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LaGuardia Airport to Manhattan

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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.


LAGUARDIA AIRPORT TO MANHATTAN BY SUBWAY

LaGuardia Airport, located in the borough of Queens, is the closest airport to Midtown Manhattan (about 8 miles or 13 km away). It is a small airport but some international flights do arrive here. 

This is the cheapest option. It is only $2.75!

You can get to and from LaGuardia from any location in New York City entirely via public transportation, but 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 enter your destination address to get exact directions.

How to Get to and from LaGuardia Airport

There are 2 ways to go by public transport: take the Q70 to the subway or the M60 to the subway.


Q70 LTD bus to the subway  

Rolled out in 2016, the Q70 has dramatically reduced travel time to Manhattan. For tourists staying in Manhattan, this is likely the route that you will take.

A step-by-step tutorial.

The Q70 provides direct service 24 hours a day from the airport to the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave subway station in Queens (ADA-accessible).

There you can transfer for free to the E, M, F, R, and 7 subway lines that go into Manhattan.


M60 bus to 125th Street 

The M60 bus travels from the airport into Harlem in Upper Manhattan. Once In Manhattan, the bus travels along 125th Street.

This option is likely the best for people staying in Harlem and other northern reaches of Manhattan.

You can exit the bus at three stops and take the subway:

  • Lexington Avenue  4, 5, or 6 subway lines (green)(ADA-accessible)
  • Lennox Avenue 2 and 3 lines (red) (ADA-accessible)
  • St. Nicholas Avenue A, B, C, or D lines (Blue and Orange) (ADA-accessible)

You will need to purchase a MetroCard at the airport from the vending machines located throughout the terminals. 

Read our posts on how to buy a MetroCard and tips on mastering the NYC subway system

  • 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. Buses can be crowded at peak hours and traffic conditions can prolong your trip.

For more information on bus/subway transportation service from LaGuardia click here.

New York Travel Tips and Hacks


SHARED VANS

goairlink-van

Two companies, GoAirLink and SuperShuttle, are ride-sharing services that have 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 and SuperShuttle 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. ($18/adult through Citysights if you use code save10)
  • 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 and 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.

EXPRESS SHUTTLE BUS

Express Bus LaGuardia

CURRENTLY OUT OF SERVICE TILL THE CITY FINDS A REPLACEMENT

NYC Express Bus is the official bus operator for the NYC Department of Transportation. 

At LaGuardia, 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 3 locations:

  • Grand Central Terminal (corner of 41st Street & Lexington Ave) 
  • 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.

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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 AND PRIVATE VEHICLES

Taxis from LaGuardia are metered rather than a flat rate, as with JFK.

Because it is geographically closer, trips from LaGuardia Airport to Manhattan will be quite a bit cheaper than trips 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 in the airport.

  • Total Cost: Will vary depending on destination, but usually $30-$40 (this does not include tip or bridge tolls)
  • Travel Time:  Again, 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. 

GroundLink is a black car service that specializes in airport transfer. 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, 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.

UBER AND OTHER RIDESHARE APPS

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.

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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: October 14th, 2021
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