Running Through LaGuardia: The Fastest Way to Get Out of the Airport and into an Uber - The Points Guy (2023)

that's not a secretNew York LaGuardia Airport (LGA)it has gone from worst to first in just a few short years.

It all started in June 2020 with theInauguration of the brand new Terminal B, now headquarters of Air Canada,american airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines y United Airlines.

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two years later,Delta Air Lines' gleaming Terminal C inaugurated, and brought a number of improvements to the passenger experience, including an impressive check-in area, denthe biggest sky club in the worldand some nice new entrance areas.

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(Video) How to Get from LaGuardia Airport to Times Square and Manhattan

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Both new terminals have been praised for the improvements they bring to the passenger experience in all areas except one: comfort.

The old LaGuardia might have been like a "Third World country," as President Joe Biden once put it, but at least it was easy to navigate..It never took more than a few minutes to get from the door to the sidewalk.

These days, you're better off wearing walking shoes, or maybe even walking boots, if you plan on traversing LaGuardia.

Alternatively, you can forget everything I just said and fly out of the "other" LaGuardia terminal, the one that is often forgotten.Maritime Air Terminal.

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Navigating this facility, built in the 1940s, is still a breeze. The walk from the gate to the curb takes just a few minutes, and the so-called Terminal A even has its own highway exit, bypassing most of the airport traffic.

So what's the catch? You must fly with Spirit Airlines or Frontier Airlines, the two airlines that now call Marine Air Terminal home.

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Here at TPG, we set out to put all three LaGuardia terminals to the test. Would the flying ghost really save a significant amount of time from gate to curb? And just how inefficient has the "new" LaGuardia become?

We answer all these questions and more below.

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an unexpected lesson

Although we set out to see which LGA terminal would be the easiest to get through, we got a lesson in that as well.air traffic delaysand how they can cascade throughout the afternoon.

The three runners flew from three different airlines.Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)and they should all be at LaGuardia in 45 minutes.

Strong winds at LaGuardia caused a statewide ground stop, and the perfectly designed race hit a snag.

the first runnermimi wright, TPG's social media manager, managed to take off just before the ground stop was broadcast and take off on Delta Flight 5803 minutes after the scheduled departure time of 11:48.

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Scott Mayerowitz, TPG editor-in-chief, pushed back from the gate at 12:09 p.m. boarded American Flight 2902, but ended up in the "penalty box" near the Charlotte air cargo facility for about an hour. At least Scott had a great perspective on his approach to LaGuardia.

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Finally,Zach Griff, TPG Senior Reporter, was scheduled for 12:30 p.m. He departed on Spirit Flight 1353, but the flight was given a takeoff time of approximately 1:45 p.m. m. of air traffic control. Zach sat on Charlotte's doorstep for an hour before finally backing off and exploding at 1:41 p.m.

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(Video) Uber Airport Hacks To SAVE Money + Arriving in LaGuardia NYC | VLOG2

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Although the arrival times were all spread out, our hypothesis was quickly confirmed: The former LaGuardia Marine Air Terminal is still the most convenient terminal at the airport.

The curb-to-door experience

Terminal A (Geist)Terminal B (americana)Terminal C (delta)
Rolling time from wheels to door opening4 minutes.6 minutes.24 minutes
walking time3 minutes.9 minutes14 minutes
steps taken205 levels.999 steps.974 steps.
crossed escalatorsnone.4 escalators.2 escalators.

Terminal A (Geist)

The Spirit flight touched down on LaGuardia Runway 22 at 2:51 p.m.

Due to the runway's location, it took only four minutes to taxi to the Terminal Aérea Marítima, located in the southwest corner of the airport, away from all other terminals.

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Even if Spirit had landed on a different runway, it's worth noting that Marine Air Terminal doesn't suffer from the same ramp congestion that sometimes delays flights from the other two LaGuardia terminals.

Once parked at Gate A6 at 2:55 p.m., the gate was opened 11 minutes later due to a faulty passenger boarding bridge.

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Terminal A doesn't offer many passenger amenities: you'll find a small restaurant, several restrooms, and a few seats in the airside and a Dunkin' Express just after security.

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However, this also means that walking to the curb of arrival takes only a few minutes. Zach walked a total of 205 steps, measuring about a tenth of a mile, from the front door to the sidewalk.

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Better yet, there were no stairs, escalators, elevators or moving walks to use - the entire trip from gate to curb was about as close to what you'd expect on a LaGuardia private flight.

Despite the "run", Zach couldn't help but laugh about it.BuzzBallz(Spirit's Signature Cocktail) Marketing billboards in the halls of Terminal A.

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There are only two baggage claims in Terminal A and curbside access is direct from the terminal exit; There are no twists, turns, or stairs to worry about.

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(Video) Race to JFK: What’s the Best Way to Get There? | The Points Guy

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Terminal B (americana)

Scott's arrival at the door was almost as quick as Zach's.

After landing on runway 22, the American Airlines Airbus A321 made a sharp left turn and headed for Gate 12 in Terminal B. During construction of the new terminalThe airport designers built two high bridgesThe jets can surround the entire area of ​​the gate. (Those high bridges are also the reason for all the escalators and a lot of walking.)

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The new layout generally means much less congestion on the ramp, which helped get Scott's plane to the gate in no time. The ground staff were waiting for the plane - this is not always the case - and minutes later it was speeding through the terminal.

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The walk to the Uber pickup point in Terminal B is the longest: about half a mile, up two escalators, then two down.

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There was only one moving sidewalk the entire length of the route, although there were plenty of shops, restaurants, and restrooms.

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Scott is a very fast walker who takes these runs very seriously. (Even when he's not running, his family complains about his "airport speed" and asks him to slow down.)

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Although he and Mimi covered almost the same distance, he did five minutes less than them. For most travelers, the walk should take around 15 minutes.

Terminal C (delta)

Mimi's ride to Terminal C was a bit bumpy due to turbulence, but she landed safely at 1:11 p.m. m. Although the plane landed early, that meant that no doors were open. After 24 minutes of taxiing, the Embraer E175 came to a stop in front of Gate 88A, one of the new gates connected to Delta's remodeled LaGuardia Terminal by a temporary walkway.

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The gate was not unlocked until around 1:39 PM. and soon after Mimi came down the passenger boarding bridge. She took a quick bathroom break and headed for the exit.

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Through winding hallways lined with signs promoting "A Whole New LGA," Mimi walked...and walked...and walked: 974 steps, to be exact. After 14 minutes, she reached the sidewalk and called an Uber.

In her enthusiasm to be the first to arrive at the meeting point, the clock tower in Grand Central Terminal, she accidentally called the Uber for the Departures level instead of the Arrivals level, but despite the mishap, her Uber made it only five minutes later for call (but would be much quicker if done right the first time).

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After an uneventful 24-minute Uber ride, she was the first to arrive at Grand Central, even having enough time for a late lunch before the other two riders arrived.

Call a car and arrive at Grand Central Terminal

Terminal A (Geist)Terminal B (americana)Terminal C (delta)
Uber arrival time3 minutes.3 minutes.5 minutes.
Uber Time to Grand Central22 minutes25 minutes.24 minutes

Terminal A (Geist)

Crossing Terminal A is not only convenient in terms of the number of steps you need to take.

Once you hit the curb, you don't have to worry about the traffic jams you often find in Terminal B or Terminal C.

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That's because there are a whopping 12 lanes around a roundabout that serves as a drop off and pick up area. Plus, with only a handful of flights leaving from Terminal A, it never gets too crowded.

Zach's Uber arrived in three minutes, and when it arrived, he didn't have to call his driver to find out where he was and then wonder if he'd found the right car. Zach's Uber was the only one that got to Terminal A in three minutes, so it took us less than 10 seconds to find the driver and get to Manhattan.

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Once in the car, it only took a left turn followed by a right turn, a total of four minutes, to get to Grand Central Parkway. That's nothing short of impressive for LaGuardia.

Terminal B (americana)

The biggest frustration with the walk is that the yellow cabs are right outside baggage claim, but the Uber and Lyft pickup area is still a few minutes away in the parking lot. Typically, Scott will call an Uber long before he gets to the garage, as cars can take 10 minutes or more to arrive.

