Best routes back to my roots
July 4, 2008 6:39 AM   Subscribe

New Yorkers, help a former New Yorker out! How impractical would it be to take a taxi from LaGuardia Airport in New York out to Locust Valley, NY, versus renting a car for the weekend (not this weekend—no holiday rush implied.)

I'll be staying with family and there will be cars aplenty at the house where we'll be, but no one is going to be able to pick me up at the airport on the night I'll arrive. I'm guessing it will be cheaper to take the LIRR out instead of a taxi, but that would also require getting picked up at the station, not to mention getting from LaGuardia to the LIRR first.
posted by emelenjr to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
Best answer: Impractical in terms of cost? Possibly -- it's about a 25 mile ride down the LIE and other similarly busy roads. If I were doing it, and didn't need a car once I got to where I was going, I'd take a cab from La Guardia to the 61st Street LIRR station (61st and Roosevelt), hop on the LIRR, and then take a cab from the Locust Valley Station to where I was going. Unless I was getting into La Guardia really, really late at night, in which case I'd probably just take a cab and shell out the dough. The last two trains out of Jamaica on the weekend seem to leave at 11:38 PM and 1:38 PM respectively (after which the next one's at 8:13 in the morning), so if you get to Woodside too close to catch these trains, you might be better off taking a cab straight from La Guardia. I suspect that, once you reach Locust Valley, there'll be a car available, but you could call this cab company number from the LIRR Station information website and double-check their hours of operation: 516-671-0707.
posted by lassie at 7:07 AM on July 4, 2008

Would it be possible for them to leave a car for you at the LIRR station in Locust Valley? A friend of mine uses an arrangement like this every time she visits LI, and it means that the family can bring the car to the station when it's convenient for them, and she can just hop in it and drive to the house whenever she gets in. (Of course they arrange a secret spot under the car for the key...)
posted by xo at 7:59 AM on July 4, 2008

Response by poster: Lassie, that's extremely helpful. My flight will arrive long before the last LIRR trains that night, so I may take your suggestion of LIRR to Locust Valley, and then taxi to meet up with family. I'm still waiting to hear if my brother will be arriving at LGA on a different flight at around the same time I will arrive. My plan was to split a rental car if we're going to be together, otherwise picking the most hassle-free option to get just myself out to Locust Valley.

If I don't end up taking the train, can I trust this site's estimation of about $67 for the cab fare from LGA to an address in Locust Valley?

My plane is supposed to arrive at 7 p.m., and I see there's a 7:33 train from Woodside that gets into Locust Valley at 8:47. Would the taxi get me there sooner? If my plane is late, the next train wouldn't get me into Locust Valley until almost 10:00.
posted by emelenjr at 8:09 AM on July 4, 2008

Huh, the Taxi Wiz website is interesting -- I'd never seen it before, but will now bookmark it for my out of town guests. However, the T&LC website (scroll down to Trips Beyond the City) seems to indicate that trips outside the city involve a flat fare to be negotiated between the passenger and the driver before the commencement of the trip, and then entered into the meter. You could use the estimate you got on the Fare Finder website in your negotiations, I suppose.
posted by lassie at 9:01 AM on July 4, 2008

Hire a car service. You know, those black Lincoln Continentals you see dropping people off and picking people up at the airports- or taking people to and from work?
posted by Zambrano at 9:02 AM on July 4, 2008

Sorry, I didn't answer your second two questions -- I think it depends. First, you've got to figure out if you'll get to Woodside in time for a 7:33 train if your flight lands at 7:00 -- that might be cutting it very close, even though you can allegedly drive from LGA to Woodside in seven minutes. Second, depending on what traffic's like that day (I'd look to see if the Mets are playing at home if I were you, and remember to take into account Friday traffic out to LI if that's the day you're coming in), you could be stuck in traffic for a while. Of course, if you've negotiated a price beforehand, then it doesn't matter to you in terms of cost, just in terms of time.
posted by lassie at 9:09 AM on July 4, 2008

Second hiring a car service. They're not as expensive as you might think (especially relative to long-distance cabs), are clean and comfortable, and are reserved in advance, so it's one less thing to deal with when you get off the plane.
posted by nev at 9:34 AM on July 4, 2008

Totally take a cab. You'd be crazy to do otherwise. You'll never make the 7:33 at woodside. Especially given that is peak delay time at LGA. I doubt you could catch the actual Oyster Bay Line train at Jamaica even (if you get on at woodside you will have to change at the next stop)

And as you've noticed the Oyster Bay line has very spotty service at night.

I'm cheap. I grew up out there, when I fly to Kennedy and can't get a ride I take the train. I wouldn't even contemplate it from LGA.
posted by JPD at 9:35 AM on July 4, 2008

You wouldn't take a yellow cab not matter what. Try calling one of the cab companies in Glen Cove for a price. I'd bet its like $50. A black car car service is probably $75
posted by JPD at 9:36 AM on July 4, 2008

Response by poster: Many helpful suggestions! Thanks. Keep them coming. Meanwhile, I'll make some phonecalls about taxis and hired cars soon.
posted by emelenjr at 9:39 AM on July 4, 2008

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