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Getting from JFK Airport to Manhattan: All Transport Options

New York is hands down one of the most exciting cities in the world, so there are always plenty of reasons to visit. John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport is the city’s main and biggest airport. There are numerous methods of transportation from JFK to Manhattan or Times Square, in the heart of New York. The most convenient travel options are either pre-booking a private shuttle or taking a New York taxi from JFK Airport to Manhattan. Alternatively, you can utilise the efficient NYC subway system, take a bus or use a rideshare app.

Welcome Pickups offers meet and greet services and a friendly introduction to New York at the same price as a regular taxi. Click here to see the cost.

Comparison of the options

Welcome Pickups €120 45min 24/7 Book
Taxi €64.80 45min 24/7
Rideshare €69.20 45min 24/7
Train €20.40 60min 24/7
Bus €17.60 90min 07:40–04:00

How to get from JFK to Manhattan by taxi

Taking a pre-booked private taxi from JFK Airport to Manhattan is by far the most comfortable option to get downtown. However, you can also opt for an NYC taxi, they are traditionally yellow with a “TAXI” roof sign and can be found at the taxi ranks outside the arrival terminals. There will be attendants available to assist you at the ranks if needed. The journey from JFK to Manhattan will take around 45 minutes, however, be warned that in peak traffic it can be slower. The ride also includes tolls, payable by the customer.

To avoid getting caught in New York’s world-famous traffic jams, it’s a good idea to travel when the roads are quieter. According to live traffic data from Google Maps, the best times to travel on weekdays are between 10:00 and 15:00 and after 20:00, and before noon and after 20:00 on weekends or holidays. The journey should take around an hour in low to medium traffic and up to 2 hours in heavy traffic.

Taxi fare from JFK Airport to Manhattan

NYC taxis and private shuttles travelling between JFK Airport and Manhattan operate at a fixed rate (excluding tolls) of $70 (€64.80). The on-screen rate message inside the vehicle should read “Rate 2- JFK Airport.”

There is no additional charge for luggage, however, other charges may apply. For example, there’s a $5 (€4.60) rush hour surcharge between 16:00 and 20:00 on weekdays, an airport access fee of $1.75 (€1.60) for pick-ups, a $0.50 (€0.45) MTA state charge and a $1 (€0.90) improvement charge.

If you’d rather the peace of mind of an all-inclusive price without having to pay extra fees such as tolls, we recommend pre-booking a personalised private transfer with Welcome Pickups.



Trip Duration

45 MIN

*The price of the taxi ride may vary unless booked in advance.

Value for Money

Taxis and private shuttles are available 24/7 from JFK Airport

Where do I get a taxi from?

There are official taxi ranks located outside every terminal at JFK Airport. They are easily located by following the signage within the airport. If you wish to pre-book a comfortable private shuttle, your driver will send you a meeting point before your arrival.


JFK Airport taxis and private shuttles are controlled by law and therefore you can be assured that any taxi taken from an official rank or a pre-booked shuttle, will be reliable and safe. As well as this, taxis and shuttles provide door-to-door service and are the most comfortable option for those travelling with luggage. It is always best to avoid rush hour if you wish to make it from JFK to Manhattan in good time, as traffic can be extremely bad.

Editor’s Note

Trips between JFK Airport and other New York City destinations are charged the standard metered fare, with no fixed-rate available.

Useful Tips

NYC Taxis are able to accept credit, debit or prepaid cards, but do not have to accept individual bills over $20.
You will be expected to pay any tolls along the road from JFK Airport to Manhattan when taking a taxi, however, if you book a private shuttle, this will not be the case.
Any return transfers in a taxi from the city to JFK Airport are not charged at the flat rate, but are metered instead.
You can always book a private shuttle in advance, and insure a stress-free, flat-rate price.
A 20% tip is expected for taxis in NYC.

How to get from JFK to Manhattan by rideshare

Another solid option for travelling between JFK and Manhattan is using a rideshare app such as Lyft or Uber. It’s not much cheaper than a traditional New York taxi, however, some prefer this option as the driver comes straight to you and you’ll avoid having to search for a taxi in one of New York’s busiest airports.

