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June 7, 2006 7:21 PM   Subscribe

NYCFilter: I want to get from Chinatown to JFK airport, what are the cheapest/easiest routes I could take?

I will have suitcase in hand, that might be an issue.
posted by cloeburner to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Other route discussion is appreciated as well... but not as much.
posted by cloeburner at 7:21 PM on June 7, 2006

Best answer: What b1tr0t said. Get on at Canal, but remember there are two terminals for the A-Train. You need to take a Far Rockaway-bound train, not a Lefferts train.
posted by etc. at 7:40 PM on June 7, 2006

Oh, and we don't use tokens anymore.
posted by etc. at 7:41 PM on June 7, 2006

Best answer: Lemme guess -- you're going from Boston/DC to JFK?

If you're getting off the Fung Wah / Lucky Star, etc, follow everyone getting off or ask directions to the Chinatown Canal st station. Go seven more blocks or so west along Canal St until you get to the Canal-Church st A C E station. Take the A, and go straight to Howard Beach/JFK aka b1tr0t's advice. Get off and transfer to the Airtrain (follow everyone else who's walking), get off at desired terminal.

They don't use tokens anymore. It should cost $2 for the ride on the subway, and then $5 for the airtrain once you get to Howard Beach/JFK.

It's also nicer to not transfer with a suitcase -- personally, I'd rather walk 7 more blocks than have to transfer inbetween. YMMV.
posted by suedehead at 7:49 PM on June 7, 2006

Best answer: You should get off at either Jamaica Station or Howard Beach (depending on which direction you take). After that you'll probably want to take the AirTrain, which is a $5 (for one way) above ground rail that goes between these 2 stations and JFK. So 2 bucks for the subway plus 5 for the AirTraiin would be 7 bucks, not bad.
posted by superfem at 7:49 PM on June 7, 2006

Quick correction -- it's the E that goes to Jamaica (and it takes longer anyways from Chinatown) so disregard that and of course take the A to Howard Beach then the AirTrain as suedehead said.
posted by superfem at 8:03 PM on June 7, 2006

Best answer: The Wall Street Journal tested several methods of getting to JFK and determined that a yellow cab is the fastest, but of course the subway is the cheapest.
posted by mattbucher at 8:40 PM on June 7, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: BEST ANSWERS ARE ON ME!
posted by cloeburner at 8:57 PM on June 7, 2006

FWIW, walking from the Bowery to the Canal St A/C/E stop is ~0.8 miles. Depending on the time of day, Canal St. can be very crowded. I wouldn't typically recommend that route to a tourist, or anyone lugging suitcases. YMMV.
posted by joshwa at 9:31 PM on June 7, 2006

I usually take the E because it is express through Queens, as opposed to the A which goes local through Brooklyn.
posted by falconred at 10:10 PM on June 7, 2006

You're recommending that cloeburner walk all the way down Canal street with her suitcases? Are you mad?

Walk up to the Grand Street Station and take the B or D to West 4th street for the E (it's just upstairs) and take that out to Jamaica. It's far far easier than walking all the way down Canal.
posted by bshort at 11:09 PM on June 7, 2006

I second bshort! The walk down Canal is annoying even without a suitcase.
posted by chelseagirl at 4:16 AM on June 8, 2006

The A is express through most of Brooklyn: it goes local once you pass the Lefferts-Rockaway split. (Generally, of course. Sometimes the E runs local; sometimes the A does.) I would also imagine the cab/train split from the Wall Street Journal was luck: it shouldn't really take 70 mins.
posted by dame at 6:14 AM on June 8, 2006

I'd take the subway up to Grand Central and take the express bus from there: it's a lot cheaper than a taxi and a lot more comfortable than the subway.
posted by languagehat at 7:56 AM on June 8, 2006

This thread was very timely for me since I'm going to JFK today from midtown. I was going to pony up the money for a cab, but thanks to mattbucher's comment, I remembered the express bus from Grand Central. I love the hive mind!
posted by witchstone at 8:08 AM on June 8, 2006

I'm with Mr. Hat -- the JFK express bus is the exact midpoint between convenience and price as the two extrema of "$7 OMG LOL (+ heaping misery / worry as you watch the minutes tick by)" and travelling in style by cab.

$15. Comfortable seat. AC. Drops off right at the terminal.

I might change my mind if you are indeed getting off the Fung Wah in Chinatown.
posted by zpousman at 8:16 AM on June 8, 2006

What's wrong with the JZ from Canal to Sutphin?
posted by billtron at 8:46 AM on June 8, 2006

I believe the Airtrain fare is now $6 (as I recall, when I rode it a couple weeks ago). Pissed me off, you gotta pay extra, even though I had an "unlimited" Metrocard.
posted by Rash at 9:34 AM on June 8, 2006

The Airtrain was still at $5 two weekends ago. I wouldn't do the J/Z thing, but that's cause it's slower than the A.
posted by dame at 10:14 AM on June 8, 2006

The whole subway route to JFK is too annoying unless you're really hurting for money. Chinatown is absolutely nuts with pedestrians and car traffic (unless it's 3 am). The easiest route I've found on many occasions is simply to get to Grand Central and take the express shuttles. Seems like the best compromise between the subway/airtrain and taxi. That said, when I had my two huge pieces of luggage, a wheel carry on, and skateboard, I totally cabbed it.
posted by Juggermatt at 11:00 PM on June 8, 2006

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