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How to Take the Subway
from Laguardia to Manhattan

04.04.2017 Written by Rob

How to Take the NYC Subway to Laguardia from Manhattan

Save💰. Get to Laguardia Airport for the price of a subway ticket.

Just wrapped up your trip to NYC and you’re ready to head home? If you’re flight leaves from Laguardia airport, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will show you how to get to Laguardia airport from Manhattan for the price of a subway ticket ($2.75 as of Spring 2017). Compared to the $40-$50 it would cost to take a taxi from Midtown, that’s a big savings you could spend on slices of pizza for yourself or I❤️NY shirts for the whole family. All you have to do is take the subway to the Jackson Heights / Roosevelt Avenue stop in Queens and then transfer to the Q70 bus which goes straight to Laguardia airport. Here’s how:

Step 1: You’re leaving from Laguardia right?

There are three major airports in the NYC area: JFK, Newark, and Laguardia. Make sure your airline ticket says LGA for Laguardia. I don’t even want to tell you the sad story about the time I was in line at airport check-in behind someone who was just informed they were at the wrong airport.

Step 2: Plan your route

Jackson Heights / Roosevelt Avenue in Queens is a major stop that connects several train and bus lines. That’s where you’ll transfer from the subway to the Q70 bus. First you have to decide the best way for you to get there. You have 5 options. The E, F, M, R, or local 7 trains (express 7 trains with a diamond around the 7 that run during rush hour won’t stop at Jackson Heights). Consult your hotel concierge, AirBnB host, or the official subway map to see which train will be the fastest for you. The E & F trains are express trains with fewer stops when leaving from Midtown. I took the R train from Times Square in this YouTube video.

Step 3: Check It

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has a website (http://mta.info) that lists the current status and planned work for public transportation, so check your planned route and make sure there is no major construction or other schedule changes. Most planned work that may involve major re-routes takes place on the weekends.

Step 4: Let’s Ride

Head to the station. If you don’t already have a Metro Card, you can buy one at the vending machines inside the subway station with cash or a credit/debit card. Get on the train you decided on in step 2 and head to the Jackson Heights / Roosevelt Avenue stop.

Step 5: The Wheels On The Q70 Bus

You probably became a subway pro while you were in New York, but the bus can be a little trickier, especially the Q70. The Jackson Heights / Roosevelt Ave station is well marked with signs for the Q70 to Laguardia. Follow the signs outside to the bus stall marked with a blue “Q70 Laguardia Link” sign. The Q70 is a special SBS bus which means you have to get your ticket for the Q70 before you get on the bus. There are several bus ticket machines on the sidewalk next to where the Q70 pulls up. Just insert your Metro Card and take your receipt. This is your ticket. Keep it with you the whole time you’re on the bus, but you usually won’t have to show it to anyone. The city enforces this ticketing system by randomly boarding buses and giving people hefty fines if they don’t have tickets to show.

When the bus pulls up, look for “Q70 Laguardia Link” on the digital marquee in the bus' windshield. After you board, consider putting any big suitcases in the middle luggage rack to make it easier to sit down without blocking the aisle.

Step 6: Time to Fly

The very next stop on the Q70 is terminal B. If your flight leaves from terminal A (a very small terminal usually serving only Delta flights to Chicago & Washington, DC) you can transfer to Laguardia’s free Blue Route shuttle here. Otherwise, the Q70 will make next stops at terminal D, followed by terminal C. The entire trip usually takes about an hour from midtown when everything goes smoothly. I like to budget one and a half to two hours just to be safe.

Have a nice flight. The next time you’re here, check out my video and guide on taking public transportation from Laguardia to your hotel.