NEW YORK CITY TRANSPORTATION
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is America's 6th busiest airport. By far, JFK handles the most international flights in America. Despite numbering terminals 1-8, there is no terminal 6, This huge airport is located on the southern coast of Queens, New York so driving and transit options both can take over an hour reaching Manhattan.
JFK-Brooklyn-Manhattan Rail Connections: take AirTrain JFK light rail to the Howard Beach Station and transfer to the A subway train. It costs under $10 (AirTrain + MTA subway) and rides last 50-70 minutes to various lower Manhattan stations. You can also catch an Airtrain to Howard Beach Station to catch the Metro A train to Brooklyn and Manhattan.
JFK-Queens-Manhattan Rail Connections: from JFK Airport, take the AirTrain JFK commuter to the attractively upgraded Jamaica Station, then transfer to a LIRR express train to NYC Penn Station. Your fair will cost $7 LIRR peak commute fare + $5 AirTrain for the 35-minute ride. AirTrain JFK runs 24/7. On return, purchase tickets from a NYC Penn Station vending machine and catch the Jamaica LIRR express train.
JFK AirTrain headed to Jamaica Station
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is America's 22nd busiest passenger airport with 4 compact terminals that host domestic flights. Unfortunately, there is no rail transit from the airport to Manhattan. LGA AIRPORT TERMINAL MAP
Newark International Airport (EWK) is America's 14th busiest passenger airport and New York's 2nd busiest for international flights. With 3 large terminals encircled by freeways and tollways, auto access is a piece of cake in New Jersey.
EWR-Newark-Manhattan Rail Connections: AirTrain Newark automated people mover whisks you between terminals and connects to NJ Transit trains that commute to downtown Newark and NYC Penn Station. The cost is $12 and the commute is 25 minutes or less. On your return, purchase tickets from the Penn Station vending machine and catch the EWR NJ Transit train.
Shuttles and Limos: Super Saver Shuttle (800-924-9954), Westchester Express (800-910-5466), and Classic Limousine (800-666-4949) are available from JFK and LGA from 7am to midnight. Go to the ground transportation desk at each airport to catch a Gray Line Express bus to Grand Central Station for $12 from JFK or $14 from LaGuardia.
Taxis are plentiful at all three airports. The trip from EWR to downtown Newark costs about $12. The trip from LGA to Midtown Manhattan will cost you $25 to $40 and limousine will cost you $50 to $75, depending on hour of commute.
Car Rentals: all three airports feature a huge selection of Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, and National cars.
NYC Penn Station
Penn Station, located underneath Madison Square Garden, is cramped with low ceilings, but trains arrive every 5-15 minutes, 24/7. That level of activity supports shops and cafes open from from 5:30a-11:30p in support of Amtrak, MTA subway lines, Long Island Railroad, Metro North, New Jersey Transit, and PATH commuter trains, MTA buses, BoltBus, and taxis await you on 33rd Street and 7th Avenue. In fact, NYC Penn Station is anchored by the most Amtrak train routes and the fastest train in America, Acela capable of 150 mph top speed:
Acela: DC-Baltimore-Philadelphia-Newark-NYC-New Haven-Providence-Boston
Northeast Regional: Newport News-Richmond-DC-Baltimore-Philadelphia-Newark-NYC-New Haven-Hartford
Crescent: NYC-Philadelphia-Baltimore-DC-Charlotte-Atlanta-New Orleans
Empire: NYC-Albany-Syracuse-Rochester-Buffalo-Niagara Falls
Vermonter: St. Albans-Burlington-NYC-Newark-Philadelphia-Baltimore-DC
Lakeshore Limited: NYC-Albany-Rochester-Buffalo-Cleveland-Toledo-Chicago
Bigger plans are ahead for Moynihan Station to replace Penn Station and Acela High Speed Rail upgrades in the Northeast Corridor anchored by New York City.
Unlike other American cities, transit rules metro New York. So rental cars only make sense for travelers to the suburbs of New Jersey, New York, Long Island and a few parts of Queens not served by transit. The volume of available taxis is outstanding, and sometimes adventurous in Manhattan.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is a vast network of subway trains, commuter trains and buses linking the entire region at a reasonable cost. MTA Subway lines travel to 468 stations over 660 miles. More than 4,000 buses travel on 207 local and 36 express routes citywide. An MTA subway or bus ride costs $2, regardless of trip length and all fares are paid via a convenient MetroCard. Visit MetroCard Promotions to access money-saving deals for reduced admission to museums and attractions, or discounts at many stores and restaurants. Do not confuse MTA subways or MTA commuter trains with New Jersey Transit or PATH trains, since they have seperate ticketing and schedules.
The Arts for Transit initiative is designed to enhance the travel experience of subway riders by adding the beauty of art and culture to their trips. The initiative’s Music Under New York (MUNY) program provides riders with a variety of musical performances at select subway stations.
