Looking for the most affordable and convenient way to get from Manhattan to JFK airport? Taking the bus is an excellent option that thousands of travelers and locals utilize every day. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about taking the bus from Manhattan to JFK, including routes, schedules, fares, travel time, and tips to make your trip smooth and stress-free.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The most popular bus routes from Manhattan to JFK are the NYC Airporter, which runs 24/7 and takes 60-80 minutes, and the Q10, Q3, and B15, which are more affordable but run less frequently and can take 90-120 minutes depending on traffic.

Bus Options from Manhattan to JFK

Traveling from Manhattan to JFK Airport can be a breeze with the various bus options available. Whether you’re a budget traveler or simply looking for a convenient way to reach the airport, there are several reliable bus services to choose from.

NYC Airporter

NYC Airporter is one of the most popular bus services for travelers heading to JFK Airport. With comfortable seating and free Wi-Fi onboard, this bus service offers a stress-free journey. The buses run every 30 minutes, making it convenient for travelers.

You can catch the NYC Airporter from several locations in Manhattan, including Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, and Port Authority Bus Terminal. The fare is affordable, and the journey takes approximately 60-90 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

MTA Bus Routes (Q10, Q3, B15)

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the MTA bus routes are a great choice. The Q10, Q3, and B15 buses all provide service from various locations in Queens to JFK Airport. These buses are part of the New York City public transportation system, making them a cost-effective option.

However, keep in mind that the journey may take longer due to multiple stops along the way. Check the MTA website for the most up-to-date schedules and fares.

Curb App

For those who prefer the convenience of a ride-hailing app, the Curb app is a great option. With Curb, you can book a taxi or car service to take you from Manhattan to JFK Airport. The app allows you to compare prices and choose from a variety of vehicles.

Plus, you can track your ride in real-time and pay through the app, making it a hassle-free experience. Simply enter your destination as JFK Airport, and the app will provide you with available options.

Schedules and Frequency

When planning your trip from Manhattan to JFK Airport, it is important to know the schedules and frequency of the buses to ensure a smooth and timely journey. Here are some options to consider:

NYC Airporter Schedule

The NYC Airporter is a popular bus service that operates between various locations in Manhattan and JFK Airport. They offer a convenient and reliable schedule, with buses running every 30 minutes from 5:00 am to 11:30 pm, seven days a week.

This frequent service ensures that you have plenty of options to choose from, no matter what time your flight is.

For more information on the NYC Airporter schedule, you can visit their official website https://www.nycairporter.com/schedule.

MTA Bus Schedules

In addition to the NYC Airporter, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) also operates several bus routes that connect Manhattan to JFK Airport. These buses provide a more affordable option for travelers on a budget.

The Q3 bus, for example, runs from Jamaica Center to JFK Airport, with frequent service throughout the day. The Q10 bus operates from Kew Gardens to JFK Airport, and the Q6 bus connects various neighborhoods in Queens to the airport.

For detailed MTA bus schedules and routes, you can visit the official MTA website http://www.mta.info.

Curb App On-Demand

If you prefer a more flexible and on-demand option, you can use the Curb app to request a taxi or car service to take you from Manhattan to JFK Airport. The Curb app allows you to select your preferred vehicle type and track your driver in real-time.

This on-demand service is especially useful if you have specific timing requirements or if you are traveling with a large group or heavy luggage.

To download the Curb app and learn more about their services, you can visit their official website https://gocurb.com.

By familiarizing yourself with the schedules and frequency of the various bus services available, you can choose the option that best suits your travel needs and ensure a hassle-free journey to JFK Airport from Manhattan.

Fares and Ticketing

When it comes to taking the bus from Manhattan to JFK Airport, it’s important to be familiar with the fares and ticketing options available. Here’s a breakdown of the different fare options offered by various bus services:

NYC Airporter Fares

NYC Airporter is a popular bus service that offers convenient transportation between Manhattan and JFK Airport. Their fares are reasonable and offer good value for money. The cost of a one-way ticket from Manhattan to JFK Airport is typically around $18 for adults.