But for investigative purposes, he waited until he reached the garage and was surprised at how quickly a car arrived, less than three minutes later. It was 2:45 p.m. a Thursday and the airport was pretty empty. More importantly, there was no waiting time to get out of the garage. In the past, Scott would wait five to 10 minutes in his Uber during rush hour just to get out of the garage.

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So for the sake of the race, this was surprisingly easy and fast. But that's not the typical experience here, and Scott has been keeping an eye on the yellow cab route recently, choosing that one when it's shortest.

Terminal C (delta)

Getting out of Terminal C wasn't terrible, but it wasn't terribly convenient either, especially considering Mimi arrived at one of the old Delta gates. The claustrophobic hallways twist and turn, and Mimi wouldn't be surprised if passengers got tired of lugging their luggage through the carpeted parts of the terminal.

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Be sure to check where you request the Uber, as departure level was one of the few default options in the app, and it's easy to go on autopilot when you've got a battered travel brain. If the pick-up area were more crowded, Mimi could imagine the wait for an Uber would be much longer, especially if it's coming from the drop-off area.

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In total, it took about the same time from the wheels at LaGuardia disembarking (40 minutes) as it took Mimi to get from the plane to the arrivals curb at Grand Central Terminal (43 minutes).

bottom line

As surprising as it may seem, flying Spirit or Frontier to LaGuardia Airport is the fastest way to get from gate to curb.

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Both ultra-low-cost carriers operate out of the airport's historic Marine Air Terminal, and while the facility doesn't offer many passenger amenities, it's certainly the most efficient of LaGuardia's three terminals.

If you're lucky enough to catch a flight on time, going through Terminal A makes the airport experience a breeze.

Meanwhile, connections B and Cbusy winning prizesbecause of how pretty they are. However, the revision comes at the expense of efficiency. According to our race, it takes five times as long to get through these new facilities, and that's when you're hectic and not hit by traffic or gridlock.

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Of course, your mileage may vary depending on which gate you're flying from and how fast you're traveling, but there's no two options: The new LaGuardia may be beautiful, but it definitely doesn't win awards for efficiency.

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For more TPG races, visit:

  • What is the fastest way to get from New York to Washington D.C.?
  • What is faster? Watch us run from Barcelona to Madrid by bullet train and plane
  • What is the fastest way to get from New York to Boston?
  • Watch us run from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by bullet train and Uber

Additional information by Mimi Wright and Scott Mayerowitz.

Editorial Disclaimer: The views expressed in this document are solely those of the author, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of those entities.

(Video) Best NYC Airport to Fly Into?

FAQs

Is it cheaper to Uber or taxi from LaGuardia? ›

Taxis from LaGuardia to Manhattan don't have a flat fee (like JFK) and will range between $35-$50 depending on the time of day. The ride can be as quick as 30 minute or upward of an hour, depending on traffic. Uber/Lyft will run $35 – $60, depending on time of day and destination.

Where is Uber pickup at LGA Terminal C? ›

If You're Arriving at Terminal C. The Car Service and App-Based Ride pick-up areas are located at Terminal C arrivals (ground) level. Terminal C pick-up is at the arrivals inner lane.

Can you walk between terminals at LGA? ›

Are Terminals C and D connected at LaGuardia? Terminals C and D are connected via a skybridge with moving walkways. It takes around 5 minutes to walk between. All other terminals are only accessible by shuttle bus.

How to leave LaGuardia Airport? ›

Your best public transit option from LaGuardia Airport is the LaGuardia Link Q70, a free bus that travels nonstop from the airport to the subway lines in Jackson Heights, Queens. You can also ride one more stop to Woodside for the Long Island Rail Road. You can also take the M60-SBS from LaGuardia Airport to Manhattan.

Is Uber allowed at LaGuardia Airport? ›

Uber is a reliable option for travelers heading to the airport. When dropping off riders at LaGuardia International Airport, simply follow the in-app instructions and drop your rider off at their desired terminal on the departures level.

Can Uber go to LaGuardia Airport? ›

LaGuardia allows Uber and Lyft vehicles at the pick-up and drop-off terminals, but before heading that way, there are a few rules you'll want to know. To maximize earnings (and avoid a ticket), it's important to understand how to navigate the airport, join the queue, and legitimize your vehicle.

