In about 12 days (on Wednesday 30th) I'll be travelling to New York City and I'll arrive at JFK around 4pm. I will stay in an AirBnB that's located in the Bronx (Neill Avenue), and I'd like to be there by 10pm if possible (but I'd much rather be there by 8pm), as to not inconvenient the hosts. I have no idea how much time I'll lose among possible delays, getting luggage and customs, hence why I'd like a fast solution.

I'll carry a small backpack, my carry-on baggage (i.e. a small suitcase) and a normal suitcase.

What are my options to reach it from JFK?

  • Public transportation: using Google Maps for public transport tells me it takes about 2 hours with something like 4 changes in between, which means a big chance of losing at least one and hence an even longer trip.

  • Taxi: Obviously the faster way is probably a taxi, but I have no idea how much it would cost... Probably way more than 100$, which is too much than what I'd like to pay.

  • Uber/Lyft/similar: no idea how much these cost, since I've never used them before. I feel like it would be a little bit cheaper than a taxi, but I guess for something like a 45/60 minute trip (I guess?) it will still be around 80/100$.

Is there any other option or trick that would save me time and/or money?

I don't know, maybe there are buses that connect JFK to LaGuardia and I may take one of those and then just some other public transport to complete the trip, something like that?

  • 3
    Where in the Bronx (roughly)? It can make a big difference.
    – phoog
    May 18, 2018 at 20:31
  • 6
    As a New Yorker, I wouldn't hesitate to take the multiple-transfer public transit option - you can look at it as an authentically unpleasant New York experience. Or you can look at the taxi option as authentically expensive. Either way, welcome in advance. :)
    – mfsiega
    May 18, 2018 at 22:54
  • 2
    Wednesday at 4 pm? Traffic will be hell. The subway will be crowded. And don't forget you have to go through immigration and customs. May 19, 2018 at 6:54
  • 1
    @MichaelHampton Yes, my plane arrives at that hour, but I'm pretty sure it will be not before 5:30/6pm when I'm actually outside of the airpoirt, maybe even 7pm depending on the queues at the customs/immigration.
    – Bakuriu
    May 19, 2018 at 8:03
  • 1
    NYC rush hour on a weekday can last until 8pm on some days. Nov 20, 2018 at 0:11

4 Answers 4


You could take a taxi for the flat JFK-to-Manhattan fare to 125th St and Lexington Avenue, which would be about $65 including tip if you avoid tolls, and then take the 5 train from there to Morris Park or Pelham Parkway.

Starting with the train and continuing by taxi doesn't really make much sense: from anywhere you can get to on a train, the best way to get to your destination is by train. For example, to get from Woodside station to your destination by taxi will take about as long as getting there from JFK with a taxi, and it's only a few minutes faster than taking the subway. A shuttle bus to La Guardia similarly doesn't save very much time.

At the cost of a few extra minutes, you could do a three-seat ride by taking the LIRR to Atlantic Terminal from Jamaica and changing there to the 5 train; the transfer is pretty short. If you have a lot of bags, you can save yourself from having to change levels by taking the 2 or 3 from Atlantic to Nevins and changing across the platform to the 5. Otherwise, go downstairs from the LIRR platform and then up directly to the 4/5 platform.

The E/R/5 option from Jamaica isn't much worse, though; the E-to-R change at Queens Plaza is also across the platform.

  • Using an Uber (or similar) instead of a taxi wouldn't change much about time&price, am I right?
    – Bakuriu
    May 18, 2018 at 21:45
  • 1
    @Bakuriu I have no experience with such things. My understanding is that at certain times it is likely to be considerably less expensive, and at other times more expensive. I suspect that rush hour is one of the more expensive times.
    – phoog
    May 19, 2018 at 3:39
  • 1
    The more I look at this, the more I think that taking the taxi to 125 and Lexington, followed by the subway, is probably the best balance of fast versus cheap. But @Bakuriu If you're going to get an Uber, you may as well go all the way to your destination. The cost will probably be very similar to, or slightly more than, the taxi. May 19, 2018 at 6:59

Since the question was first asked, the Long Island Railroad added service to Grand Central Terminal. I would use this new option:

  1. AirTrain from the JFK Airport to Jamaica Station. This costs $8.25 as of this writing, the ride takes 5-15 minutes, depending on which terminal you start at, and you may wait up to 10 minutes for the train. To pay, don't get involved with the inconvenient old MetroCard, which will go away soon. Rather, use the new OMNY payment system to tap the turnstile as you exit the AirTrain in Jamaica.

