This post is about how to travel from LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Manhattan and back, including by subway, bus, train, shared shuttle, and taxi.
If you arrive before your check-in, then learn about where to store your luggage.
- Subway and Public Bus
- Shared Vans
- Discounted Airport Transfers
- Express Shuttle Bus
- Ride Share (Uber)
- Guide to NYC
Using public transportation is by far the cheapest option. It is only $2.75!
LaGuardia Airport, located in the borough of Queens, is the closest airport to Midtown Manhattan (about 8 miles or 13 km away).
The airport, while certainly smaller than JFK and Newark airports, has recently been remodeled and does service major domestic airlines and some international airlines.
You can get to and from LaGuardia from any location in New York City entirely via public transportation.
However, you will most likely have to transfer between a bus and subway, depending on your destination.
Regardless of how you get here, we recommend using this link to Google Maps and entering your destination address to get exact directions.
There are two ways to go by public transport: take the free Q70 "Laguardia Link" bus to the subway or the M60 bus to the subway.
The Free Q70 Bus To The Subway
Also known as the "LaGuardia Link", this bus takes you directly from the airport to the subway for free. You simply board the bus.
The bus runs nonstop to the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave Subway Station (ADA accessible) in Queens every 8-10 minutes 24 hours a day.
You can transfer for free to the E, M, F, R, and 7 subway lines that go into Manhattan.
Once at the subway station, you will have to pay $2.75 to take the subway. You can purchase a MetroCard at the airport or subway before entering the subway.
Find out detailed information about MetroCards below.
You also have the option to use the subway's OMNY contactless payment system.
Simply tap your debit or credit card, smartphone, or wearable device when you pass through the subway turnstile and $2.75 will be deducted.
TIP: Get real-time updates about the Q70's exact location here.
The Free Q70 Bus To The Long Island Railroad
The Long Island Railroad (LIRR) is mainly a commuter train service between Long Island and New York City.
From Laguardia Airport take the free Q70 Bus to the LIRR Woodside Station that goes directly into Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan.
The exact fare for a trip from Woodside into Penn Station depends on the time of day you are traveling.
You can find out your exact fare in advance if you know the time of day you will be using the train.
TIP: If your ride is during off-peak hours, you can buy a special "CityTicket" from Woodside to Penn Station for only $5! Read more here.
The LIRR fare costs a bit more than the subway, but is so much faster and may be worth paying the higher price.
Also, unlike the subway, which runs frequently, the LIRR runs on exact schedules which may not correspond well to your arrival time in NYC.
Still, it is worth looking into given the speed at which you can get into Midtown Manhattan.
The M60 Bus to 125th Street/Upper Manhattan
This bus costs $2.75 and comes with a free transfer onto the subway system within two hours of first paying for the bus ride.
To pay for the bus, you have two options. One option is to purchase a MetroCard at the airport from the vending machines located throughout the terminals
The alternative is to use the OMNY contactless payment system, explained above.
The M60 bus travels from Laguardia to Harlem along 125th Street, a main thoroughfare in Upper Manhattan. See a timetable here.
This option is likely the best for people staying in Upper Manhattan, including Harlem and the Upper West Side.
You can exit the bus at any of these three bus stops and take the subway:
- Lexington Avenue for the 4, 5, or 6 subway lines (green)(ADA-accessible)
- Lennox Avenue for the 2 and 3 lines (red) (ADA-accessible)
- St. Nicholas Avenue for the A, B, C, or D lines (blue and orange) (ADA-accessible)
- Total Cost: $2.75 on a MetroCard. Note: If you are buying a new MetroCard, there is a $1 fee for the card. Hold onto that card! It is refillable!
- Travel Time: varies depending on your destination. Plan on 50-90 minutes to get to Midtown Manhattan.
- Pros: The cheapest option by far! The Q70 has special luggage racks inside the bus. The M60 does not.
- Cons: If you have a lot of luggage, be prepared to carry it up and down stairs because not all subway stations have escalators or elevators. Also, Buses can be crowded at peak hours and traffic conditions can prolong your trip.
For additional information on bus/subway transportation service from LaGuardia, check the MTA official website here.
First, check out Groupon, where you should find several offers for private transfers.
GoAirLink is a ride-sharing service that offers the door-to-door benefits of a taxi but could be significantly cheaper, depending on the number in your group.
You will be assigned to a van with other passengers heading to the same general area as you.
You can request GoAirLink from the ground transportation desk in the baggage claim area. You can also book online in advance.
- Cost: Depends on your destination from the airport. As a point of reference, the cost from LaGuardia Airport to Grand Central Station Terminal in Midtown Manhattan will cost you between $20-$25 per person.
