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JFK AirTrain Fare Increased, Now Costs $7.75

JFK AirTrain (Ad Meskens/ Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)

Nov. 3, 2019 By Allie Griffin

The fare for the JFK AirTrain has been hiked for the first time in its history with single ride tickets now costing $7.75.

The AirTrain, which first opened to riders in December 2003, had been $5 since its inception until the price was raised Nov. 1.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the JFK AirTrain, proposed increasing the fare in June to raise revenue for the Port Authority’s $37 billion, 10-year capital plan. The authority’s Board of Commissioners approved the 55 percent increase at the end of September.

While the price of single rides will cost riders more, there is no increase for the 10-trip ticket which remains at $25 and is valid for 30 days following its first use. The 30-day Unlimited Airtrain JFK MetroCard also remains at $40.

The JFK AirTrain has two routes. One goes express from Jamaica to JFK, while the other goes directly from Howard Beach to JFK.

AirTrain tickets are available from MetroCard vending machines at the Jamaica and Howard Beach AirTrain stations.

In 2018, 8,221,145 passengers paid to use the AirTrain to JFK, according to Port Authority data. It is not known what impact the price hike will have on ridership.

Despite the price increase, the AirTrain remains the cheapest option for getting to JFK from either station.

On Nov. 1, an Uber would have cost around $19 from the Jamaica AirTrain station to JFK Airport, while a Lyft would cost around $17.

Likewise, a trip from the Howard Beach AirTrain station would cost around $16 via Uber and around $18 via Lyft. However, the prices for each differ day-to-day depending on the traffic and demand at the time.

AirTrain Map

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Bruce Berman

Why can’t Senior EZpay card be used for Air Train (paying full fare) to reduce lines at vending machines?


wait, it costs money? I usually get it for free. i take the E or F to Kew Gardens, then the Q10 limited to terminal 5.


Thanks to our Mayor, MTA turnstile jumpers are not prosecuted anymore. We, the law abiding citizens, get to pay even more to ride mass transit due to the lower profits. Amazing!


And with this increase, it is now cheaper to take an uber. Good job, Port Authority. Soon enough there won’t be enough people riding the Air Train to make it viable, and soon after that it will close. GOOD JOB, PANYNJ!!!


Even for just a couple, for a round trip, a 10 trip card is cheaper now even if you don’t use the other 6 rides. For 3 or 4 people, even better.

Larry Penner

This is just the start for a series of fare increases over coming years. Justification for this latest round is based upon raising $4.8 billion in new revenues. This is to increase the 2017 – 2026 Capital Program from $32.2 to $37 billion to support several ongoing and new capital projects.

Remember the new Port Authority PATH World Trade Center Station? It had an original start date at 2003 with a completion date of 2009 at a cost of $2 billion. The Port Authority subsequently signed a construction agreement with the Federal Transit Administration. This made up to $2.2 billion in federal funding available for the World Trade Center’s permanent new PATH Terminal. The grant agreement between the Port Authority and FTA was awarded in December 2003. It included a commitment to start construction in 2006 with completion by June, 2011.

Most construction was completed in 2016, five years beyond the original promised scheduled date. At $4 billion, the cost was double the original $2 billion.

Governor Cuomo in 2014 estimated the cost would be $450 million for building the LaGuardia Air Train with a completion date of 2019. I predicted that both his cost and promised completion date were unrealistic. Both have proven to be true. The original Port Authority 2017 – 2026 capital budget plan lists this project at $1 billion. It was subsequently revised to $1.5 billion several years ago and today it stands at $2 billion. Costs will be further refined as the project progresses through the environmental review process, preliminary and final design, award of construction contracts followed by change orders to the base contracts during construction, due to last minute changes in scope or unforeseen site conditions. The anticipated final potential cost for the Air Train could end up several hundred million to a billion or higher. Four years have passed with little progress to date.

News that the Port Authority has yet another plan for rebuilding the existing 42nd Street Bus Terminal is disappointing. The Port Authority 2017 – 2026 ten year $32 billion Capital Plan provided only $3.5 billion toward construction of this new facility. How many more years will it take to complete the environmental review process, preliminary along with final design and engineering along with identifying and securing funding for construction?

It is wishful thinking that the Port Authority can count on $6.5 billion in future Federal Transit Administration funding to make up the difference. Don’t be surprised in waiting until the next Port Authority ten year 2027 – 2036 Capital Plan before a complete $10 billion funding package is in place. No one can predict how many more billions it might take to complete.

There is only $70 million for advancing an environmental study along with preliminary design and engineering for the Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel within the Port Authority 2017 – 2026 Capital Plan. This leaves a $9.930 billion shortfall to complete this project. This project has been championed by some for thirty years. After all that time, it has yet to progress beyond the federal National Environmental Protect Act review process. No one can predict how many more billions it might take to complete.
(Larry Penner is a transportation historian, writer and advocate who previously worked 31 years for the United States Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York Office. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for billions in capital projects and programs for the MTA, NYC Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro North Rail Road, MTA Bus, NYC Department of Transportation, New Jersey Transit along with 30 other transit agencies in NY & NJ). .


At this price, AirTrain only makes sense when you’re travelling solo. As soon as you factor a second person (much less a family) taking a car becomes much more cost effective. This is really dumb (and makes me appreciate the “free” subway-to-bus transfer for LGA even more.


It would be helpful to see how an air train ticket costs relative to other big cities in the world. Is it pricier than London, Paris, or Munich? How about the cost of getting to the airport in LA, Chicago, or Miami?

Besides, this fare increase really only affects tourists for whom $5 or $7.50 is just part of the total cost of visiting NYC, almost an abstract expense. People who live here do not use the air train regularly unless they work at the airport in which case they’re buying the monthly ticket which isn’t affected by this price increase.

Much ado about nothing.


Now it costs $43 for 4 people to get on the subway from JFK. How is this going to push passengers to take mass transit instead of cabs?


While it sucks, the revenue will mostly impact businesses, wealthy people, and tourists; so it doesn’t really matter.


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