Rather than torturing my friends with rush hour JFK traffic and dealing with the headache of being late for an international flight I decided to try out New York’s public transit service to JFK.
Hopped on a Metro North train from Yonkers train station to Grand Central.
At Grand Central, I bought a $10 metro card for the subway and walked to the Shuttle to Times Square.
At Times Square, I took the red line #1 train downtown to 34th Street/Penn Station. (just one stop)
At Penn, I walked to the main mezzanine and went to a LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) kiosk and purchased a ticket to Jamaica (when the machine asked for what station I was going to, I just typed in JAM and it did the rest) – FYI – the train is listed as Far Rockaway on the terminal/platform list.
I hopped on the train at lane 15 and hopped off at Jamaica. Super easy.
I followed the Air Tran signs upstairs and used the rest of my Metro Card to pass through the gate.
I hopped on the Air Tran and got off at my terminal. Super easy!
Door to door it took 1.5 hours. I guarantee I would have spent longer in traffic!!
I downloaded NYCMate onto my smart phone. It’s a subway map that you can access on your phone with and without internet. It was invaluable when I realized I was going the wrong way on the 1 train. I highly recommend it.
Purchasing a $10 Metro Card at Grand Central saved me some time and I didn’t have to stand in the kiosk line at the Air Tran.
If you aren’t sure of where to go at Penn Station, Information can direct you. They can tell you where to get the train as well.