- Travel Time: Can vary. If you are sharing a full van (11 passengers), you might be the first dropped off or you might be the last.
- Pros: Has the convenience of a taxi but is much cheaper.
- Cons: Can take a very long time. Passengers often have to wait at the airport until there are enough people for a mostly full van, so plan to sit and wait for a bit.
DISCOUNTED AIRPORT TRANSFERS
There are a lot of different ways to save money on airport transfers, but one of the easiest options is to use a New York tourist pass.
Some of these services include either a free transfer to the airport of your choice (LGA or EWR) or a discount on airport transfers.
Currently, the New York Turbopass is the only one offering a free airport transfer.
They also include admission to popular attractions such as the following:
- Radio City Music Hall Tour
- Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
- One World Observatory
- Liberty Helicopter Tour
- Madame Tussauds
- Speed Boat Tour
- And more!
If you're already planning on enjoying any of these activities and you also want a free airport transfer, this discount pass would be a great way to save money on everything.
For more details, check our post covering New York tourist passes.
CURRENTLY OUT OF SERVICE TILL THE CITY FINDS A REPLACEMENT
NYC Express Bus is the official bus operator for the NYC Department of Transportation.
You can find the bus at Terminals B, C, and D. Look for the red signs. The bus goes into Manhattan and drops passengers at three locations:
- Grand Central Terminal (corner of 41st Street & Lexington Avenue)
- Times Square / Bryant Park (42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue)
- Port Authority Bus Terminal (42nd Street between 8th and 9th Avenues)
To all destinations from LaGuardia:
Cost: $16.00 per person (Children 5 and under are free)
Each ticket includes two suitcases and one carry-on bag. More than that and you must pay an additional fee.
Travel Time: Approximately 60 minutes - 2 hours.
Hours of Operation: 7 days a week, 11 am - 7 pm, every hour on the hour.
- Reasonable price for a comfortable ride. Children under 5 are free!
- You can book online which saves you time instead of purchasing your ticket at the airport when you arrive.
- With online reservations, you can take any bus on the day of travel and the reservation is good for 90 days from the date of purchase.
- All three stops are in Midtown Manhattan and near many subways and lots of taxis that you can use to get to your hotel.
- Traffic is unpredictable. Your trip could be as short as 60 minutes, but if the traffic is very bad, you may be on the bus for up to 2 hours.
- Not located at all terminals and you will have to walk to Terminals B, C, and D. It is not a long walk, however.
Taxis from LaGuardia are metered rather than a flat rate as is the case with taxis from JFK.
Because it is geographically closer, taxis from LaGuardia Airport to Manhattan are cheaper than taxis from JFK.
You can get a taxi at the Taxi Stand outside of Baggage Claim. The same cautions apply when it comes to accepting rides from solicitors at the airport.
- Total Cost: Will vary depending on destination, but usually $30-$40 plus a $5 surcharge. Bridge tolls and tips are not included.
- Travel Time: Again, this will vary depending on location, but probably about 20-30 minutes.
- Pros: Very easy door-to-door travel. This is the most hassle-free option for this airport.
- Cons: Can start to get pricey depending on your destination.
Private Car Service
Hoping to avoid the hassle of taking public transportation? Consider using a private car service.
If considering a private car service, check out Groupon, where you should find several offers for private transfers.
One company, GroundLink, is a black car service that specializes in airport transfers. They'll take you to the airport from anywhere in the city.
Guests are also able to see the cost of the service before requesting it, so there are no surprises when the bill rolls around. They're also incredibly dedicated to timeliness.
If a driver is more than 5 minutes late in picking you up from your destination, then a $75 credit is added to your account.
- Total Cost: This will vary depending on the destination.
- Travel Time: Again, this will vary depending on the destination.
- Pros: Very reliable and easy. If you're already looking into taking a taxi out to the airport, it may be smarter to use a private car service instead, since the costs are competitive.
- Cons: More costly than many of the other options. Also, as with all driving options, there's a chance that you'll run into traffic on your way into Manhattan, so be sure to evaluate whether your desired departure time coincides with rush hour.
You can take Uber, Lyft, and other ride-share apps to and from LaGuardia Airport. Drivers may pick you up outside of the baggage claim from each terminal.
- Terminal A - outside from Arrivals or Baggage Claim.
- Terminal B - exit from the upper level. Follow the green “Car Services” signs to the blue-covered walkway. On Level 2, please wait for your driver in the designated lane.
- Terminals C and D - head outside on the Departures level.
Read our post on using Uber cars in NYC.