How much will a rideshare cost from JFK to Manhattan?

Rideshare apps can be cheaper than local taxis, however, the price depends on which app you use, which type of car you order and whether traffic is heavy or not. Rideshare prices for an Uber or Lyft from JFK Airport to Manhattan range from as cheap as $60 (€55.45) to as expensive as $180 (€166.40). To give you an idea of the kind of prices you’ll get, a Lyft ride from JFK Airport to Manhattan costs approximately:

Lyft (personal ride): $75 (€69.20)

XL (supersized ride): $90 (€83.10)

Lux Black (luxury ride): $115 (€106.20)

Lux Black XL (spacious luxury ride): $170 (€157.05)



Trip Duration

45 MIN

*Prices may vary depending on whether you use Lyft or Uber and traffic conditions.

Value for Money

Uber and Lyft services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Where do I get my Lyft or Uber ride from?

You can either use the app on your phone to order a ride or you can head to one of the designated pickup areas outside of the arrivals area of any terminal.


Opting to use a rideshare app is a solid option, however, JFK Airport’s famously busy arrivals area can make it tricky to find your driver and you could end up waiting a while.

Editor’s Note

An Uber or Lyft ride is sometimes slightly cheaper, if not the same price, as a regular New York taxi.

Useful Tips

Uber or Lyft drivers are only allowed to pick you up from the JFK Arrival Area, meeting your driver anywhere else could result in a fine.
Applicable tolls, surcharges and other charges, like bonuses, may also be added to your fare.
Trips to or from JFK are subject to a $2.50 surcharge. Each shared trip to or from JFK is subject to a $1.25 surcharge.

How to get from JFK Airport to Manhattan by subway

For a quick and cheap option, especially during rush hour, there is a subway service that runs from JFK Airport into Manhattan. For this option, you will need to first take the JFK ‘Airtrain’, the internal train system that links the airport to the closest major subway stations, Jamaica Station and Howard Beach Station. The Airtrain runs between all the terminals and then to one of the two stations,. Make sure you check your final destination and figure out the closest stop and which line is best to use. To get to Midtown Manhattan, you can take the MTA E Subway line to Midtown, Penn Station, which is located within walking distance from Times Square, on W34th Street.

How much is the subway from JFK Airport to Manhattan?

The standard one-way ticket for a subway in NYC is $2.75 (€2.55), however in order to reach the station from the airport you will need to take the AirTrain, which costs an additional $8.25 (€7.65). In total, the journey from JFK to Manhattan will cost about $11 (€10.20). You can pay in cash at the ticket machines and offices in the station.



Trip Duration

60 MIN

There can be up to a 20 minute wait for the train.

Value for Money

The MTA Subway and AirTrain JFK operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The trains run more frequently during peak hours (every 3-5 or 6-8 minutes) but can be longer at other times.

Where do I get the train from?

In order to get to Manhattan from JFK Airport, you will need to take the AirTrain, which runs between all terminals at the station. It is easy to catch, just follow the signs in any terminal building to the AirTrain station. Once you’ve arrived at Jamaica Station, you can take the subway into Midtown from there.


Despite its good price and running hours, the metro can be a hassle for those short on time or with lots of luggage, as there are multiple transfers involved with using this method of transport. Most importantly, the subway will only take you to the central Manhattan stations and not to your end destination.

Editor’s Note

The best method of purchasing bus or subway tickets in NYC is with a rechargeable MetroCard. You can get them from the vending machines at the stations $1 and they can provide bonuses on your rides with certain top ups. They can be time based, ride based or value based and can be purchased with cash, credit or debit.

Useful Tips

Aside from vending machines, merchants are available in the airport to sell you MetroCards. They will be wearing a red "METROCARD AGENT" vest and can assist you with any questions.
You can also take the Long Island Rail (LIRR) from Jamaica Station to Manhattan Midtown. The cost is higher at $17 (€15.70) but the journey only takes 35-40 minutes.
The AirTrain is free to take between the terminals at JFK, you only need to pay when you leave the airport complex on the train.

