These are the easiest airports to reach by public transportation
Getting to and from airports is becoming one of the more time-consuming parts of airline travel. Many cities have begun to pay attention to the links between airports and the city center. These 10 have excellent airport public transportation.
When it comes to getting into the center of a US city you’re visiting from the airport, or getting to the airport for a trip out of town without worrying about parking, a taxi or airport shuttle van springs to mind first for most Americans. However, there are many cities where convenient and very affordable (compared to a cab or shuttle) bus or rail transit options exist that make the city-to-airport trip a breeze. Some are well known, others are hidden gems. Here’s an overview of ways to get to major airports from downtown in the top 10 airports serving US cities (fares listed are as of August 2017 and are full adult one-way fares; discounts are usually available for seniors, children and people with disabilities).
This is a list of the Top 10 Airports reached by public transportation. This list of the busiest airports in the United States comes from Wikipedia. Some of these airports are listed together with other regional airports, as in the case of Los Angeles, Chicago/Milwaukee, and San Francisco.
The other airports which can be easily reached on public transportation can be found on our resource pages.
1. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Take the MARTA Red or Gold Lines (metro rail) from the airport station at the main terminal into downtown (Five Points station is the main transit hub). Runs every 5 to 20 min.
Travel time: 20 min airport to Five Points
2. Los Angeles
• Los Angeles International Airport: Take the FlyAway bus nonstop between the airport terminals and Los Angeles Union Station, Hollywood, Westwood, Van Nuys or Long Beach, or take the Metro G bus from the airport ground transportation center to Aviation/LAX light rail station; the Green Line light rail to Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station, and the Blue Line light rail into downtown (7th Street/Metro Center station).
Travel time: 30 to 50 min Union Station to airport on FlyAway (depending on traffic); 1 hr 15 min on light rail
Fare: $8.00 to $10.00 on FlyAway ($9.75 to Union Station); $1.75 on light rail plus bus
Luggage space: Undercarriage on FlyAway; ample floor space on light rail
• Burbank Bob Hope Airport: Walk across the parking lot from the airport terminal to Bob Hope Airport Metrolink commuter rail station and ride one stop into L.A. Union Station or catch Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner service to San Diego or Santa Barbara. There are also Metro bus connections.
Travel time: 40 min to LAUS on Metrolink
Fare: $6.00 on Metrolink; $1.75 on Metro bus+rail
• Long Beach Airport: Take Metro bus route 104 to Willow Street rail station or 176 to Pacific Coast Highway station and change for the Blue Line light rail into downtown L.A. or downtown Long Beach.
Travel time: 1.5 hrs to downtown L.A.; 50 min to downtown Long Beach.
• John Wayne Santa Ana/Orange County Airport: Take OCTA route 400 or Irvine Shuttle route A from terminal to Tustin Metrolink station; change for Metrolink’s Orange County Line to L.A. Union Station, other points in Orange County or Oceanside to transfer to COASTER train to San Diego.
Travel time: 1 hr 40 min to 2 hrs to LAUS
Fare: $11.00 (bus plus Metrolink)
• Ontario Airport: Take OMNITRANS route 61 from the stop on Terminal Way in front of the terminal to Pomona Downtown Metrolink station; transfer for Metrolink’s Riverside Line to L.A. Union Station, Riverside, San Bernardino or other points.
Travel time: 1 hr 40 min to LAUS
Fare: $1.75 for OMNITRANS plus $9.00 on Metrolink to LAUS
• O’Hare International Airport: Take the CTA Blue Line rail from the terminal into downtown, or take a free shuttle from the terminal to O’Hare Transfer Metra commuter rail station and ride seven or fewer stops on North Central Service into Chicago Union Station (Metra service is not very frequent, but is more comfortable).
Travel time: 1 hour
Fare: $2.25 on CTA; $6.00 on Metra
Midway Airport: Take the CTA Orange Line rail from Midway station (a 15-min walk through a parking garage from the terminal) into the Loop.
Travel time: 40 min
Luggage space: Standard subway cars; ample floor space
• Milwaukee General Mitchell Airport: Take a free shuttle bus to the Milwaukee Airport Amtrak station and take the Hiawatha line (which runs every 2 hours) one stop into downtown Milwaukee or 3 stops to Chicago Union Station.
Travel time: 20 min to downtown Milwaukee; 1 hr 30 min to Chicago
Fare: $25.00 to Chicago; $8.00 to downtown Milwaukee (flat fare regardless of time of booking)
Luggage space: Overhead racks & luggage racks at end of each train car
4. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
DFW Airport: Take the DART Orange Line light rail directly from the airport into downtown Dallas, or take the free connector bus from the airport to CentrePoint/DFW TRE commuter rail station and take TRE to downtown Dallas, downtown Fort Worth or intermediate points.
Travel time: 1 hr 10 min by light rail; 1 hr 35 min by bus plus TRE to Dallas Union Station; 1 hr 20 min to Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center by TRE.