Is the LaGuardia shuttle free? ›

Connecting Within LaGuardia

Use our complimentary airport shuttle bus service between our terminals, parking lots, rental car facilities and car service pick-up areas. Buses arrive approximately every 10 minutes but this frequency may vary with traffic conditions.

How much does an Uber cost from LaGuardia to Times Square? ›

The average trip price to get from LaGuardia Airport to The Times Square Edition is $55.00 - $81.00.

How do you catch a taxi at LaGuardia? ›

The taxi stand is located on Level 2 (Arrivals) at the easternmost end of the curb. Learn more about taxi service on the LaGuardia Airport website. Please do not accept a ride from any unauthorized ride service!

How to go from Terminal B to C at LGA? ›

LGA Airport offers a complimentary bus to transfer between terminals. There are different lines: Purple Route: To Terminals B, C and D and parking lots.

Is LaGuardia easy to navigate? ›

LaGuardia is one of the most difficult airports to access if you're using public transit, mainly because you will need to take a bus. The two most popular routes are the Q70-SBS LaGuardia Link and M60-SBS. If you're riding the Q70, you'll pick it up at a stop in Queens, accessible by the 7, E, F, M, and R trains.

What airlines are in Terminal C at LGA? ›

Terminal C
  • Delta Air Lines.
  • WestJet.
Jan 24, 2023

How early should I leave for LaGuardia? ›

Check our websites, JFK, LaGuardia, Newark Liberty, to get a sense of current wait times but always allow plenty of time for the security screening. It is recommended that you arrive two hours before domestic flights and three hours for international travel but also check with your airline.

Is there a subway stop at LaGuardia Airport? ›

There's no subway that goes directly to LaGuardia. Nor is there a train. You'll need to take a bus and then transfer to a subway or train. For the 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, A, B, C, and D subways, take the M60 to Manhattan.

How much is a yellow cab from LaGuardia to Manhattan? ›

Taxis at LGA are metered and you can expect to pay around $40USD (€37) to Manhattan, plus tolls – if you wish to travel on a flat rate fare, you can always book a private shuttle service in advance. For a cheaper option, you can take the train which costs $2.75USD (€2.40) with a journey taking around 50 minutes.

How much is LaGuardia Airport shuttle? ›

Affordable Rates. Shared rides start at $40, and are available to and from major NYC airports, including JFK, LGA & Newark.

Is it cheaper to take a taxi or Uber in NYC? ›

It's actually cheaper!

You'd think that but, surprisingly no, a taxi cab is still cheaper than an Uber in NYC. To be precise, study from the University of Cambridge has found that a taxi cab is generally cheaper for shorter trips.

How safe is Uber in New York? ›

Uber is a completely legal and authorized car service in NYC. They are also safe to take. Uber drivers must undergo an extensive background check, including a criminal background screening. Uber has a review system where customers can rate their driver.

Is it cheaper to take a taxi or Uber in NYC 2022? ›

With that being said, Uber is often slightly more expensive, with a NYC city taxi averaging about $1.40 less, according to Free Tours by Foot.

How much do you tip Uber drivers? ›

You should tip Uber and Lyft drivers between 10 and 20 percent based on quality of service. You should use a set tip of $4-$6 for rideshare delivery.

How do I get to LaGuardia Airport without a car? ›

Stow your bags on luggage racks if you can.
  1. Option 1: Take the M60 Select Bus from uptown Manhattan. Fare: $2.75 for most riders. ...
  2. Option 2: Take the subway to Queens and then take the LaGuardia Link Q70 bus. Fare: $2.75 for most riders. ...
  3. Option 3: Take a LIRR train to Queens and then take the LaGuardia Link Q70 bus.

How much does a Uber cost from Manhattan to LaGuardia? ›

Trip prices can vary a bit depending on a number of factors. The average trip price to get from One Manhattan West to LaGuardia Airport is $67.00 - $97.00. You can also use Uber's price estimator tool to check a real-time estimate.

How much does a cab cost from LaGuardia to Times Square? ›

The fastest way to get from New York La Guardia Airport (LGA) to Times Square is to taxi which takes 12 min and costs $40 - $55.