They also offer discounted fares for children, students, and seniors. It’s worth noting that NYC Airporter also offers round-trip tickets, which can save you some money if you’re planning to return to Manhattan using the same bus service.

MTA Bus Fares

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) also operates buses that connect Manhattan with JFK Airport. MTA buses are a more budget-friendly option compared to other bus services. The cost of a one-way ticket on an MTA bus is typically around $2.75, which is the standard fare for all MTA buses and subways.

However, it’s important to note that MTA buses can be crowded during peak hours, so plan your journey accordingly.

Curb App Fares

If you prefer the convenience of booking a bus ride through a mobile app, the Curb app is a great option to consider. Curb allows you to schedule and pay for your bus ride from Manhattan to JFK Airport using your smartphone.

The fares on the Curb app are comparable to other bus services, typically ranging from $15 to $20 for a one-way ticket. The app also offers features like real-time bus tracking and estimated arrival times, making it easier to plan your journey.

It’s important to keep in mind that fares and ticketing options may vary depending on the bus service and any ongoing promotions or discounts. It’s always a good idea to check the official websites or contact the bus service directly for the most up-to-date information on fares and ticketing options.

Travel Time

NYC Airporter Travel Time

When it comes to traveling from Manhattan to JFK Airport, NYC Airporter provides a convenient and efficient option. The average travel time on NYC Airporter buses is approximately 60-75 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

This time frame allows passengers to comfortably reach their destination without feeling rushed.

It is important to note that the travel time may vary during peak hours, such as morning and evening rush hours. To ensure a smooth journey, it is advisable to plan your trip accordingly and factor in any potential delays that may arise.

MTA Bus Travel Time

For those looking for a more economical way to travel from Manhattan to JFK Airport, the MTA bus is an alternative option. The travel time on MTA buses varies depending on the route and traffic conditions, but on average, it takes approximately 90-120 minutes to reach the airport.

While the MTA bus may take slightly longer than other transportation options, it provides a cost-effective solution for budget-conscious travelers. Additionally, the MTA bus allows passengers to enjoy views of the city during their journey, adding a unique and scenic element to their travel experience.

Curb App Travel Time

If you prefer the convenience of a ride-hailing app, such as Curb, to get to JFK Airport from Manhattan, the travel time can be similar to that of NYC Airporter. With Curb, you can book a taxi or a car service directly from your smartphone, making it a convenient option for those who prefer door-to-door service.

The travel time may vary depending on traffic conditions, but on average, it takes about 60-75 minutes to reach JFK Airport using the Curb app. This option provides flexibility and convenience, allowing passengers to travel at their own pace and schedule.

Pickup/Drop-off Locations

When traveling from Manhattan to JFK Airport, there are several pickup and drop-off locations to choose from, depending on your preference and convenience. Here are some of the options:

NYC Airporter Pickup Locations

NYC Airporter is a popular shuttle service that offers convenient transportation to and from JFK Airport. They have multiple pickup locations in Manhattan, making it easy for passengers to access their services. Some of the pickup locations include:

  • Grand Central Station
  • Port Authority Bus Terminal
  • Penn Station
  • Times Square

These pickup locations are strategically located in busy areas of Manhattan, allowing passengers to easily catch the shuttle and reach JFK Airport in a timely manner.

MTA Bus Pickup Locations

If you prefer to take a public bus to JFK Airport, the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) offers several bus routes that serve the airport. These buses have designated pickup locations in Manhattan, providing an affordable transportation option for travelers.

Some of the MTA bus pickup locations include:

  • East Side: M60 bus at 125th Street and Lexington Avenue
  • West Side: Q3 bus at 169th Street and Hillside Avenue
  • Downtown: Q10 bus at Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike Subway Station

These MTA bus routes provide a convenient way to travel from Manhattan to JFK Airport, especially for those who are looking for a budget-friendly option.

Curb App Pickup

For those who prefer the convenience of booking a ride through a mobile app, the Curb app offers pickup and drop-off services throughout Manhattan. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can request a ride to JFK Airport and enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free journey.