42nd Street-Times Square Subway Station
MTA Subways, though slightly noisy and hard-seated, are an efficient transportation marvel that run 24/7. Many subway stations have been refurbished and newer trains are continuously added. Most north-south subway lines through Manhattan have express and local trains on separate tracks, speeding commuters from Midtown to Uptown or Downtown in minutes. Express trains skip 3-4 stations (20-30 blocks) between each stop making it the best way to get around during commute hours. Ask a friendly MTA station agent for a free subway map and confirm that an express train stops at your station before boarding. MetroCard vending machines accept cash, debit cards and credit cards. There are currently 26 MTA subway lines:
MTA SUBWAY SYSTEM MAP
A 8th Avenue Express
B 6th Avenue Express
C 8th Avenue Local
D 6th Avenue Express
E 8th Avenue Local
F 6th Avenue Local
G Brooklyn-Queens Crosstown Local
J Nassau Street Express
L 14th Street-Carnesie Local
M Nassau Street Local
N Broadway Express
Q 6th Avenue Express
R Broadway Local
S Rockaway Park Shuttle
S 42nd Street Shuttle
S Franklin Ave-Prospect Park Shuttle
V 6th Avenue Local
W Broadway Local
Z Nassau Street Express
1 Broadway/7th Avenue Local
2 7th Avenue Express
3 7th Avenue Express
4 Lexington Avenue Express
5 Lexington Avenue Express
6 Lexington Avenue Local
7 Flushing Local
MTA Staten Island Railway (SIR) service runs 24 hours daily between the St. George and Tottenville stations. At the St. George station, customers can make connections with Staten Island Ferry service.
MTA Long Island Railroad (LIRR) commuter trains serve the length of Long Island, New York. It is America's busiest commuter railroad and operates 24/7. Excluding the Port Washington line, all lnes from Penn Station stop at Jamaica Station in Queens for connection to JFK Airport. LIRR operates on these popular routes:
City Terminal Zone
Grand Central Terminal interior
Grand Central Terminal serves over 500,000 daily commuter transit and subway transit passengers and is a joy to visit. Enter from Lexington Ave to get a jaw-dropping view of the Main Concourse with its vaulted ceiling and monuments. It has nearly 30 upscale boutiques, restaurants and cafes, including the classy Michael Jordan Steakhouse. Visitors may contact the Municipal Art Society at (212-935-3960) for a Wednesday tour. Civil engineers marvel at the multi-layered network of train tracks underneath the terminal as well. While at Grand Central, check out the New York City Transit Museum’s free gallery annex and store. Metro-North Railroad and several subway lines stop here, including a short subway line connecting to the A, C, and E north-south lines that go to Penn Station. Catch taxis at the Upper Concourse and the New York Airport Express bus to LaGuardia or JFK airport just across 42nd Street.
MTA Metro-North Railroad commuter trains run north on Harlem and Hudson lines in suburban New York, Pascack Valley and Port Jervis, New Jersey & New York and north to New Haven, Waterbury, and Danbury, Connecticutt. It is one of America's busiest commuter railroad and operates 24/7. MTA METRO-NORTH RAILROAD MAP
Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) trains connect Newark, Jersey City and Hoboken in New Jersey to the World Trade Center and Penn Station daily between 5am and Midnight. PATH commuter trains to downtown utilize a temporary World Trade Center Transportation Hub that is also home to a MTA subway line, buses and major taxi stand. As the World Trade Center complex completes its ground level around 2014, anticipate an iconic structure placed over New York City's third grand intermodal transportation center with 200,000 square feet of retail and inviting passenger concourse.
Though Hoboken and Jersey City also have significant public transit centers, in New Jersey, one major intermodal transportation center stands above the rest. The fully resored neo-classical Newark Pennsylvania Station is home to Amtrak, PATH subway trains, a New Jersey Transit light rail line, and New Jersey Rail Transit commuter commuter trains, including trains to New Meadowlands Football Stadium and Atlantic City.
New York Freeway, Tollway, Bridge and Tunnel Network is as extensive as it is expensive for short distances traveled - a pretty good incentive to use transit. Keep at least $10 handy drive to/from Manhattan. The freeways, tollways, bridges and tunnels are for most part, old, crowded and in varying states of repair, so expect congestion at all hours. Two notable exceptions worth driving are the magnificantly designed Verranzano-Narrows Bridge between Brooklyn and Staten Island and the George Washington Bridge between Manhattan and New Jersey.
George Washington Bridge heading into New Jersey
Several other tollways and parkways via bridge or tunnel enter New York City from New Jersey or the New York boroughs:
FDR Drive becomes Harlem River Drive
9A Henry Hudson Parkway
78 Holland Tunnel
95 Cross Bronx Expressway/George Washington Bridge
478 Brooklyn Battery Tunnel
495 Lincoln Tunnel
Garden State Parkway
1 US Route
3 State Route (Essex and Passaic counties)
479 US Route
21 State Route
24 State Route
78 Holland Tunnel
2 New Jersey Turnpike/George Washington Bridge
278 Interstate/Goethals Bridge
495 State Route/Lincoln Tunnel