Taking an Uber or Lyft from the JFK airport to Manhattan is almost identical to taking a cab. I prefer the Uber/Lyft option because the cars are usually nicer than cabs, I like getting my receipt emailed to me, and I don’t like fumbling around with my wallet when I have all my bags with me. Another nice option about Uber/Lyft is you can pre-arrange a ride including pre-arranging an Uber/Lyft family ride that includes a car seat. Finally, I just kind of like to follow the map on the app.

Of course Uber is not the only option, New York City offers many options for getting from JFK to the city. We cover all of them, but the size of everything here can be overwhelming so we are here to simplify some of the details.

Avoid the scams

One quick note is you should only use your app to hail an Uber/Lyft and only get in your car at the designated location. There may be drivers offering limo service as you exit baggage claim. Ignore these people. Navigating JFK is pretty easy otherwise.

Finding the Uber/Lyft pickup location at JFK

Generally if you follow signs for “Passenger Pick Up” you will find the ride sharing waiting areas at JFK. The signs are hard to miss, and are usually right across from the taxi stand, but each terminal is a little bit different so we’ll cover a quick visual guide below.

[WPSM_AC id=2837]

But how do I know where to stand?

The apps make hailing an Uber or Lyft easy from JFK airport. Once you exit the baggage claim area, pull up your app and it will not only recognize what terminal you are at but will also give you the option to choose what passenger pick up location you want. Note in the image below, I am standing in passenger pick up D, but you can see pick up location C in the background. Uber and Lyft give you the option to choose whatever zone you want, as you can see from the screen shots I took below.

Ride sharing pickup location at JFK
Uber Pick Up Screen at JFKLyft pick up screen at JFK

Cost of an Uber from JFK airport

The cost of a ride share from JFK airport is 100% variable and there are many factors that go into the calculation. That said, below are ball park estimates of an UberX ride based on plugging in a few known addresses into the app.


Upper West Side$70-$90
Times Square$60-$80
Greenwich Village$50-$70
Financial District$60-$80


Coney Island$30-$50


Pelham Bay$40-$60


Citi Field$30-$40

Staten Island

Staten Island$75-$100

Laguardia Airport


Newark Liberty International Airport

EWR$130 – $150 (including surcharge)

Questions answered about Uber/Lyft from JFK airport

Is it cheaper to take a taxi or Uber in NYC?

Uber/Lyft and Taxis charge using a different rate calculation so the pricing varies. Because of this taxis are cheaper in New York City when traffic is slow, while Uber is cheaper in most other cases. Surge pricing, however plays a major role. As a New Yorker, I can tell you the pricing is nearly identical and evens out in the end. Just take what you prefer.

Is Lyft or Uber cheaper in New York City?

Lyft’s surge pricing is supposedly lower, but as of right now, I just plugged in about 15 different routes and Uber was cheaper on 7 of them, while Lyft was cheaper on 8. Lyft will always show a price that is higher than Uber, but it crosses it out and gives some sort of discount on some routes that makes it cheaper than Uber.

How much should you tip Uber or Lyft drivers in NYC?

Do not tip a ride share driver any less than you would a Taxi driver. A standard tip is between 20% and 30%. The app will give you the option to pick a percentage and do the math for you.

Is there a flat rate for an Uber from JFK to Manhattan?

No. Taxis offer a flat rate from JFK to Manhattan but ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft do not.

Is it rude not to tip an Uber driver?

Yes. Don’t be a scrooge. These folks are not paid that well and the cost of living in NYC is brutal.

Do you sit in the front or back of an Uber?

Just like a taxi, passengers should sit in the back of an Uber, but feel free to ask the driver if it’s OK to sit in the front if you prefer, or if you have 3 or more people.