Thursday, April 24, 2008

airtrain


The other day I went to JFK to meet my oldest son and his girlfriend.
As the flight was arriving early evening, driving would be madness.
The roads out of Manhattan are clogged like arteries just before a heart attack
and basically have the same effect on your health.

A few years ago they introduced something called the Airtrain.
Which is nothing more than a short ride from the airport to connect to the regular subway system.

Which is sort of okay if you live here and are comfortable with the subway.
It's a long ride from central Manhattan to the Airtrain connection.
It takes about 45 minutes.
In rush hour you're not likely to get a seat before well over halfway, when the train's getting little emptier.

I can't believe the capital of the world, as the city likes to call itself, can't build a proper connection to the city.
The buses are somewhat more comfrotable but can take for ever courtesy of that traffic I mentioned.
Plus they're kind of hard to find around the side streets of Port Authority west of 8th avenue.
Signage is, as often in NY, rather sloppy. And improvised. Makes Mumbay look like a modern mecca of organization and planning.

Anyway, the subway out to Howard Beach, where you transfer to the Airtrain, is 2 dollars. Any subway ride in NY is 2 dollars.
The the last 3 minutes Airtrain ride from Howard Beach to JFK on the airtrain is 5 dollars.
You could probably walk, so close is it.

Sure, the grand total to get you to or from the airport is reasonable, even if the Airtrain bit feels like a rip-off in comparison to the subway price. Since you have to ride the subway most of the way anyway.
There's also quite a distance between the Airtrain station and the subway station.
Don't bring too much luggage.
Especially as it's rather uncomfortable to be on a crowded subway train with a bunch of suitcases people will trip over and curse you for.
The bus is 13 bucks.
Taxi about $55.00.
I love to hate this city for its inconveniences.
But well on Manhattan, few cities in the world are as rewarding to walk in.
Tokyo might come to mind as well. And Paris.

No comments: