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How To Get From LaGuardia Airport to Manhattan [2024]

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James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...
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While New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is the closest airport to the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, it can be one of the more difficult airports to get to in the New York City region, mainly due to its lack of effective public transportation.

You can get from LaGuardia Airport to Manhattan in several ways, each with different pros and cons. This guide will help you travel like a pro so you can step off your plane and be at a Broadway show in no time!

Getting From New York’s Airports to the City

New York City has 3 major airports that provide domestic and international service. As you’d expect, they vary in distance from Manhattan, and each has its challenges regarding transit.

While there are many places to visit in Manhattan, we’ll focus on New York’s Penn Station, the city’s rail hub, to determine the distance and best transit alternatives from all 3 main NYC airports.

  • New York-LaGuardia (LGA) is the closest airport to Manhattan at 9.1 miles away. Your best bet to get from the airport to downtown is by car, either a taxi or ride-share. LGA is considered the “commuter” airport for the city, with most shuttle-branded flights departing from here. LaGuardia is a hub for American and Delta.
  • New York-Kennedy (JFK) is the city’s major international hub, with nearly every significant carrier having a presence here. JFK is 16.8 miles away from Penn Station. Since it’s the furthest airport from Manhattan, hopping on the AirTrain and then a Long Island Rail Road connection is your best bet for getting to Manhattan. JFK is a hub for American, Delta, and JetBlue.
  • Newark (EWR) is very close to Manhattan, though it is in New Jersey. It’s only 16.3 miles from Penn Station and is regularly served by NJ TRANSIT trains, which whisk you from the airport to Manhattan in about 30 minutes. Newark is a hub for United and the Star Alliance.

Overview of Cost Estimates

SCROLL FOR MORE
Transit MethodCost Estimate
LaGuardia Link Q70 Bus to Subway$2.90
Ride-ShareFrom $30
TaxiFrom $30
Hired CarFrom $125
LGA Q70
The Q70 bus is a free way to get from the subway to LGA. Image Credit: MTA

If you’re arriving at Terminals B and C, you can take the free LaGuardia Link Q70 bus to Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue. The bus runs every few minutes and is completely free; you don’t need to tap your credit card or have a MetroCard. You can catch this bus to Jackson Heights in Queens, from where you can easily transfer to the 7, E, F, M, and R subway lines that will conveniently transport you to Manhattan. Overall, it’s about a 1-hour ride once you board the bus.

Bus seating can be limited, and you may encounter crowding. Additionally, many passengers may choose to stand with their bags or try to squeeze them between the seats, which can lead to a somewhat chaotic boarding experience. If you’re unable to board the bus, just be patient and wait for the next one.

Hot Tip:

The Q70 bus isn’t a great option for those with lots of luggage since you’ll have to navigate crowds on board and have limited storage space.

Buses depart from the baggage claim level at the clearly marked LaGuardia Link Q70 bus signs. Once you get to Jackson Heights, it costs $2.90 to get into Manhattan, and you’ll simply tap your credit card to board the train.

If you’re arriving at Terminal A, you can take the free transfer bus to Terminal B and then board the free Q70 bus, or you can pay $2.90 and board the Q48 bus, which will take you to 111 Street/Roosevelt Avenue, where you can board the 7 train.

In all cases, there’s no direct train from LaGuardia to Manhattan; all options require a bus transfer.

Ride-Share

Ride-share is likely the easiest way to get from LaGuardia to Manhattan. Because taking the Q70 bus and then a subway involves moving your luggage over several surfaces, there is a preference for just taking a ride-share from the airport to your final destination.

To find the ride-share pickup point, proceed to these points:

  • Terminal A — The pickup point is directly across the street from Terminal A.
  • Terminal B — Proceed to Level 2 of the Terminal B parking garage, immediately next to Terminal B. Once there, follow the signs for car services.
  • Terminal C — Proceed to ground-level arrivals, then walk to the inner lane, following signs for car services.

Expect to pay about $30 or more for a ride, not including any gratuity. Traffic can be absolutely horrific coming from LaGuardia, which can easily cause the fare to increase significantly. You’ll greatly benefit if you can split the cost of the ride-share with other riders.

Hot Tip:

Ride-share and taxi prices can actually be very similar, so if you’re in a rush and don’t wish to wait for an Uber or Lyft, a taxi is a great alternative.

Taxi

LGA Taxis
Taxis from LaGuardia to Manhattan are metered, so you’ll be charged more for distance and time. Image Credit: LaGuardia Airport

Taxi services are available at every terminal building, easily locatable with the many signs you’ll find as you exit the terminal.

A taxi can, interestingly enough, be a similar price to ride-share (or even cheaper), depending on road conditions. You can expect to pay about $30 to $38 for a ride to Times Square, though because a taxi is metered, you’ll pay heavily for the time you sit in any traffic. If you’re arriving during rush hour, you’ll want to consider whether this extra cost is worth it.

Taxi services are regulated, so all taxi drivers must comply with local laws and regulations (reducing the chance you’ll get scammed). Various additional fees may be added to your ride, including charges for tolls or travel during certain times of day.

Hired Car

Car hires pickup from the same point as ride-shares. You can book any car hire online or through the LaGuardia Welcome Center, located on the arrivals level of each terminal.

Prices depend on the type of vehicle you’re traveling in, but you can expect to pay approximately these prices:

  • $125 for a luxury sedan, which can accommodate 3 people
  • $150 for an SUV, which can accommodate 6 people
  • $170 for a luxury SUV, which can accommodate 6 people
  • $190 for a highest-end sedan, which can accommodate 3 people
  • $325 for a limousine, which can accommodate 7 people
  • $335 for a Sprinter van, which can accommodate 12 people

Hired car prices generally cover all taxes and tolls, and some vendors also include gratuity, too. Numerous vendors provide hired car services to Manhattan from LaGuardia, so a simple search online will yield several results. Some popular services include Blacklane, Ridelux, and NYC United Limo.

Hot Tip:

A hired car is great for groups since you can prebook these services for however many people you have in your party.

Final Thoughts

Traveling from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Manhattan requires a bit more effort compared to the straightforward train options available at New York-JFK and Newark airports.

If you’re arriving or departing from LaGuardia Airport, your most convenient transportation option will likely be a taxi or ride-share service. These options allow you to be conveniently dropped off directly at your destination.

Whichever option you choose, be sure to leave plenty of time as traffic can be pretty bad driving into the city!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest way to get from LaGuardia to Times Square?

The easiest way to get from LaGuardia to Times Square is via a ride-share or taxi.

What is cheaper from LaGuardia taxi or Uber?

Counter to what you’d think, taxis can actually be cheaper from LaGuardia than an Uber, though traffic and other factors can easily raise the price.

What is the cheapest way to get from LaGuardia to Manhattan?

The cheapest option is to take the Q70 bus to connect with the subway, which will take you directly into Manhattan.

How much is an Uber ride from LaGuardia to Times Square?

Depending on traffic and other factors, an approximate fare from LaGuardia to Times Square is approximately $30 or more.

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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