Where do I catch an Uber at Laguardia? ›

For Terminal A, head outside from arrivals or baggage claim. This is where Uber drivers at LGA meet travelers for pickup. For Terminal B, follow the green “Car Services” signs and proceed through the pedestrian walkway to Level 2 of the Terminal B parking garage. Please wait for your driver in the designated lane.

How much does Lyft cost from Laguardia to Manhattan? ›

Ridesharing Fare Estimates
Lyft$50-60 | 31Request a ride
XL$60-70 | 31Request a ride
Lux Black$74-86 | 31Request a ride
Lux Black XL$105-120 | 31Request a ride

How much do you tip a taxi in New York? ›

Taxi drivers: 15–20 percent of total fare. Hairdressers: 15–20 percent of total service cost. Tips for other service personnel, such as theater ushers, tour guides and coat-check staff, are always appreciated.

How long does it take to get to LaGuardia during rush hour? ›

Please note you should give yourself at least 1 hour prior to your flight for domestic and 2 hours for international to arrive at the airport. If you have extra luggage, an extra half hour should be added. At peak hour traffic, from NYC to LGA can take an hour by car, and JFK/EWR can take 1.5 to even 2 hours!

Does LaGuardia have sleep pods? ›

While LaGuardia Airport has several lounges, none have designated sleep rooms or rest areas.

Is Terminal B at LGA new? ›

Inaugurated in January 2022, the Terminal B redevelopment at LaGuardia International Airport involved a complete reconstruction of the terminal.

What airlines use Terminal B at LGA? ›

Terminal B is served by Air Canada, American Airlines, American Shuttle, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. This terminal has Bank of America ATMs at the Baggage Claim, Center Food Court, Departure Level, Gates 40-59, and Pier B,C and D.

What exit is Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport? ›

Exit 6: Terminal B and 94th Street via the Service Road. Exit 5: Terminal A, Long-Term parking, with the car rental shuttles pickup area in front of Terminal A.

Is LaGuardia hard to get into? ›

Admission to LaGuardia is highly competitive. Thousands of students audition each year for a limited number of seats.

Is LaGuardia or JFK easier to navigate? ›

TL; DR. JFK Airport is the best to fly into for most people flying into and out of New York. It's the easiest to get to and from on the metro, and it boasts a wide range of airline departure times and destinations.

What is LaGuardia Airport famous for? ›

LaGuardia gained a shoddy reputation in the 21st century, and politicians have described it as a "Third World airport" while calling for investment in infrastructure. In 2009, LGA ranked last among major U.S. airports in both on-time arrivals and customer satisfaction.

How many gates does LGA Terminal C have? ›

An expansive new terminal, nearly double in size to those it replaces, consolidates 37 gates into one spacious facility with soaring floor-to-ceiling windows, 21st century technology and locally-inspired concessions.

Does Delta have its own terminal at LaGuardia? ›

News & Advisories. June 4, 2022 All Delta New York-LaGuardia (LGA) Departures And Arrivals Are Now Located In The New Terminal C. Departing customers should follow roadway signage to Terminal C for all check-in and security screening procedures.

How long does it take to get out of the airport after landing? ›

If you're coming from an international flight, it is recommended to schedule your pick up an hour or 1.5 hours after landing to give enough time for getting through customs. It's also recommended to call your assigned driver once you've landed to inform them that you've arrived so they know to expect you soon.

Do you really need to arrive 2 hours before a flight? ›

When you're traveling within the United States, we make the suggestion to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours prior to departure. For most airports, you must be checked in at least 30 minutes before your scheduled departure time (airports requiring additional time are listed below, Go to footer note).

Do you have to wear a mask at LGA? ›

Do I need to wear a face covering at the airport? Per current public health guidance in New York and New Jersey, the mask mandate has been lifted at all Port Authority facilities, including: LaGuardia Airport. Newark Liberty International Airport.

Is it cheaper to take a taxi or Uber from LGA? ›

Taxis from LaGuardia to Manhattan don't have a flat fee (like JFK) and will range between $35-$50 depending on the time of day. The ride can be as quick as 30 minute or upward of an hour, depending on traffic. Uber/Lyft will run $35 – $60, depending on time of day and destination.

