Notices

MetroCard for the NYC Subway

Reply

Apr 4th, 2013, 02:52 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,691
MetroCard for the NYC Subway

I seem to remember reading some time ago when doiing my early planning that I should purchase a Metrocard in JFK before getting on the airtrain. Is that the case and if so where do I purchase it?

I arrive in terminal 8 and this is what I think I need to do. Take the airtrain to Jamaica Station, transfer to the E train to 51st St and then the 6-train to 86th Street.
New Yorkers, does that make sense and do you have any comments?
AlanJG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 4th, 2013, 05:25 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 207
You have the right idea but you purchase the MetroCard AFTER you get off the AirTrain at the Jamaica station. The MetroCard Vending Machines are next to the AirTrain turnstiles.

You can purchase an "AirTrain + Subway" MetroCard for $7.50 (with the $1.00 surcharge for a New MetroCard the total cost is $8.50).

When you purchase the card, insert it into the AirTrain turnstiles, $5.00 (AirTrain fee) will be deducted, the card returned and the gate will then open.
- Walk ahead to the Long Ilsand Railroad area on the left.
- Enter the LIRR area and go to the elevators on the far side.
- Take any elevator down to the subway level (level A).
- Exit the elevator and go to the left to the subway turnstiles.
- Slide the MetroCard - with the gold side to you and the magnetic strip on the bottom thru the slot on the top of the turnstile. The remaining $2.50 will be deducted and the turnstile arm will release so you can enter. ***NOTE: Keep the MetroCard even though it has no fares left on it. The card can be refilled with value so you you don't have to buy a new one (and pay another $1.00 surcharge).
- Once you enter the subway, take any escalator or elevator down 1 level to the E train. Take a Manhattan bound E to the Lexington Av/53rd St station. At Lex/53rd use the escalators at the front of the platform to the mezzanine. At the mezzanine, go to the left to transfer to the uptown 6 train (51st St station) to 86th St.
nycguy10002 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 4th, 2013, 07:11 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 9,900
If you are going to East 86th, that's the best route. But the E train goes to the stop called "53rd Street," you transfer to the 6 train there, where the stop is called "51st Street".
doug_stallings is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 4th, 2013, 08:36 PM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,691
Thank you both for that. But how do I get on the Airtain to Jamaica if I've not paid for it? Just wanting to dot as many i's as possible.
AlanJG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 4th, 2013, 08:43 PM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,691
Another thought, is it cheaper/easier to buy a mutli-fare pass for each or both of us? As we only have two and a bit days in your city we will use the subway a little but not huge amounts.
AlanJG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 4th, 2013, 09:36 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7,573
Alan, we have recently done this!! You just walk onto the AirTrain at JFK, they won"t let you out at Jamaica station until you have paid for the ticket there. The Airtrain is fully automated, no one is there to collect tickets. Wish I was there doing this again!!
nelsonian is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 4th, 2013, 11:44 PM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,691
Thanks Nelsonian. I thought about this after going off line and realised there is more than one way to make sure people pay.
AlanJG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 5th, 2013, 01:09 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 207
"Another thought, is it cheaper/easier to buy a mutli-fare pass for each or both of us? As we only have two and a bit days in your city we will use the subway a little but not huge amounts."

Alan,

When you buy the MetroCard at the AirTrain turnstiles you can put as much money as you want on it (up to $80). One card will work for the both of you. I suggest you buy the card at the AirTrain turnstiles and put $15.00 to start (total cost $16.00 with the $1.00 new MetroCard surcharge). That way you'll cover the initial fare to get to 86th St.

Afterward you can add additional money to the card at any MetroCard Vending Machine or subway booth (no additional cost to add value). Any amount added from $5.00 and up gets a 5% bonus automatically added. The bonus itself is not enough to cover a full fare unless you put enough on it at one time, but you can always add the amount needed to bring the balance to a full fare of $2.50.

