- Cab – (RFK Bridge) – $30-35 – most cab drivers will take this route since it’s a higher fare for them (and *barely* faster – they’ll use that as an excuse).
- Cab (Queensboro Bridge) – $20-25 – if the cab driver takes the Queensboro Bridge (you’ll usually have to tell them to), the cab fare is much cheaper since you do not pay the RFK bridge toll.
- Cab to Subway (Astoria) – $10 + $2.50 subway fare – you can take a cab to Astoria Blvd and 31st St in Queens and then hop onto a Manhattan-bound N/Q train to the 59th St/Lexington Station. Warning: most cab drivers will get upset because they don’t like it when people do this. You can just ignore them.
- Bus to Subway (Astoria) – $2.50 bus fare + free/$2.50 transfer to subway – take the bus from LaGuardia to the Astoria/Hoyt Ave/31st St stop, and then get on a Manhattan-bound N/Q train to the 59th St/Lexington Station. This is the cheapest way, but also the most time-consuming.
Newark International (EWR)
- Cab – $55-70 – yeah, I don’t recommend this at all. Only do this if you’re really in a rush or if you’re in a group of 4 (then the cost kind of balances out).
- NJ Transit Train to Subway – $12.50 + $2.50 subway fare – take the EWR AirTrain to the Newark Airport Rail Station and buy a NJTransit ticket to go into New York Penn Station (the last stop). Once you get into NY Penn Station, get on the Queens-bound E subway train and get off at the 53rd/Lexington station. Note: there is ongoing construction along the E line, so it may not be running on some nights/weekends. If this is the case, take any blue train uptown to the 42nd St station (the next stop) and transfer to a N/R train – from the N/R train, get off at the 59th/Lexington station.
John F Kennedy International (JFK)
- Cab – $45 + tip – cabs from JFK to anywhere in Manhattan have a flat-rate of $45.
- AirTrain + Subway – $5 + $2.50 subway fare – take the AirTrain from JFK to Jamaica Station. From there, you can get on a Manhattan-bound E train and get off at the 53rd/Lexington station. Only concern (and it’s a very minor one) is that there may be shady characters/bums on the subway if it’s at an odd hour of the day (i.e. middle of the night).
- AirTrain + LIRR Train + Subway – $5 + $8.75 LIRR + $2.50 subway fare – take the AirTrain from JFK to Jamaica Station. From there, follow signs to get to the LIRR station – buy a ticket for a train into NY Penn Station. Once you reach NY Penn Station (the last stop), follow the same instructions as the Newark subway route. This is the safest route since the LIRR will get you into Manhattan, but the AirTrain + Subway route should be fine almost all of the time.
Recommended choices are bolded. All prices for cabs already take into account tip.
If choosing between airports, LaGuardia is the shortest transit time via cab, JFK is the shortest transit time via public transit, and there are virtually no advantages to Newark except for the fact that most (read: cheap) United flights go to Newark. Any other area airport (ISP, SWF, HPN etc) is not worth the time/hassle, even if it’s cheaper.