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Unlimited Metrocard use

Inverness, Scotland
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Unlimited Metrocard use

We're flying into JFK from LHR for a week in May and looking at public transport to get us to our hotel (Newton, UWS).

So far we can see a couple of options:

Airtrain from JFK to Jamaica

LIRR to Penn Station

Subway to hotel

or

Airtrain to Jamaica

Subway to hotel (2 changes)

I understand there is a $5 fare for the airtrain but I can't work out if the unlimited metrocard can be used on the LIRR train?

Is one method better than the other?

And I'm assuming we can buy our metrocard from any station??

We plan to use the subway a lot so again I'm assuming the unlimited card is the best option?

Thanks

Brooklyn, NY
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1. Re: Unlimited Metrocard use

You cannot use the unlimited card on the LIRR. You'll need a separate LIRR ticket. Yes, you'll definitely want an unlimited card. Yes, you can buy your card at any station.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Unlimited Metrocard use

You can buy your metrocard at the Jamaica station when you get off the AirTrain. The 7 days use starts from the first time you use the card. You can't use the card on the Long Island Railroad but you can on the subway. Which option is better is debatable. Neither is seamless getting to your hotel. I don't think the decision lies in price but rather convenience. I would probably take the LIRR for the few dollars more. It's faster than the subway and from Penn station, you can take 2 or 3 train subway and be at the Newton is ~10 mins.

Inverness, Scotland
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137 posts
14 reviews
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3. Re: Unlimited Metrocard use

Ok, just re-read some of the Subway link on the right and have found (I think?) the answer re the metrocard - CAN'T be used on the LIRR!

SO...is it feasible to use the second option of airtrain and two subway stops thus being able to use an unlimited metrocard from the get go (after airtrain obv!)??

How practical is it to use this option with a largish suitcase and cabinbag each?

We're arriving 12.30pm on a Wednesday afternoon and as I believe immigration can take a couple of hours then I guess we'll be starting our journey around 3pm?

Brooklyn, NY
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4. Re: Unlimited Metrocard use

Oh, and I say take the subway. Cheaper than the LIRR and more direct with less backtracking.

Brooklyn, NY
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5. Re: Unlimited Metrocard use

And yes, you can buy your unlimited at Jamaica and then the whole subway portion will be included. It's perfectly doable with bags as long as you can carry them up stairs.

Inverness, Scotland
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137 posts
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6. Re: Unlimited Metrocard use

Thanks guys! You've answered while I was typing lol!

The LIRR option definitely looks quicker and probably slightly easier. The view will be better too I guess.... ;)

Inverness, Scotland
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137 posts
14 reviews
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7. Re: Unlimited Metrocard use

haha BB! Ok I might take the subway now lol!

Brooklyn, NY
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8. Re: Unlimited Metrocard use

It's basically six of one, half a dozen of the other. You can't go wrong either way.

NY NY
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9. Re: Unlimited Metrocard use

Whichever you choose (I'd take the LIRR and get the #2 or #3 subway line at Penn Station), I wanted to clarify one thing about buying the metrocards.

You'll see a bank of metrocard kiosks as you leave the Airtrain at Jamaica. You'll buy your tickets to exit the Airtrain ($5 each). For some strange reason, those kiosks do not sell unlimited cards. So only put enough on a pay-per-ride card to cover your Airtrain. When you go downstairs to the subway level, there are more kiosks, and those sell unlimited-ride cards. Just be sure to keep the cards separate so you don't confuse them, as they look the same. Or just put a mark on one of them.

Inverness, Scotland
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137 posts
14 reviews
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10. Re: Unlimited Metrocard use

Ah ok thanks outofhteinkwell! I wasn't sure about the Airtrain tickets...so do we need a card to cover that fare or can we just pay cash somewhere at the station?

And if we chose the LIRR option, what's the best method of paying for that?

I'm not sure how we'll be returning to JFK for our flight home as yet...we leave on the Wed night at 9.30pm so we have plenty of time to make our way there, so I'm guessing we'll do the journey the same way.