Examples:

$5.00 + 5% bonus = $5.25 (2 fares + 25¢ left over)
$10.00 + 5% bonus = $10.50 (4 fares = 50¢ left over)
$11.90 = 5% bonus = $12.50 (5 fares with nothing left over)
$19.05 + 5% bonus = $20.00 (8 fares with nothing left over)

One more thing - the reason for having the AirTrain turnstiles at Jamaica (or Howard Beach) is beacuse there is no charge to use the AirTrain within the airport itself between the terminals.
nycguy10002 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 5th, 2013, 07:51 PM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,691
nycguy10002, thanks so much for your detailed responses.

So with one card does my wife use it and then pass it back to me to swipe or can I swipe it twice or is there some other trick?
AlanJG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 5th, 2013, 08:09 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,057
For the subway: Person 1 swipes, the small screen on the turnstile flashes "GO" which releases the turnstile, and then Person 1 can go through the turnstile. Then pass the card back to the Person 2 to repeat the process.

For the bus: The MetroCard is inserted in the top of the fare box--the card goes down into the machine, the fare deduction is shown on the small screen, and then the card pops up. No messing about with turnstiles or gates so one person can pay both bus fares by sticking the card in the fare box twice. (On the bus, if you are transferring, you only need to insert the card once to register all the transfers.)
ellenem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 6th, 2013, 07:34 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 313
why not make easier for yourself and take either a taxi or car service from JFK to your hotel. I am sure you will have luggage, so think if you want to carry it all across the city on the subway.
Then, when you are ready to go about the city, use the subways, buses, bikes, horseless carriage.

PS: do not share the same metrocard as 1 person might not want to go to the same place as the other.
POMAH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 6th, 2013, 11:17 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 9,900
I also advocate one Metrocard for each person. It's easier to use and better if you lose one card. Also you aren't charged the $1 fee for an Airtrain Metrocard at that station, so it's free to have 2 cards if you take the Airtrain. You can add money after or before you go through the turnstile at Jamaica.
doug_stallings is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 6th, 2013, 02:51 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7,573
We are from New Zealand, I think Alan is from Australia. We enjoyed taking the Air Train it was all part of the New York experience. We did have our daughter meeting us at Jamacia though so she helped with our luggage on the subway. However we managed by ourselves on the way back, had one big bag each, plus a small bag each. We weren't travelling on the subway at peak times though which makes a difference.
nelsonian is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 6th, 2013, 05:18 PM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,691
Thanks to all for all the information. Now who wants to meet my plane? Just joking but this is a most helpful group of people.

We will have one small suitcase and one medium backpack as well as a day pack each. I can easily handle the backpack and suitcase and Maria can carry the two small packs.
Yes I am an Aussie
AlanJG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 6th, 2013, 11:00 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,192
Last time I tried to use an Australian based credit card for a metro card I was unable to . Have cash ready in case.
northie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2013, 12:07 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 207
When traveling to the US from another country it is best to check ahead of time with the bank that issued your credit/debit card to see if they are aware of any reason why your card would not work in a US machine.

One thing I forgot to mention. When using a MetroCard Vending Machine it may request your Zip Code - that is the 5 digit mailing code used in the US. Just enter '99999' on the keypad and press the enter key. That will tell the machine that the credit/debit card was not issued in the US and the transaction should complete.

Also there is a limit of 2 transactions per day per credit or debit card.
nycguy10002 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2013, 01:11 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7,573
We used our credit card all the time (issued from New Zealand) we put our daughter's zip code in, but just use the 99999 mentioned above and it will work.
nelsonian is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 8th, 2013, 12:50 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,192
Thanks for the tip re 99999. Obviously my card had a 4 digit post code so I didn't like to use my friends zip code.
northie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 8th, 2013, 12:53 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,192
Ps my bank wouldn't know that a machine in New York asks for a zip code. I use credit and debit cards all over Us and the metro card is the only time I was asked for a zipcode
northie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 8th, 2013, 02:17 AM
  #20
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,691
Do you have Zip codes on your credit cards?
AlanJG is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:17 AM.