JFK to midtown/Times Square (47th & 7th)

Old Mar 16th, 2014, 01:40 PM
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JFK to midtown/Times Square (47th & 7th)

My son (college age) is meeting us in NYC for a vacation - he is flying into JFK in late March , around 3:30pm.

I think he should take the Airtrain to either the LIRR (Jamaica) to Penn Station, OR take a subway at Sutphlin Station, E express. If he takes the LIRR, is it an easy walk to 47th st or should he take a taxi or get on the subway at Penn station?

If he takes the subway , (it's cheaper), does he still get off at Penn Station and transfer to some other line or does the same subway line continue to Times Square area or is it an easy walk - looks like Penn station is around 34th St.. It looks to me like the E line would continue and he could get off at Grand Central or 50th St, but I have never done this.

Does this sound right. If so, sounds like it might be cheaper and easier (albeit longer) to take the subway.

He will have a carry on suitcase 21", and possibly a daypack with him. He is used to public transport and metros in Seattle, but they are quite different from NYC subways.

Also, we are flying in from EWR and planning to take the train is as well. A good choice?
ellenbw is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2014, 02:21 PM
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He can take airtrain to the E express. The E will take him to 7th Avenue and 53rd Street. From there he can walk to 47th! It's a straight shot: http://goo.gl/maps/9XdEz

EWR transportation is easy with the airtrain. You'll transfer at Newark railroad railway station into Penn Station. From there, either taxi or take the 1 train to 50th street. Taxis are ridiculously expensive from EWR to the city.
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Old Mar 16th, 2014, 03:58 PM
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As noted the E train also stops at 50th and 8th Ave.
IMDonehere is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2014, 05:11 PM
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If you are staying in Times Square it is a waste of time for him to take the E train to 53rd ST He should get out at 50th.

BUT, he needs to be aware that it will be rush hour b the time he gets on the subway and while it will not be crowded when he gets off the air train when he gets to Manhattan people will be pouring on and he needs to get his luggage out of the way and to keep his hands on it at all time (best under his legs if possible). If he has 2 pieces he needs to be careful not to take extra space to put eithr piece down to trip someone.
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Old Mar 16th, 2014, 05:39 PM
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Thank you for all of the helpful replies.

NYTraveler, thanks for the suggestions about luggage.
I thought that the 53rd st suggestion might be because he will be on the E Express and it might not stop on 50th st: White circle on the map for 53rd st vs. black circle for 50th street

Because of the rush hour crowds, is it better for him to just take the LIRR to Penn station and then a take a taxi to the hotel?
ellenbw is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2014, 07:18 PM
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Take the E train to whatever stop is closest to the hotel. LIRR will be a mess and taxis will be challenging to find at that time because of the shift change at 4PM and all the people looking for one.
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 05:19 AM
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The problem with that is at rush hour he may have to wait 30 minutes or more on the taxi line at Penn Station.

It would probably be just as fast to walk to the hotel - but at that time the sidewalks will be mobbed with commuters and getting through hauling luggage can be a real bear.

(Coming out of Penn station there will be tens of thousands of people rushing towards him - some actually jogging or running - to make their trains. And if he is dealing with two pieces of luggage he will have to dodge all of these people - and maneuver to avoid tripping either them or himself.)
nytraveler is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 05:23 AM
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Generally the worst place to get a cab at Penn is on 7th Ave. The better locations are on 8th Ave or 31 Street.
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 09:40 AM
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Having just navigated the rush-hour crowds on the E train recently from JFK (transferring over to the even more crowded 6 train), I think your son will do just fine. It's not quite as bad on the E train when you're getting off at 50th (that train runs regularly from Jamaica and is somewhat less crowded going to Manhattan and downtown during rush hour), and if you don't have to make a connection, I just don't see the downside. On the other hand, it's a mess going to Queens. Then he walks a few blocks (again through heavy but manageable crowds).

Since the E train is an express in Queens, you don't save all that much time taking taking the Airtrain, and it's more expensive.

It's insane to ask him to take a taxi at Penn Station during rush hour, however, particularly up to 47th/7th Avenue. If he takes the Airtrain to Penn Station, then he should hop on the 1 train for two stops and get off at 50th/7th Avenue. Yes, he'll have to navigate the crowds in Penn Station, but people do that every day and survive. I suspect he's hardy enough. He's not traveling with a giant suitcase, so I don't think that will present too many problems. It just costs about 4 times the regular subway fare and won't really save him much time.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 01:03 PM
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For around $60 Carmel car service will take him right to the hotel. Might be worth it w luggage.
eroz is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 08:53 PM
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Wow, great advice! Ok the kid is definitely going on the E train.

So glad I checked in here re: taxis at the penn station since that is what DH and I were planning to do from EWR.
ellenbw is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2014, 05:57 AM
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If you are coming from EWR, it's going to be much easier for you to take the Olympia Trails bus, which lets you off just outside the Port Authority on 42nd Street. Then it's a reasonable walk to your hotel. But if you don't want to do that (and the train is usually significantly faster than the bus), I certainly advocate the 1 train if you don't have too much luggage.

Ignore the naysayers. If you don't want to drop $75, then you can cut your airport transfer bill by 2/3 by taking the train or bus. For me, always a much better option.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2014, 06:06 PM
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the airtrain from JFK to Jamaica takes less than 10 minutes
make sure to get on a train going to Jamaica center from the airtrain its about a block to the E. While there will be people going in the opposite direction to the LIRR it not that bad and he will be coming from Jamaica so he will be able to get a seat on the E train. The 7th Avenue stop is at 7th and W 53st. The 50th street stop is at west 50th and 8th avenue. check the mta website on the day of arrival to make sure there are no changes in service, some times the trains will run local on some stretches in Queens.
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