  2. Long Island Railroad (LIRR) train from Jamaica station to Grand Central Terminal (GCT). The ride takes about 15 minutes, and you may wait up to 15 minutes for the train, or even longer at night. The AirTrain-subway-LIRR transfer in Jamaica is very easy. The LIRR fare varies depending on time of day: weekday morning peak you need a peak CityTicket for $7, at all other times you should get an off-peak CityTicket for $5. Do not buy a more expensive ticket, which is valid for more than 1 day. You can set up the MTA Traintime App on your phone to pay for the Long Island Rail Road or MetroNorth, or just but a paper CityTicket from a LIRR Ticket vending machine if you don't plan to ride the LIRR much. (The MTA promises that the LIRR will also accept OMNY in 2025.)

  3. In GCT, follow the signs to transfer to NYC Subway. You need IRT #5 train toward Uptown and the Bronx. The fare is $2.90 as of this writing. The transfer could be a pain with a lot of bags, as it involves a ride on a very long escalator, and a long walk. Use OMNY to pay for the subway - don't use the old Metrocard.

  • $2.90 for a ride on the subway seems obscene, but then I remember it being $1 about 37 years ago, and that makes it seem much more reasonable and in line with inflation...
    – FreeMan
    Aug 24, 2023 at 17:05
  • @FreeMan I remember when the subway was 50 cents on weekdays and 25 cents on weekends. Aug 24, 2023 at 17:35

Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of great options for this trip.

I'd expect it to take at least an hour by private car (Google estimates 50 minutes-1.5 hours, and it will take a bit of time to get a taxi or car). I checked Lyft at 5pm Eastern today, and while the prices will vary depending on demand and traffic, they're currently $66 for a regular ride and $58 for a shared Lyft Line ride (slower, as it will pick up and drop off other passengers). One of the other apps like Juno may be a bit cheaper. A taxi would be on the order of $55+tip with light traffic, but bad traffic at that time could increase that cost up to $80+tip, per TaxiFareFinder (and possible tolls depending on route). A car service like Dial7 will be about $55 plus tip (and any applicable tolls depending on route) less a $7 coupon if you book online, and you'll get a flat rate with them. That's somewhat expensive indeed, but coming off an international flight with bags and looking to avoid hassle, you might find it worthwhile.

There are also shared ride vans like SuperShuttle. You'd have the convenience of no transfers at a lower cost, but I would personally avoid that during rush hour given the time that could be involved in making lots of stops and going out of your way.

Phoog already has you covered on public transit. If you're willing to spend the fare for a taxi to Manhattan, you might as well go all the way by car to your destination and save the hassle of a transfer. I'd say it comes down to cost vs hassle vs time:

  • Car, ~1-1.5 hours, ~$60-65, least hassle
  • Public transit, ~1:45-2:00, ~$7.75-$15.25 (higher price including LIRR), multiple transfers

For me, a deciding factor might be exactly how far the AirBnB is from the subway. If you have to lug your bags a ways, that could tip the balance pretty quickly.

  • $55 plus tip seems to me an unrealistically low estimate. It costs that much to get to downtown Brooklyn from JFK. To get to the Bronx, you're either going to have to add some tolls on top of the fare or take a longer route to avoid them. More significantly, during rush hour, you can expect perhaps an extra half an hour of travel time, which would add another $10 to $15 to the fare.
    – phoog
    May 19, 2018 at 3:53
  • @phoog I thought it seemed pretty low too. I'm going to bump it up to assume heavier traffic. If I were to do a car for this trip, I wouldn't take a taxi, I'd prebook DIal7 or Carmel or another service, which should be under $65 including tip. May 19, 2018 at 6:11
  • Thanks! I'll checkout out Dial7 and Carmel, they should surely be better than the taxi in terms of cost. The only downside is that youhave to book it in advance and if I'll be delayed for some reason (flight late, immigration/customs) then I may have some trouble or I may have to pay some penalty, while you can take a taxi "on the flight". Both of you gave me some idea, and I'll evaluate them in the next days and try to plan ahead.
    – Bakuriu
    May 19, 2018 at 8:13
  • 1
    @Bakuriu It shouldn't be an issue if you're delayed. You give them your flight number, and unless you pay extra to have them waiting for you at the door, Dial7 sends you a text message with a link; when you come out of customs, you just tap the link or respond, and the driver comes around from the holding lot. So you don't have to pay waiting time if there's a delay, but you might wait a couple minutes for the car to come. May 19, 2018 at 8:30

If it were me, I would take a particular route via Subway.

  1. Air Train to Jamaica (Really Fast)
  2. E train to Queens Plaza (E Train is an Express Train)
  3. R Train from Queens Plaza to Lexinton Ave / 59th St
  4. 5 Train to Morris Park

The Air Train and E train are very quick, and will get you most of the way in a hurry. The wait for the R and the ride on the 5 train will be a little longer. However, Subway in general is more efficient in the evening.

Probably the fastest method after 8 pm would be to take a Taxi/Lyft from Jamaica across the Whitestone bridge to the Bronx. Alternatively, taxi or Lyft from Queens Plaza across the Triboro might be a good idea.

A crazy alternative would be the Q44SPS Bus from Jamaica to the Bronx. It would probably be the cheapest method!

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