Is taxi or Uber cheaper from LGA? ›

If you're considering which service to take to the airport, the cheaper option is almost always Uber. In fact, there are only three major airports (New York's LaGuardia Airport, New York's JFK, and Boston's Logan Airport) where it's cheaper to take a taxi instead of an Uber.

Can you Uber from LaGuardia to Manhattan? ›

Whether you want a ride from LaGuardia Airport in the early morning hours or late at night—or anytime in between—just open your Uber app and request a ride. How much does it cost to get from LaGuardia Airport to Manhattan NY? The average trip price to get from LaGuardia Airport to Manhattan NY is $52.00 - $79.00.

Is there a subway from LaGuardia to the city? ›

1. Catch the LaGuardia Link Q70 at Terminals B or C. From Terminal B and C, follow the signs for public transit. The LaGuardia Link Q70 stops in front of the terminal and runs nonstop every 8-10 minutes to the subway.

How do I get out of LaGuardia Airport? ›

In terms of public transit, you can take the M60 bus from all terminals at LaGuardia airport bus to 125th street in Manhattan, which allows for a free transfer to the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, A, C, and D subway trains. Alternatively, you could take one of several Q buses to the N, Q, and R or E and F lines in Queens.

What is cheapest transport for New York? ›

The subway
  • A subway ride costs $2.75 (or $3, if you only purchase a single ride). ...
  • Once you've swiped your card and walked through the turnstile, you can take any subway line, anywhere in the city, and transfer indefinitely.
  • Almost all subway lines have local trains and express trains.
Dec 29, 2022

Is it cheaper to take an Uber or taxi in NYC? ›

It's actually cheaper!

You'd think that but, surprisingly no, a taxi cab is still cheaper than an Uber in NYC. To be precise, study from the University of Cambridge has found that a taxi cab is generally cheaper for shorter trips.

How much is cab from LaGuardia to Manhattan? ›

Taxis at LGA are metered and you can expect to pay around $40USD (€37) to Manhattan, plus tolls – if you wish to travel on a flat rate fare, you can always book a private shuttle service in advance. For a cheaper option, you can take the train which costs $2.75USD (€2.40) with a journey taking around 50 minutes.

Is Uber cheaper than normal taxis? ›

Uber is usually a little bit cheaper than taking a traditional taxi. In most cases, Uber fares can be up to 40% cheaper than traditional taxi fares. In some cases, though, Uber fares can be almost double what they are for taxis, when you factor in extra costs. This is especially true when “surge pricing” is in effect.

How much do you tip Uber drivers in NYC? ›

Rideshare tipping and compensation explained. You should tip Uber and Lyft drivers between 10 and 20 percent based on quality of service. You should use a set tip of $4-$6 for rideshare delivery.

Is it better to take an Uber or taxi in New York? ›

Both conventional taxis and Uber charge fares based on a combination of time and distance. Taxis do not have surge pricing, but riders might have to wait longer when demand exceeds supply. Uber does not differentiate between cruising and stop-and-go traffic, while taxis do charge different rates based on speed.

Where do I catch an Uber at LaGuardia? ›

For Terminal A, head outside from arrivals or baggage claim. This is where Uber drivers at LGA meet travelers for pickup. For Terminal B, follow the green “Car Services” signs and proceed through the pedestrian walkway to Level 2 of the Terminal B parking garage. Please wait for your driver in the designated lane.

Is LGA shuttle free? ›

Connecting Within LaGuardia

Use our complimentary airport shuttle bus service between our terminals, parking lots, rental car facilities and car service pick-up areas. Buses arrive approximately every 10 minutes but this frequency may vary with traffic conditions.

Can I call Uber taxi without app? ›

In any case, that's not a problem: you don't need to have the app in order to request a ride with us.

Do you tip Uber drivers? ›

Tipping is optional. You are free to add a tip, and drivers are free to accept tips. How do I leave my driver a tip? The easiest way to tip your driver is through the app.

Can I pay Uber with cash? ›

Can I pay for Uber with cash? Yes, you can pay with cash. Before requesting a ride, go to the Payment section in the app and select Cash. At the end of your trip, pay cash directly to your driver.

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