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Transportation

Uber Copter Will Only Make New York Transit Worse

The ride-hailing company’s plan to offer Manhattan-to-JFK helicopter shuttles overshadows the public-transit alternative that would help many more travelers.
A customer waits for his Uber helicopter in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where, in 2016, Uber held a monthlong trial of the service. Uber plans to begin offering Uber Copter rides in New York City in July 2019.
A customer waits for his Uber helicopter in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where, in 2016, Uber held a monthlong trial of the service. Uber plans to begin offering Uber Copter rides in New York City in July 2019.Andre Penner/AP

There are three ways to get from Manhattan to the city’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. All of them are pretty bad.

First, there’s the subway: You can take the A or E out to eastern Queens, and then hop on the AirTrain. It’ll cost you $7.75, and take an hour, but delays are common. Then there’s commuter rail: Take the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) from Penn Station to the Jamaica terminal, then AirTrain it, which is $15.75 at rush hour, or $9.50 on weekends, and cuts the time down to about 35 minutes, plus the 15-minute AirTrain ride. Finally, you can take four wheels: A cab, private shuttle, or for-hire vehicle can cost up to $100 during surge pricing and take anywhere between 45 minutes and two hours, depending on the status of New York City’s record-high congestion.