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Ever wondered what existed to get travelers New York-JFK Airport before the AirTrain opened? Well, this. It's something called the JFK Express, essentially an express subway line that ran from 1978 to 1990, until it was eliminated due to low ridership.
It's crazy to think that the AirTrain didn't open until 2003, leaving a 13-year gap between the JFK Express and another option. During this time, passengers opting for public transportation took the regular subway out to the Howard Beach stop and boarded a bus to finish the trip to JFK. Even crazier is the thought the people interviewed in the "Train to the Plane" commercial above once lived in New York City. There's so much history in this city that sometimes it boggles the brain. Of course, we've got nothing on European or Asian cities in terms of urban history.
Oh, the delights of YouTube.
Your flight has landed, you've claimed your luggage and now you're trying to get the hell out of the airport. To erase confusion and get your on your way, all week long at Jaunted we will be detailing the various ways to get to and from major airports, and what those modes cost, from cheapest to the big blowout entrance. Got any tips or an airport suggestion? Let us know.
For our first airport in this series, we're going with our home base of JFK and it's myriad of options for making the commute into Manhattan (or Brooklyn). Just remember that all times listed below are approximate; New York is a city where crazy things happen to gum up the works.
· Airtrain to Subway: While this is absolutely the cheapest way to JFK, it is the one most susceptible to delays and wonky weekend construction schedules. Nonetheless, New York City is to be found both above and below ground, and so we find ourselves on this route more often than the others.
The options: Hop the Airtrain for $5 at any of the terminals; the train to Howard Beach will hook up with A subway train ($2.25) which can get you to downtown Brooklyn or continue on into lower Manhattan. Our favorite, the Airtrain to Sutphin Blvd/Jamaica Station deposits you at the Long Island Railroad station ($5.25-$7.25 to take this into Penn Station) or the subway E train for $2.25, which goes across Queens and into Midtown Manhattan.
Total cost: $7.25 per person, one-way; $10.25-$12.25 with the LIRR)
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes from JFK to Midtown (1 hour with the LIRR)