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I went to the JFK Airtrain page and they talk about buying a ticket that gets a ride on the airtrain ($5.00) as well as a METRO ticket ($2.75) but what they didn't say anything about is the ability to use an existing Metro card with sufficient money on it to pay for the Airtrain. Is that possible?

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I went to the JFK Airtrain page and they talk about buying a ticket that gets a ride on the airtrain ($5.00) as well as a METRO ticket ($2.75) but what they didn't say anything about is the ability to use an existing Metro card with sufficient money on it to pay for the Airtrain. Is that possible?

Yes it is. The turnstiles will simply deduct the price of the airtrain ride from your Metrocard like they do at every other station.

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^^What he said. You can use any standard Metrocard for the AirTrain. It will just deduct $5 from the balance upon entering or exiting at any of the non-terminal stations (so Howard Beach, Lefferts Blvd, and Jamaica). This means that it's completely free to take the AirTrain exclusively between airport terminals, but it also means that if you're not taking it to or from the airport itself, you will have to pay the $5 upon entering AND exiting. So in case you're planning on taking it just for the sake of taking it, you will end up paying $10.

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Can you still hop off the Airtrain one station short of Howard Beach in the parking lot and walk across to Howard Beach Subway station? Once upon a time you could do that. Haven't been there for a while, so don't know the current situation.

 

The reason for doing that used to be to save the $5 PA fee for riding the AirTrain to Howard Beach and yet be able to get to the Subway from the terminals.

Edited by jis

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^^What he said. You can use any standard Metrocard for the AirTrain. It will just deduct $5 from the balance upon entering or exiting at any of the non-terminal stations (so Howard Beach, Lefferts Blvd, and Jamaica). This means that it's completely free to take the AirTrain exclusively between airport terminals, but it also means that if you're not taking it to or from the airport itself, you will have to pay the $5 upon entering AND exiting. So in case you're planning on taking it just for the sake of taking it, you will end up paying $10.

 

Thanks blueman271 and cpotisch. I am confused about that $10. Why would you pay to both get on and off? Does anyone stay on (other than "Poor Old Charlie" from Boston)? We would be returning a rental car then taking the subway from Howard Beach to Rector St (2 trains) or Jamaica LIRR to Brooklyn then 4 train to Wall St.). I thought that paying to get on and off meant that the pay-to-get-on was at the outside stations (LIRR and Howard Beach) and to get off was at the same place since travel within the airport is free.

 

Can you still hop off the Airtrain one station short of Howard Beach in the parking lot and walk across to Howard Beach Subway station? Once upon a time you could do that. Haven't been there for a while, so don;t know the current situation.

 

Why would you not get off at Howard Beach since that is shown as the transfer point to subway.

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Can you still hop off the Airtrain one station short of Howard Beach in the parking lot and walk across to Howard Beach Subway station? Once upon a time you could do that. Haven't been there for a while, so don;t know the current situation.

According to Google Maps, it's an 11 minute walk from Lefferts Blvd AirTrain station to the Howard Beach Subway station. So it's definitely walkable, but I don't quite see why someone would do that when you're already on the AirTrain.

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^^What he said. You can use any standard Metrocard for the AirTrain. It will just deduct $5 from the balance upon entering or exiting at any of the non-terminal stations (so Howard Beach, Lefferts Blvd, and Jamaica). This means that it's completely free to take the AirTrain exclusively between airport terminals, but it also means that if you're not taking it to or from the airport itself, you will have to pay the $5 upon entering AND exiting. So in case you're planning on taking it just for the sake of taking it, you will end up paying $10.

 

I am confused about that $10. Why would you pay to both get on and off? Does anyone stay on (other than "Poor Old Charlie" from Boston)? We would be returning a rental car then taking the subway from Howard Beach to Rector St (2 trains) or Jamaica LIRR to Brooklyn then 4 train to Wall St.). I thought that paying to get on and off meant that the pay-to-get-on was at the outside stations (LIRR and Howard Beach) and to get off was at the same place since travel within the airport is free.

It works that that way so that someone taking the AirTrain from the airport to a subway stations will pay $5 upon exiting, someone taking AirTrain from a subway station to the airport will pay $5 upon entering, and someone traveling exclusively between terminals won't have to pay at all. However, the side effect is this is that anyone who both enters and exits at one of those stops will have to pay the fare twice. Does that make sense?

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Can you still hop off the Airtrain one station short of Howard Beach in the parking lot and walk across to Howard Beach Subway station? Once upon a time you could do that. Haven't been there for a while, so don;t know the current situation.

According to Google Maps, it's an 11 minute walk from Lefferts Blvd AirTrain station to the Howard Beach Subway station. So it's definitely walkable, but I don't quite see why someone would do that when you're already on the AirTrain.

