway stations.

Reaching your terminal AirTrain stop, you’ll have to choose between Howard Beach Line and Jamaica Line. Even though Howard Beach Station is served by the Subway Line A heading to downtown Manhattan, Jamaica Station offers 3 subway connections. After taking the Jamaica Line and heading to the station, you’ll follow the signs to Sutphin Boulevard/Archer Avenue/JFK Airport Station. There, you can hop on the Subway Line E that runs to Queens and midtown Manhattan. If opting for Line E, you’ll disembark at the World Trade Center stop for the Financial District, the 34 St-Penn Station for the Empire State Building and the Madison Square Garden, and the Times Sq-42 St if you want to reach Times Square. On the other hand, Subway Lines J and Z pass through Brooklyn and head to lower Manhattan. Hence, you should hop on either of the subway lines if your destination lies in Lower East Side, Little Italy, or Chinatown.

Luckily, both AirTrain and the airport subway operate around the clock. Thus, no matter the time or day of landing at JFK Airport, a subway route will always be an option for your transfer from New York Airport to Manhattan. In general terms, the subway runs on a 5-20-minute basis, with scarcer routes during the night, while the total journey to Manhattan lasts about 60-70 minutes.

As far as the transfer cost is concerned, for your AirTrain ride, you’ll pay 8$/8€, as the light airport train is free only for inside-the-airport transfers. To buy your AirTrain ticket, you’ll have to purchase a Metrocard, a rechargeable card costing 1$/1€. Metrocards and AirTrain tickets are available through the automatic machines lying right before the exit of Jamaica Station. Besides the AirTrain ticket, you’ll have to buy the metro ticket from these machines too, paying 2.75$/2.75€. Payments can be made in cash, via cards, Apple pay, or Wallet pay. Children up to 44 inches (111cm) travel for free.

Our Tip 1: When planning your transfer, keep in mind that Jamaica Station is one of the busiest hubs in NYC.

Our Tip 2: Should you face any difficulties, you’ll find MTA employees in all stations, ready to offer their assistance.

JFK to Manhattan by Train

New York Airport is also served by the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Still, the commuter train leaves from Jamaica Station, requiring a 15-minute AirTrain transfer. As the AirTrain stops at all terminals 24/7, with available routes every 7-15 minutes depending on the time of the day, you’ll easily travel to Jamaica Station. From that point, you’ll take the fast LIRR, reaching Penn Station in Manhattan in only 20 minutes. Thus, the total duration of your journey from New York Airport to Manhattan will be only 35 minutes. LIRR trains run every 3 minutes during peak hours and every 5-20 minutes at other times.

The LIRR ticket varies depending on the time of the day. During peak hours (06:00 am – 10:00 am), it costs 10.75$/10.75€. Hence, the total cost of the transfer from JFK to Manhattan (including the 8$/8€ AirTrain ticket) is priced at 18.75$/18.75€. During off-peak hours, on weekends and public holidays, the train ticket is 7.75$/7.75€, and the total ride cost is 15.75$/15.75€. A City ticket at 5$/5€ is also an option for non-peak hours. However, it must be used during the day of the purchase and it can’t be bought onboard. Children up to 5 years of age don’t pay for their ticket, while kids aged 6 to 12 pay half the price. LIRR tickets are available via the automatic vendors in Jamaica Station. Please be careful to use the LIRR machines and not the subway vendors. From those machines, you can also purchase a 1$/1€ Metrocard and load it with money for your AirTrain transfer.

Our Tip 1: Although the LIRR trains are slightly more spacious than the subway carriages, traveling with a lot of luggage can be challenging, as they tend to get overcrowded. What’s more, some NYC stations are served only by stairs. Fortunately, Jamaica Station and Penn Station have elevators as well.

Our Tip 2: A NYC airport taxi can end up as cost-effective as LIRR for families of 4 or groups of friends splitting the fare.

JFK to Manhattan by Bus

For the time being, JFK Airport is only served by local bus lines, offering good subway connections. However, choosing a bus for your ride from JFK Airport to Manhattan isn’t worth the time, the money, or the hassle. Up until recently, an Express JFK airport shuttle connected JFK to Manhattan. Making 3 stops on its way, its price was 19$/19€ and its traveling time one hour. A new line will replace it, yet its starting operation date remains unknown.

Car Rental from JFK to Manhattan

 A NYC car rental can guarantee stress-free and independent transfers. JFK Airport houses a wide variety of car rental companies, from international providers to local agencies. Thus, you will easily find the ideal JFK airport car rental for your needs and your pocket. The distance between New York Airport and Manhattan is about 16 miles (26km). Hence, your ride to the heart of the Big Apple should last 45 minutes. Nevertheless, heavy traffic (a common fact in NYC) can even double the traveling time. 

If your hotel doesn’t offer a parking spot, you should spot the closest parking lot. Manhattan houses various parking facilities, and even though pricey, they remain the perfect option to avoid dealing with the complicated NYC parking on the street. Still, if you opt for street parking, you’ll be able to pay for the parking fees using cash, cards, or via the ParkNYC app.

Our Tip: Please keep in mind that  “No Parking” signs allow picking-up and dropping-off of passengers as well as loading and unloading goods, whereas “No Standing” signs apply only for person-dropping-off or picking up. Finally, “No Stopping” signs forbid pulling over, no matter the reason.

JFK Airport Transfers from New York Airport to Manhattan

If you want to avoid the notorious waiting lines for a taxi in the busy JFK Airport and enjoy the utmost experience from your ride to Manhattan, you should opt for a JFK airport transfer. Being among the top choices of New York airport’s passengers, private airport transfers provide door-to-door rides and welcome services at the airport, as well as set prices and many side amenities. Your driver will be waiting for you at the Arrivals hall, assist you with your luggage and escort you to the vehicle of your choice, parked outside the terminal. On the other hand, New York airport transfers are somewhat pricier than ordinary taxis. However, an early booking, along with a thorough search and comparison of the available providers at JFK, almost always comes up with value-for-money deals. 


How much does it cost to get from JFK to Manhattan?

A taxi ride from JFK Airport to Manhattan has a set price of 52$/52€. Nevertheless, extra charges raise this fee to a total of 65$-75$/65€-75€. On the other hand, subway transfers cost 10.75$/10.75€, while trips with the commuter LIRR 18.75$/18.75€ (during peak hours).

Does JFK have shuttles to Manhattan?

An airport express bus connected JFK Airport to Manhattan, costing 19$/19€. Running directly to Manhattan, it needed one hour to reach its destination. The airport shuttle is currently out of operation and is planned to get replaced. However, for the time being, a direct bus connection from New York Airport to Manhattan is non-existent. 

What is the best transportation from JFK to Manhattan?

The fastest transportation option from JFK to Manhattan is the combination of AirTrain and Long Island Railroad ( 35 minutes in total). Alternatively, the use of AirTrain and subway is the cheapest alternative, while a New York airport transfer is ideal for passengers looking for premium and top-quality services.