JFK to Midtown at 4pm

Old Aug 15th, 2007, 10:30 PM
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JFK to Midtown at 4pm

This is similar to the question from the woman from Hawaii, and those were good answers to her. Also, is Super Shuttle from JFK To W. 57th/6th Ave. reliable enough at 4pm Wed. to get me there by 5:30pm? I have an appointment I cannot miss.
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Old Aug 15th, 2007, 11:50 PM
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If this is a shared ride I wouldn't
chance it. Others may be dropped
off first.
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Old Aug 16th, 2007, 04:42 AM
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In a word, no.

This is a dicey travel time -- it is rush hour and the beginning of the "shift change" for cabs. I wouldn't try the Super Shuttle because, as someone else mentioned, they will likely have to drop off others on the east side before they arrive at your destination. Wait in the taxi line. It's a $35 flat rate (plus toll and tip) from JFK to midtown.
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Old Aug 16th, 2007, 04:58 AM
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The fastest and most reliable way to get into Manhattan from JFK is the Airtrain. I do the trip from 2nd avenue all the way to JFK (including travel time to Penn Station) in an hour or just slightly longer. It's absolutely the fastest way into the city in the afternoon, when it can take 30 minutes just to get across Midtown by cab, and if your luggage is small enough, it's what I would strongly recommend.

Otherwise, you have to go with a cab. There's simply no alternative that can do the trip in 90 minutes (but you will be cutting it very close in a cab at that point in the afternoon because you are probably going to hit Manhattan at 5 to 5:15, when traffic is typically at its afternoon worst.
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Old Aug 16th, 2007, 06:53 AM
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If you land at JFK at 4PM, there is no way you will make a 5:30 appointment in Midtown.

You need to take in account that it will take you at least 45 minutes to get out of the airport (20 if you don't check luggage).

Can you fly in earlier?
 
Old Aug 16th, 2007, 07:42 AM
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With the number of delayed flights this summer I'd try to arrive much earlier.
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Old Aug 16th, 2007, 10:10 AM
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First Super Shuttle is completely unreliable , often driving you around to 5/6 other hotels before dropping you at yours.

Second, landing at JFK at 4 pm (even assuming you land on time - unlikely that time of day) you have a very slim chance of getting to 57th St by 5:30. If you have checked luggage I would suggest your chance is nil. Ordinarily I take the cab - but in the middle of rush hour you would be trapped in traffic.

Your only possible chance - assuming you land on time and have only a carry-on is to take the Air Train to Jamaica, take the LIRR to Penn Station and then take the subway to Columbus Circle (59th St) and then run the several blocks to the appointment.

There are frequent (every 8 to 10 minutes) Air Train to Jamaica. There are LIRR trains from Jamaica to Penn Station every ten minutes or so - but it takes about 15 minutes, then you would have to get to the subway (10 minutes in Penn Station), wait for the subway (5 minutes) then ride the subway (10 minutes) then RUN.

In all seriousness, if I had an appointment at 5:30 that I HAD to make I would land at JFK by 2pm at the latest.
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Old Aug 16th, 2007, 11:35 AM
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Thanks for the great suggestions. I actually land at 3:35p and have decided to have only carry-on luggage. The Airtrain sounds like the best bet and since 5:45p can be a flexible meeting time, I'm wondering if the E or F would be suitable thereby cutting out the time to get from Penn Station to W. 57th/6th Ave. I've familarized myself with the subway map so am ready to do it that way, or the LIRR if that is better.
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Old Aug 16th, 2007, 12:27 PM
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Rusty,

Excellent job reading the subway map. I would do as you suggest--take the AirTrain and then take the E train. Get off at 53rd and 5th (or 7th, depending on your actual destination), and then you have a 5-10-minute walk to your destination. This will skip the backtracking via subway if you take the LIRR--you'll save some time by making fewer connections.
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Old Aug 16th, 2007, 12:52 PM
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So can you do this in reverse -- take the E train to Jamaica and the airtrain TO the airport? What E train stop is it in Jamaica? (I used to go into the city from 179th street, but that was a long time ago).
 
Old Aug 16th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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Thanks, Ellen. With your instructions and those also from Doug Stallings I will plan to do the AirTrain/Subway connectiom. One more finer question: would it help to change to the F at Forest hills and come up at the 57th/6th Ave station, which is right at the meeting location, or is that an extra delaying step? I'm wondering if it isn't just better to stay on the E and walk to the meeting.

And I would assume that the reverse trip is equally valid.
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Old Aug 16th, 2007, 01:28 PM
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I wouldn't bother to change to the F--you may just miss a train and have to wait a while for another. I prefer to be moving in the right direction. It might be 4 minutes walk extra from an E train stop of 5th or 7th Ave, but you could wait longer that that to change to the F.