 

Isn't exit at Lefferts Blvd station free? It used to be so and you could avoid the $5 charge at Howard Beach by walking from Lefferts Blvd. My question was whether that is still possible or not. Maybe they added an exit fee at Lefferts Blvd since then. So I guess you missed the point of the question. Oh well.

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Can you still hop off the Airtrain one station short of Howard Beach in the parking lot and walk across to Howard Beach Subway station? Once upon a time you could do that. Haven't been there for a while, so don;t know the current situation.

According to Google Maps, it's an 11 minute walk from Lefferts Blvd AirTrain station to the Howard Beach Subway station. So it's definitely walkable, but I don't quite see why someone would do that when you're already on the AirTrain.

 

Isn't exit at Lefferts Blvd station free? It used to be so and you could avoid the $5 charge at Howard Beach by walking from Lefferts Blvd. My question was whether that is still possible or not. Maybe they added an exit fee at Lefferts Blvd since then. So I guess you missed the point of the question. Oh well.

You didn't say anything about it being free or previously being free, so yes, I did miss the point of the question. But now that I know what you meant, I just checked and you can can still enter and exit at Lefferts Blvd for free. I'm wondering why they do it that way, though...

Edited by cpotisch

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The only fare control station's on the entire AirTrain are the one's at Jamaica, and Howard Beach. All other's are uncontrolled (free). If you wanted to save the fare from the airport to the subway, you could ride to the Lefferts Blvd. stop, and do the walk over to the Howard Beach station. I haven't done that, and it may require a "roundabout" route, due to barrier's that are there to discourage just that. Another way to save, would be to take the Q10 or Q3 local bus routes to reach the subway at either Kew Gardens or Jamaica, and with a Metrocard only pay a single local fare ($2.75).

 

One thing the AirTrain does, is discourage 'local' rider's looking for a quick way to get from Howard Beach to Jamaica...if you took the AirTrain, with a transfer at Federal Circle, you would have to pay $10. for that ride, paying to enter, and to exit.

 

BTW, if anyone at the airport wants to just 'waste some time' with a joyride while waiting for your flight, you can ride from the airport the entire system free, as long as you don't get out at Jamaica or Howard Beach, and just go back.

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Lefferts Blvd stop serves the long term parking lot, so that's why it's free there.

 

Before the AirTrain, the Port Authority used to run shuttle buses from the terminal's there, and ended at the Howard Beach subway station, all free then. That was where the one time "train to the plane" subway train ran from....

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Yup. The Train to the Plane was also ostentatiously called the "JFK Express", and its symbol was a stylized white airplane in light blue circle background. I took that many a times. You had to pay a supplement fare on it, and it did run mostly nonstop through Brooklyn, and had only a few stops in Manhattan - 42nd Port Authority, 34th Penn Station and Chambers St WTC AFAIR. It terminated at Howard Beach JFK.

 

I don't recall ever paying for the $5 transfer at Howard Beach since if I took the AirTrain at all I always walked it from Lefferts Blvd to Howard Beach if taking the subway. Those were in poorer days. I would not worry about a $5 charge today :)

 

But coming from LI it was Q10 from Kew Gardens as I seem to recall. There also was a Q something else from Jamaica that I took a couple of times, but can't recall what that "something else" was anymore. That saved one change since most Huntington/Port Jefferson trains (which I took from Stony Brook) did not seem to stop at Kew Gardens.

 

And yes, I have done the completely free ride of the entire system at least once, while I was waiting for a delayed flight to arrive with the people that I was picking up.

Edited by jis

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Can you still hop off the Airtrain one station short of Howard Beach in the parking lot and walk across to Howard Beach Subway station? Once upon a time you could do that. Haven't been there for a while, so don;t know the current situation.

Why would you not get off at Howard Beach since that is shown as the transfer point to subway.

 

I suspect you might have already figured out the answer to that question from the discussion above. :)

 

 

 

 

Can you still hop off the Airtrain one station short of Howard Beach in the parking lot and walk across to Howard Beach Subway station? Once upon a time you could do that. Haven't been there for a while, so don;t know the current situation.

According to Google Maps, it's an 11 minute walk from Lefferts Blvd AirTrain station to the Howard Beach Subway station. So it's definitely walkable, but I don't quite see why someone would do that when you're already on the AirTrain.

 

Isn't exit at Lefferts Blvd station free? It used to be so and you could avoid the $5 charge at Howard Beach by walking from Lefferts Blvd. My question was whether that is still possible or not. Maybe they added an exit fee at Lefferts Blvd since then. So I guess you missed the point of the question. Oh well.

 

You didn't say anything about it being free or previously being free, so yes, I did miss the point of the question. But now that I know what you meant, I just checked and you can can still enter and exit at Lefferts Blvd for free. I'm wondering why they do it that way, though...

 

True. I tend to forget from time to time that everyone does not know the detailed nuances of the operations of the PA AirTrains. Sorry about that.

