Price Of JFK Airport-To-Manhattan Taxi Ride May Go Way Up

by SharonKurheg

If you arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) with plans to go to Manhattan (a.k.a. “the City”), you have 3 main choices: subway, ride sharing, or taxi. Each have their pros and cons:


Taking the subway between JFK and the City is, by far, the cheapest option. It can also be the fastest, depending on how much rush hour traffic there is.

That being said, if you’ve never been to NYC before, taking the subway can be a daunting task. Besides needing to have a solid understanding of how NY’s subway system works, there’s also the basic fear some people have of “taking the subway in Manhattan.”

If you DO decide to take the subway from JFK to Manhattan, you may want to know about these:

Ride Sharing

If taking the subway is the cheapest way to get into the City, taking an Uber or Lyft is the most expensive. Costs, obviously, vary with price surging. But an UberX from JFK to the New York Marriott Marquis on a Wednesday at 6:30pm is going to cost you about $92.00- and that’s before tipping. So figure about $100 (or a little less than 10x the cost of taking the subway).

PC: Uber & Google Maps

On the other hand, Ubers are less “scary” for some tourists, the ride is cleaner and easier than a subway train, and you’re guaranteed a seat! 😉


The first taxicab company in NYC was the Samuel’s Electric Carriage and Wagon Company (E.C.W.C.), which began running 12 electric hansom cabs in July 1897 (take THAT, Tesla, Chevy Volt and BMW i4!).

As with everything else in the world, prices for taxis have slowly risen over the years. In 1948, they cost $0.20 for the first 1/4 mi., then $0.05 per 1/4 mi. after that, plus $0.05 per 2 min. wait. By 2012, that price was $2.50 for the first 1/5 mi., then $0.50 per 1/5 mi. after that, plus $0.50 per 1 min. (The Awl, July 2012).

Of course, there are surcharges, too. So nowadays, you can expect to pay:

  • $2.50 initial charge.
  • Plus 50 cents per 1/5 mile when traveling above 12mph or per 60 seconds in slow traffic or when the vehicle is stopped.
  • Plus 50 cents MTA State Surcharge for all trips that end in New York City or Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Orange or Putnam Counties.
  • Plus 30 cents Improvement Surcharge.
  • Plus 50 cents overnight surcharge 8pm to 6am.
  • Plus $1.00 rush hour surcharge from 4pm to 8pm on weekdays, excluding holidays.
  • Plus New York State Congestion Surcharge of $2.50 (Yellow Taxi) or $2.75 (Green Taxi and FHV) or 75 cents (any shared ride) for all trips that begin, end or pass through Manhattan south of 96th Street.
  • Plus tips and any tolls.
  • There is no charge for extra passengers, luggage or bags, or paying by credit card.

Trips between Manhattan and 2 of the 3 New York City airports (EWR and JFK. LGA gets the regular metered rate, which usually averages about $30) have flat fees:

  • Airport Access Fee
    • Taxi: $1.25 for pick up only at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Airports
    • FHV: $2.50 for both drop off and pick up at LaGuardia, Newark, and John F. Kennedy airports
  • Trips to and from LaGuardia Airport (LGA) are charged the standard metered fare.
  • Trips between Manhattan and John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) in either direction:
    • $52
    • Plus 50 cents MTA State Surcharge.
    • Plus 30 cents Improvement Surcharge.
    • $4.50 rush hour surcharge (4pm to 8pm weekdays, excluding legal holidays).
    • Plus New York State Congestion Surcharge of $2.50 (Yellow Taxi) or $2.75 (Green Taxi and FHV) or 75 cents (any shared ride) for all trips that begin, end or pass through Manhattan south of 96th Street.
    • Plus tips and any tolls.
    • The on-screen rate message should read “Rate #2- JFK Airport.”
  • Trips between John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) and other New York City destinations are charged the standard metered fare.
  • Trips to Newark Airport (EWR):
    • Standard metered fare.
    • Plus $17.50 Newark Surcharge.
    • Plus 30 cents Improvement Surcharge.
    • Plus tip and tolls to and from EWR (passengers are charged for the drivers’ return tolls).
    • The on-screen rate message should read “Rate #3 – Newark Airport.”

So a trip from JFK to the City would run you $52 to start, plus the surcharges, plus tolls and tips.

Unfortunately, NYC’s Taxi and Limousine Commission wants to raise that base fare for JFK from $52 to either $62 or $65. If it’s the latter, that $13 is a 25% increase! WOW!

Oh, and they also want to introduce a flat fee for taking a taxi from LGA to the City. According to acting TLC Commissioner Ryan Wanttaja, the cost would be $39 for trips between LaGuardia and Manhattan below West 110th St. and East 96th St. (above there would still be a regular metered fare).

The TLC says the reason for the proposed increases are supply and demand of taxicabs at the airports, average driver wait time in the airport ‘hold’ lots, and what that wait time would cost based on a $15 hourly minimum wage.

Following a virtual public hearing on April 5th, taxi commissioners will vote on the price increase.

Feature Photo: Public Domain

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Robert March 18, 2022 - 8:07 pm

There is a middle ground – Airtrain to Jamaica Station, then the Long Island Railroad to Penn Station. Not as intimidating as the subway to out of towners. It’s only 21-25 minutes to Penn Station from Jamaica (depending on train), fares is $7.75 or $10.75 depending on whether you are going at peak or off peak time.

SharonKurheg March 19, 2022 - 8:20 am

That’s in the “the fast way or the cheap way” link above 😉 We referred to them both as the subway because for tourists, it’s the same type of ride.

Mak March 19, 2022 - 9:33 am

Just get on the E Train, go to the Second to last stop (Jamaica/Suthpin) and follow the crowd up the stairs and elevator to the Air Train. Unless you have heavy bags, no reason to take a taxi/Uber to JFK (and will be even less reason if they raise the price of a cab).

SharonKurheg March 19, 2022 - 10:35 am

Thank-you. But again, some people are intimidated by the idea of using any train in NYC.

Douglas Frost DeNunzio March 19, 2022 - 9:22 pm

That is how everything works from the airport to New York City in terms of transportation.

Sally March 20, 2022 - 2:40 am

What should I do I am very new to nyc and from jfk airport to downtown they guy made me pay 400 . I was alone and scared didn’t want any problem I paid him. Since then I can’t sleep thinking about my 400 hundred. Is there anyway I can do.

Sally March 20, 2022 - 2:45 am

Paying 400 I was in shock and I still am he took advantage of me being new to the city he asked me if I am new and I said yes. I paid him in cash but I have a proof.


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