The E train Jamaica subway station is called Sutphin Blvd/Archer Ave. It's the second to the last stop on the E, so if you miss your stop, you can only go one stop beyond.
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Old Aug 16th, 2007, 01:39 PM
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Thank you, Ellen. I think I'm ready now to get there on the AirTrain and E. You're an excellent teacher.
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Old Aug 17th, 2007, 05:06 AM
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RustyDG: I just wanted to clarify something about your travel. You will have extraordinarily little chance of making your appointment if you take the E train from Jamaica into Manhattan. This trip takes about an hour (versus 20 minutes on the Airtrain). You should take the subway only from Penn Station to your final destination.
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Old Aug 17th, 2007, 05:28 AM
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hopstop.com estimates the ride on the E train from Jamaica to 53rd and 5th as 41 minutes.

I think the LIRR and then another subway might be a wash timewise, especially for a person unfamiliar with the transit system and making more connections.

No matter what form of transportation Rusty takes, it will be a tight connection to his meeting.
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Old Aug 17th, 2007, 05:40 AM
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Yes, Doug has it right: you should take the AirTrain to Jamaica, then the LIRR to Penn, then switch to the subway at Penn.

The LIRR terminal is adjacent to the AirTrain at Jamaica; trains leave every 8-10 minutes and usually make a stop or two in Queens before reaching Penn. The 3:35p and 4:22p trains are non-stop to Penn. Here's a detail schedule:
mta.info/lirr/html/ttn/jamaican.htm (click the Weekdays link under To Penn Station on the left side; current schedule is through 9/9/07)

At Penn, follow the signs for the A, C, E subway. You want the Uptown C, E platform - but don't get on the C.

It's not worth walking the block at Herald Square to the F train. Do take the E train towards Uptown/Queens. The 7th Ave station is the third stop (5th Ave is the fourth stop) after Penn, so you should get off there.

As a direction identifier once you're above ground, traffic on 7th Ave runs downtown (south), so walking against traffic will put you in the right direction.

***
If you decide to take the subway from Jamaica, the E at rush hour is better than the F (express vs. local). Heading into Manhattan from Queens, you want to be towards the front of the train (2nd car from the front, to be exact), which will put you as far west as possible when you exit the 5th Ave subway station. When you exit that station, you will be on 53rd Street in between 5th and 6th Aves. Walk in the same direction as the car traffic to 6th Ave and turn right to go uptown to 57th Street. (You can even cut through the MoMA from 53rd to 54th Street - good to know if it's raining!)
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Old Aug 17th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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ggreen: Thanks for your input. I think your and Doug's suggestion is simpler since the actual trip is shorter, not having any stops along the route. But how do you know that the 4:22p is an express? I couldn't tell that on the LIRR schedules page. If that's the case, it seems I would be at Penn Sta. before 5pm which is great. On the other hand, on the E from Sutphin Blvd., I wouln't have to make any changes and would end up at the same subway station. All in all, all these considerations have been so useful and have gotten me away from SuperShuttle.

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Old Aug 17th, 2007, 04:29 PM
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It is kind of "six of one, half dozen of another" as far as LIRR + subway or just subway goes; it's up to you what you end up feeling is the best option, and you can decide that once you're on the ground! I think that LIRR will be faster, less nerve-wracking, more money... (Re nerve-wracking: IMO there's not much worse than running late for an appt and watching those subway doors close and reopen, close and reopen... Been there, done that! )

From the link I gave you, the 4:22 shows hyphens across all the stops except Jamaica and Penn Station, meaning that it doesn't stop at Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, or Woodside. (You have to scroll back up to the top of the list to see those headings; also all times are on a 12-hour clock, so make sure you scroll down past where it says "Afternoon and Evening Service" for the appropriate train times.) In the Penn Station column on the far right, it says the 4:22 out of Jamaica arrives at 4:41; it should be fairly accurate unless there's a transportation meltdown like we had with the rainstorm a few weeks ago(!). At any rate, according to the LIRR schedule, even the next few trains after that will get you into Penn by 5pm, extra stops and all.

BTW, the subway from Penn to 7th Ave should take about 7 minutes once you're on the train; use hopstop.com to get a more accurate timeframe.

Not to jinx you(!). But if you get to your destination early, there are plenty of shops you can pop into to cool off before walking into your appointment. And if you feel you need a mirror, there are probably some in the Duane Reade drugstore on the SE corner of 6th and 56th!
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Old Aug 17th, 2007, 06:21 PM
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ggreen: Thanks for the additional info. I've now located the LIRR schedule area that clearly states the express info and more. If everything goes well, I should be there in good time. If not, well, those things happen and having all of this support and information about the NYC system will make that bearable. The worse thing for me is to be in a confusing situation with no knowledge. At this point, I think I will probably make the subway vs. LIRR decision right there on the AirTrain platform, but the straight-thru approach seems the best for me right now.

I'll have to get back to everyone when I get home.
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Old Aug 18th, 2007, 09:06 AM
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I totally agree that the worst is not knowing what the situation is - and that now that you know, it's a decision you can make once you're here in NYC.

Good luck with everything!
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