Getting around New York State


JetBlue ( is the primary domestic carrier offering affordable air travel within the state of New York. The airline offers flights between JFK and Buffalo (BUF), Rochester (ROC), Saranac Lake (SLK), and Syracuse (SYR).

Air notes

JetBlue regularly adds new destination cities; check its website for new service.

Flight times

Flights within the state are typically under one hour.

Air passes

JetBlue does not offer air passes all year, but once a year it typically offers a time-limited air pass that allows unlimited flights for a specific period.

Departure tax



Most interstates have toll roads and all bridge and tunnel approaches into New York City have tolls. If your car does not have an EZ-Pass unit, you will need to make sure you are in the lane accepting cash payments. Note that most rental car agencies provide EZ-Pass units inside their vehicles, but levy a surcharge for their use. You can opt to keep the unit closed and pay cash.

Side of road
Road quality

Roads throughout New York State are typically safe and well-maintained.

Road classification

Streets and roads in towns and cities are typically maintained by local authorities. Interstates are managed and maintained by state and federal authorities.

Car hire

All major US rental car agencies have branches at New York City's airports. Most regional airports also have car rental services. State law requires that renters hold a valid driver's license. They must be at least 18 years of age; however, renters under the age of 25 may be charged an additional fee, which is not standard or set by the state. Additional drivers are allowed if they meet the license and age requirements, and they may be charged up to US$3 per day.


Yellow taxis are ubiquitous in New York City and may be hailed on the street. All taxis must use a meter. All taxis are now equipped with machines allowing passengers to pay with a credit or debit card.

Outside of New York City, taxis are not as ubiquitous, nor as easily identifiable. In many towns, you will need to call a local taxi company to request service. Your hotel concierge or front desk can provide contact information for local companies.


New York is increasingly bike-friendly, especially in New York City, which has a growing number of bike lanes. By law, riders must move with the flow of vehicular traffic and use bike lanes if they are available. Riding on the sidewalk is not permitted, nor is cycling on the Interstate.


Greyhound (, Peter Pan (, and Trailways ( are the three major companies operating between cities within New York State. Budget buses such as Fung Wah, Vamoose, BoltBus, and megabus offer affordable service between major cities in the northeastern US.


Seat belt use is required throughout the state of New York. Mobile phones may not be used while driving. Speed limits, designated in miles per hour, vary by road type and area; look for posted signs for prevailing limit.

Breakdown service

Your rental car agency should provide you with instructions for requesting breakdown service. Ask about this at the time of rental.


You will need to present a valid driver's license to rent and/or drive a car in the state of New York.

Getting around towns and cities

New York City has one of the world's oldest, busiest, and most renowned public transportation systems, and while busy, it is easily navigable with a map and unlimited Metrocard. The city's public transportation system consists of an extensive network of buses and subway trains. Free maps are available in stations and online at

Outside New York City, public transportation is limited and towns and cities tend to have car-centred cultures, much like most other cities and towns in the US.


Trains are an excellent way to travel around New York State. MetroNorth, Long Island Rail Road, and Amtrak originate and terminate in New York City. Service extends across the state.

Rail passes

Amtrak offers rail passes in 15-, 30- and 45 day increments; prices vary. Check the website for current information.

By water

Water-based transport is an increasingly popular way to get around New York. In New York City, the Water Taxi ( has been expanding routes and frequency of service.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.