Fare: $2.50 on DART; $5.00 to Dallas or Fort Worth on TRE
Luggage space: Overhead racks; racks on lower level of TRE train cars
Dallas Love Field Airport: Take the DART route 524 bus from the airport ground transportation center to Inwood/Love Field rail station; change for an Orange or Green Line DART light rail train to downtown Dallas
Travel time: 30-35 min
Fare: $2.50, including bus-to-rail transfer
5. John F. Kennedy International Airport
• JFK: Take the A train subway to Howard Beach/JFK station, the E, J or Z subways to Sutphin Blvd/Archer Av/JFK station or Long Island Rail Road (one stop from Penn Station) to Jamaica station to catch the JFK AirTrain monorail to the terminals.
Travel time: 35 minutes (by LIRR) to 1 hour, 15 minutes (by subway) from Manhattan.
Fare: $5 for AirTrain plus $2.75 for subway or $14.00 ($16.00 at rush hours) on LIRR.
• LaGuardia Airport: Take the M60 express bus from Harlem/125th Street station in Manhattan (4, 5 or 6 subway or Metro-North Railroad) or Q70 express bus from 61st St/Woodside station in Queens (7 subway or Long Island Rail Road).
Travel time: About 30 min, depending on traffic, from the rail station to the airport on either bus route.
Fare: $2.75 for the whole trip if done by subway plus bus using MetroCard. $9.00 to $14.00 plus $2.75 if using LIRR or MNRR to connect with the bus.
• Newark Liberty Airport: Take New Jersey Transit from Penn Station to Newark Airport station (3 stops) and transfer to the AirTrain monorail to the terminals.
Travel time: 30 min from Penn Station to the terminals.
Fare: $13.00 (includes $5 add-on for AirTrain)
Luggage space: No designated space; standard subway cars, transit buses & commuter coaches
6. Denver International Airport
Take the RTD University of Colorado A Line regional rail directly from the main terminal to Denver Union Station, in the heart of downtown.
Runs every 15 min.
Travel time: 40 min
Luggage space: Overhead racks & racks at end of each train car
7. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose
• San Francisco International Airport: Take the airport people mover circulator to the BART station and take BART into downtown S.F. or the East Bay, or take BART to Millbrae station to transfer to Caltrain commuter rail for San Jose and Peninsula points. BART runs every 15-20 min. Caltrain runs roughly hourly (more frequently at rush hours). Note: BART from SFO to Millbrae may require a transfer at San Bruno.
Travel time: 50 min SFO to Embarcadero station
Fare: $8.95 on BART from SFO to Embarcadero station; more to East Bay; $4.40 on BART to Millbrae plus Caltrain fare
• Oakland Airport: Take the AirBART elevated people mover between the terminal and the Oakland Coliseum station, where you can catch BART into S.F. or other East Bay points, or catch Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor to San Jose, Sacramento and intermediate points. BART runs every 6-15 min. Capitol Corridor runs every 1-2 hours.
Travel time: 35 min from airport to Embarcadero station
Fare: $10.20 on BART (including AirBART)
• San Jose Mineta Airport: Take the VTA route 10 bus 12 min from the airport terminal to Santa Clara rail station; transfer for Caltrain to downtown San Jose, San Francisco or Peninsula points, or for Amtrak Capitol Corridor to East Bay points and Sacramento.
Travel time: 32 min to downtown San Jose Diridon Station via Caltrain; 1 hr 30 min to 1 hr 50 min to S.F. via Caltrain; 1 hr 35 min to Oakland via Capitol Corridor
Fare: $3.75 to downtown San Jose via Caltrain ($2.00 via bus); $9.75 to S.F. via Caltrain; $19.00 to Oakland Jack London Square via Capitol Corridor (VTA bus is $2.00; Amtrak is $17.00)
8. Seattle–Tacoma International Airport
Take the Sound Transit Central Link Light Rail from Sea-Tac Airport station (a lengthy walk across a parking garage from the terminal) into downtown Seattle, or take a Sound Transit route 574 express bus to Tacoma Dome station near downtown Tacoma. Light rail runs every 10 min; buses run roughly half-hourly.
Travel time: 50 min to downtown Seattle on light rail; 1 hour to Tacoma on bus.
Fare: $2.50 on light rail; $2.75 on express bus
9. Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Take CATS route 5 bus from the terminal to the Charlotte Transportation Center in Uptown, where you can connect to LYNX light rail, streetcar and all other bus routes. Runs every 20 min.
Travel time: 35 min
10. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Take the PHX Sky Train free people mover between the terminals and the airport ground transportation center and connect to Valley Metro light rail at 44th & Washington Sts for a 4-6 stop ride into downtown Phoenix or 3 stops to downtown Tempe.
Travel time: 30 min
Luggage space: Overhead racks
I am a writer, researcher, multimedia communications professional, and photo/videographer.
I am focused on achieving sustainable economic development and human-scaled communities through a robust multi-modal transportation system centered around a network of high-performance local, regional, and inter-regional passenger trains and frequent and reliable rail transit (streetcars, light rail, commuter rail and subways/metros).