Tag: lga to nyc via mta
If you have landed in La Guardia Airport (LGA) and want to take public transportation to NYC, you either need exact change for the MTA bus (US$2.50 as of 2011), or a MetroCard with enough money for a one way fare.
Don’t have enough change for the bus? No need to scramble or buy unnecessary stuff at the airport…there is an MTA vending machine at the arrival level of LGA’s Terminal B. The MTA vending machine accepts credit cards and is located in between the United and Continental’s arrivals baggage claim area. See map below for more details:
If your flight doesn’t land at Terminal B, no need to worry as LGA has a free shuttle bus that circles around the terminals. Another option is look for a newsstand called Hudson News as they may resell MetroCards. You should also consider the unlimited ride Metrocard if you are staying in NYC for longer than a week. Here’s a previous post regarding on how to take advantage of NYC MTA’s unlimited Metrocard.
From LGA, visitors can ride the M60 bus to Upper West Side Manhattan. Buses and subways are both run by the MTA, so transferring from a bus, to another bus, or to the subway is free - as long as that transfer occurs within two hours after the initial fare was paid. If you paid the bus fare with exact change, you’ll need a transfer pass; you can request one from the bus operator before you exit. If you paid the bus fare by purchasing and using a MetroCard, it’ll automatically act as a transfer pass if used within the two hour window. Here’s a link to Captain G’s previous post for more details.
And if you’re arriving from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), you won’t run into issues finding a MetroCard vendor or transferring. There are tons of MTA vending machines at the JFK AirTrain, which takes riders from JFK to the Jamaica subway and train station, making it very convenient to go anywhere in New York City. For your convenience, here are links on how to get from JFK to Manhattan (How to take NYC public transportation to/from JFK).
One of the most efficient and economical ways to get to LaGuardia Airport (LGA) from below 57th street Manhattan is via MTA’s R, N or Q train. Total cost for a one way trip will be less than US$3.00, which includes a transfer from the train to the bus. If you’re in NYC for a few days, consider reading my article on how to maximize the value of the unlimited MTA Metrocard.
The R, N and Q trains run north-south along Broadway and through the center of Manhattan island to Queens. Once you get to Queens, hop on the M60 bus for about 20 minutes max and you’ll be at a LGA terminal.
Here are the step by step directions to get to LaGuardia Airport LGA from Manhattan.
1. Look for the R, N or Q trains when you’re in Manhattan. All three trains share the same tracks and run north on Broadway.
Depending on when you get on the R, N or Q train, it will take you no more than one hour to get to Astoria Boulevard. Note the R train will not get you to Astoria as it will change tracks once it leaves Manhattan.
1a. Get on the Q when you are at an interchange station because the Q runs express vs the N and R.
2. Get off the N or Q train when you’re at Astoria Boulevard - which is 6 stops after you have arrived to Queens (you’ll know when the train moves onto elevated tracks).
3. Exit Astoria Boulevard station and stay on your right hand side. Look for signs that read M60 bus and display an airplane.
5. The M60 bus will be coming off the bridge from Manhattan. Jump on the M60 and it will take you straight to all the LGA terminals.
You can pick up the same bus from LGA if you’re arriving into NYC. However, there are no vending machines in LGA for you to get a Metrocard. You’ll need to have US$2.25 in change, or you’re out of luck. For NYC visitors, you may want to check out my NYC Visitor’s Guide.