Traveling around New York City is easy if you have the right tools and guide. New York City attracted over 52 million domestic and international visitors in 2012. The numbers have increased by 17.4 million since 2002 (after 9/11). According to the NYCGo, the official guide to New York City, 41.8 million visitors in 2012 were domestic visitors – guests from all over the United States. (Source: NYCGo)
Are you planning a getaway to the Big Apple? Here is Travelmath’s New York City Transportation Guide to help you plan out your trip.
Airports and Airlines
New York City has three major international airports and three regional domestic airports.
La Guardia Airport (LGA) in Queens NY is 12 miles from the center of NYC, Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in Newark NJ is 13 miles from the city center and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is 20 miles from the city center. For those who prefer smaller airports, try Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP) in Islip, NY 53 miles from the city, Westchester County Airport (HPN) 37 miles from the city or Morristown Municipal Airport (MMU) in Morristown NJ, 29 miles from the city.
Transportation from airports to NYC
JFK to NYC
Visitors have a few options to get to the city from JFK airport. Taxi, car and van services and car rentals are readily available at the airport. If you are looking for ways to save money, try AirTrain JFK.
AirTrain JFK connects with MTA New York City Transit subways and or buses with the Long Island Rail Road. It makes frequent stops everywhere around the airport terminals, parking lots, hotel shuttle areas and rental car facilities. AirTrain provides free services if you need transportation around the airport. They operate 24 hours per day, 365 days a year at a low rate of $7.50 per person (please check for updated rates).
EWR to NYC
Newark Liberty Airport has the same services as JFK to NYC. You have the options of a taxi, car and van service, car rental or AirTrainEWR. If you are worried about getting lost or fear the NYC traffic, AirTrain is the best and most economical way to travel from EWR to NYC. AirTrainEWR also provides connections to NJ Transit and rail lines that run on the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line and as far south as Philadelphia.
LGA to NYC
LGA is the closest airport to NYC. NYCAirporter buses depart every 30 minutes from Port Authority Bus Terminal, Grand Central Station and Penn Station to LGA. Tickets can be purchased online at $13 per person.
Although subways and public buses are available, we do not recommend these services. But if you absolutely love to explore different options, you can find out more on how to spend just $2.50 using subways trains and public buses from LGA to NYC here.
Rental car and road trip to NYC
If you prefer to drive, use Travelmath’s driving distance, cost of driving, stopping points and mileage chart to help you plan your trip. For example, if you are a family of five and you are driving from Charlotte NC to NYC, use Travelmath’s cost to fly or drive calculator to help you decide which is a better option.
For rental car help please check out our rental car options here:
Amtrak or Greyhound to NYC
Train travel or overland by bus are two more ways to get to NYC. Amtrak’s online reservation system is easy to use and they often have promotional prices for families with children or senior citizens. Find out more here.
Another option is Greyhound buses. Greyhound has web special prices and advanced purchase prices for travelers. If you are traveling from Syracuse to New York City, Greyhound has a few prices depending on availability. A one-way web special price is $31 per person. It takes about four hours 40 minutes from Syracuse to New York City.
Traveling around NYC
You can easily find your way around NYC. The city is divided into avenues, street numbers and street names. Avenues run from north to south and 20 blocks is about one mile. It is about 5.91 miles to walk from Wall Street in Lower Manhattan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Upper Manhattan.
The yellow cabs are available 24 hours a day and are metered. According to NYCGo, you can get your hotel doormen to hail a cab for you with a tip of $1. The minimum metered fare is $2.50 and increases 50 cents every fifth of a mile. Don’t worry if you are stuck in traffic because the cost is by the mile, not how long you are in the cab.
NY State tax surcharge of 50 cents is included for each ride. An additional $1 surcharge is added to the meter from 4-8 pm Monday to Friday and 50 cents surcharge is added at night from 8 pm to 6 am. You are expected to tip between 15-20% at the end of your trip. You can either pay by cash or any major credit card for your ride.
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