The Curb app allows you to choose your pickup location in Manhattan and provides real-time updates on the arrival of your driver.

Whether you choose a shuttle service like NYC Airporter, a public bus from MTA, or a ride-hailing app like Curb, there are plenty of options for getting to and from JFK Airport from Manhattan. Consider your budget, convenience, and personal preferences when selecting the pickup location that suits you best.

Luggage and Amenities

Luggage Allowances and Fees

When taking the bus from Manhattan to JFK Airport, it’s important to be aware of the luggage allowances and any associated fees. Most bus companies have specific guidelines regarding the size and weight of luggage that passengers are allowed to bring on board.

Typically, passengers are allowed to bring one carry-on bag and one checked bag. The carry-on bag should be small enough to fit in the overhead compartment or underneath the seat in front of you. The checked bag should not exceed a certain weight limit, usually around 50 pounds.

It’s important to check with the specific bus company you plan to travel with for their exact luggage allowances and any additional fees that may apply. Some companies may charge extra for oversized or overweight bags, so it’s a good idea to pack accordingly and avoid any unexpected fees.

Bus Amenities

Taking the bus from Manhattan to JFK Airport offers a convenient and comfortable travel option. Many bus companies provide a range of amenities to enhance the passenger experience. These amenities can vary depending on the bus company and the type of bus you choose to travel in.

  • Comfortable seating: Buses are equipped with spacious and comfortable seats, allowing passengers to relax during their journey.
  • Climate control: Buses are typically equipped with air conditioning and heating systems to ensure a comfortable temperature throughout the year.
  • WiFi and charging ports: Many buses offer complimentary WiFi access, allowing passengers to stay connected during their trip. Additionally, charging ports are often available to keep electronic devices powered throughout the journey.
  • Entertainment options: Some buses provide onboard entertainment systems, such as TV screens or audio systems, to keep passengers entertained during the journey.
  • Restrooms: Longer bus journeys may include restrooms on board, providing convenience for passengers.

It’s important to note that not all buses may have the same amenities, so it’s advisable to check with the bus company beforehand to confirm the amenities available on your chosen bus.

For more information on bus amenities and luggage allowances, you can visit the websites of popular bus companies such as Greyhound or Megabus.

Tips for Riding the Bus to JFK

Allow Plenty of Time

When taking the bus from Manhattan to JFK Airport, it’s important to allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Traffic in New York City can be unpredictable, so it’s best to plan ahead and give yourself some extra time to account for any delays.

Aim to arrive at the bus stop at least 15-30 minutes before the scheduled departure time to ensure a smooth journey.

Check Schedules in Advance

Before heading out to catch the bus, make sure to check the schedules in advance. Buses to JFK Airport run on specific schedules, and it’s important to know the departure times to avoid any waiting or missing your bus.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) website provides up-to-date information on bus schedules, so be sure to check there for the most accurate and current information.

Have Exact Fare Ready

When boarding the bus, it’s essential to have the exact fare ready. Most buses require exact change or accept MetroCards, and the bus drivers may not be able to provide change. To avoid any complications or delays, make sure to bring the correct amount of cash or have a loaded MetroCard for payment.

Get Dropped Off Curbside at JFK

One of the perks of taking the bus to JFK Airport is that it offers curbside drop-off directly at the airport terminals. Unlike other modes of transportation, such as taxis or rideshares, which may have designated drop-off areas further away, the bus will take you right to the terminal entrance.

This convenience makes it a great option for travelers looking for a hassle-free and cost-effective way to reach JFK Airport.


Taking the bus from Manhattan to JFK Airport is an affordable, convenient transportation option used by thousands of travelers and locals every day. With multiple bus routes to choose from, frequent schedules, reasonable fares, and direct service right to the JFK terminals, the bus provides an easy way to get to and from JFK without the hassle and cost of a cab.

Just be sure to plan ahead, allow plenty of time, and check the schedule for your chosen bus route. Follow the tips outlined here for a smooth, stress-free bus ride to JFK airport.

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