 

At least the JFK AirTrain is a more spacious and usable system. The Newark one is a total abomination of a tinker toy which is entirely inadequate during rush hours. I have had to wait for many trains to pass before I could get a foothold on one. Hope they dismantle it and replace it with a real full grown APM system soon.

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The JFK Express was one of the very few trains where TA conductor's actually collected the additional extra fare as you boarded....he was accompanied by a Transit police officer... ;)

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Isn't exit at Lefferts Blvd station free? It used to be so and you could avoid the $5 charge at Howard Beach by walking from Lefferts Blvd. My question was whether that is still possible or not. Maybe they added an exit fee at Lefferts Blvd since then. So I guess you missed the point of the question. Oh well.

It's never been possible.

 

You are correct that there is no charge to enter or exit at Lefferts Blvd.

 

There is also no charge to enter or exit at Howard Beach, as long as you use the parking lot side of the station.

 

But the only access from the parking lot to the subway station (or the Howard Beach neighborhood) is through the fare gates, which charge $5 in each direction (plus the subway fare to enter the subway station).

 

So walking from Lefferts Blvd to Howard Beach serves no purpose - you'll still have to pass through the AirTrain fare gates. And it's been like this since the day AirTrain opened.

 

You can avoid the charge by walking north from the Lefferts Blvd station out of airport property and making your way to the Aqueduct-N Conduit station, but that's a much longer walk. The Q10 and B15 buses also serve the Lefferts Blvd AirTrain station and charge a regular local bus fare, worth free transfer to the subway if you paid with a MetroCard.

Edited by DoB

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Yeah...that's what I meant as a "barrier"...if you exited at the parking lot side of the Howard Beach station (for those parked closer), you would have to walk back to the Lefferts Blvd gate to exit the airport anyway, and then take a long round about path to get to the community of Howard Beach and the subway entrance....as DoB mention's above, perhaps longer than to the Aqueduct Station...

 

Personally, I think that they should have left the Howard Beach as barrier free, the way it was when free shuttle buses made the transfer to the subway.

Whether they should make Jamaica free as well, is another matter. But since the PA, and not the MTA run the AirTrain, not likely.

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Are you sure about that? I specifically remember being able to go straight to the subway from outside the AirTrain zone whenever I've been there, and this picture seems to confirm that that's the case:

 

Howard%20Beach%20Station3.jpg

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Yes, that you can do. But you can't get from the parking lot to the area you're standing in without paying $5.

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Yes...that looks like you are outside of either fare control area, but it is set up that way so that you don't get a free transfer between the AirTrain and the subway...apparently, as per DoB, there is no other way to get into that "in-between" area from the outside...

 

I suppose it is in a way similar to the Newark Airport AirTrainl/NJT station, in that you have to get there either on the AirTrain, or an NJT train. with no other access, except some way to reach special shuttle buses sometimes substituting for the AirTrain during maintenance....

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That area is reachable for free from the Howard Beach neighborhood west of the subway tracks, but not from the JFK parking lot east of the subway tracks.

 

This mezzanine is the only pedestrian access across the subway tracks between North Conduit Avenue and Jamaica Bay, and the AirTrain fare gates impose a $5 fee to make that crossing.

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Yes, that you can do. But you can't get from the parking lot to the area you're standing in without paying $5.

Sorry, I'm still confused. Can you or can you not get to the A train without paying $5? So if you were get off the AirTrain at Lefferts Blvd, walk to Howard Beach, and get on the A train, would you have to pay the $5 AirTrain fare no matter what, or not? Sorry if this was explained and/or is incredibly obvious.

Edited by cpotisch

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To clarify it...you can't get from the "airport side" into that area unless you go thru the AirTrain fare gates. You can get from the "city side" (Howard Beach) into that area, and then pay to enter the AirTrain or Subway. To get from the airport side to Howard Beach would take a VERY long roundabout hike....I checked Google Maps, and it looks like about 1.7 miles...via Lefferts Blvd, N. Conduit Av, Cohancy St, 155th Av, 102nd St, 158th Av, and 103rd St.....

You have to realize, the planner's foresaw some people trying to beat the fare, and planned accordingly.... ;)

 

For example, if you wanted to park your car in the airport long term lot, and then take the subway to Manhattan, you would have to pay $5. Air Train fare to walk out of the AirTrain area into that area, and then pay your subway fare. In addition to the parking charges...

Edited by railiner

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Exactly. Entering or exiting airport property at the Howard Beach station costs $5. Entering the subway costs the usual $2.75. (So the direct fare gates from AirTrain to the subway deduct $7.75.) Everything else is free (including riding AirTrain to or from long term parking at Howard Beach).

 

Aside from the subway fare, none of this has changed since the day the AirTrain system opened in 2003.

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