How to get the bus from JFK to Manhattan

The bus routes from JFK Airport to Manhattan are numerous, however, transit time is longer due to all the stops along the way. To get to Midtown you have to take bus Q3 from Terminal 5 at JFK to Jamaica Station. From there, you can take any of the marked ‘QM’ Express buses into Manhattan. Each of these services takes the same route out of Queens but the route taken through Manhattan, so make sure that you check which one goes closest to your destination.

How much is the bus from JFK to Manhattan?

The bus from the JFK Airport to Manhattan will only set you back a very reasonable $2.75 (€2.55). However, if you take the express bus service into Manhattan, you must pay an additional $6.75 (€6.25), so the whole trip costs $9.50 (€8.80). Tickets are purchased from the stations’ machines, either individually or with a MetroCard.



Trip Duration

90 MIN

There can be up to a 15 minute wait for the bus.

Value for Money

Buses run on their own timetables and are not 24/7. It is always best to check the timetables on the MTA website before relying on a bus.

Where do I get the bus from?

The express bus services leave from Jamaica Station, so in order to catch one you will need to take the Q3 bus which leaves from Terminal 5 at JFK to reach Jamaica Station.


Although it is cheap, the bus is quite a long transit for those who have just had a long flight.. As well as this, the express bus service is not always reliable and times are different for every bus which can. Plus, if there’s bad weather or you’re travelling during rush hour, you can expect the journey to take much longer.

Editor’s Note

Standard MetroCards allow free transfers between subways and buses within a 2-hour period, as do normal tickets. However, the express bus routes are not included. Be prepared to pay and have exact change.

Useful Tips

Many New Yorkers consider the express bus to be a safer option than the subway.
If the express bus timetable isn't suitable for you, Jamaica Station offers alternative transport options, such as the subway.

Welcome Pickups transfer

Welcome Pickups

Book a trained, English-speaking taxi driver to pick you up at the same price as a regular cab from the line

If you feel more relaxed knowing that somebody is waiting for you, you may as well book a Welcome Pickups transfer. As soon as you arrive at the airport you will be greeted by your driver. He will be waiting for you at the terminal of your arrival with a sign that has your name on it. Your driver will help you out with your luggage and together you will make your way to the vehicle. While he is driving you to your accommodation, the driver can give you some tips and recommendations on what to do during your holidays in New york. Our drivers are hand-picked and speak fluent English. No need to worry about miscommunication issues that you may face with the local taxi drivers regarding your destination. Relax and enjoy your ride.

Best drivers

Hand-picked english-speaking drivers

Flight monitoring

Drivers are always on time

Quality support

24/7 email & phone support

Cancel up to 24 hours before the pickup and get an 80% refund

Edit or cancel transfers

Read more Book Welcome Pickups transfer

Welcome Pickups has a Net Safety Score of 99 of 100

We’ve introduced a metric indicating how safe travellers feel when using our services during the COVID-19 pandemic. After every ride, we ask each traveller to leave a review.

  • 20 minute gap between transfers

  • Regular Car Sanitisation

  • Contactless ride

  • Sanitiser in every car

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Frequently asked questions

How much is a taxi or private shuttle from JFK Airport to Manhattan?

Taxis and private shuttles from JFK operate on a flat rate of $70 (€64.80) to any location within the Manhattan area. Expect to pay tolls and an airport access surcharge.

If you’d like to avoid any hidden fees and extra charges, you can book a private transfer in advance and take advantage of Welcome Pickup’s premium services and 24/7 customer support.

How many transfer options are there from JFK to Manhattan?

There are 4 ways to get to Manhattan from JFK Airport: by taxi,  private shuttle, subway and bus. A taxi or private shuttle will be the quickest but the most expensive option, followed by the bus and then the subway being a good balance between cheap and quick.

How far is JFK Airport from Manhattan?

JFK Airport is located around 25.7 km away from Manhattan and the drive will take approximately 45 minutes in normal traffic and up to 2 hours in heavy traffic. The route will also include tolls.

How do I get from JFK to Manhattan?

There are a few transport options to choose from. You can pre-book a private shuttle, take a New York taxi, utilise the efficient NYC subway system, take a bus or use a rideshare app. The cheapest option is by bus and the fastest and most convenient option is to pre-book a private transfer.

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