Take the Train to the Plane: The Top 10 Easiest to Get to Airports/Cities in the U.S.

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The Leonardo Express in Rome is favored by locals and visitors alike.

The Leonardo Express in Rome is favored by locals and visitors alike.

Minneapolis/St. Paul International. The Twin Cities offers passengers light rail access from the airport. The system can Trains run far less frequently after midnight.

Philadelphia International. SEPTA operates trains that stop at all major terminals at the airport. They reach Center City in approximately 25 minutes, with one intermediate stop. Service is available seven days a week between 5 a.m. and midnight, and costs $2.25.

Portland International. The city’s Metropolitan Area Express or MAX Red Line light rail system stops at the airport’s south baggage claim area. The trip between the airport and downtown Portland takes 38 minutes for a $2.50 fare. Hours of operation are 4:45 a.m. (the time the first train arrives at PDX) through 11:50 p.m. (the last departure from the airport).

The AirTrain at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York

The AirTrain at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York

San Francisco International. SFO’s AirTrain is accessible from all terminals and runs 24 hours a day with no charge for carriage. To access downtown, get off at the Garage G/BART station, and take the Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, north for12 stops (approximately 30 minutes). The BART fare is pricey, however, at $8.95, and the system is open from 4 a.m. through midnight.

Washington Reagan National. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, or Metro, is open from 5 a.m. (7 a.m. on weekends) through midnight, and takes riders straight from the airport to downtown Washington, D.C. in approximately 25 minutes. Unlike a majority of systems, fare for the D.C. Metro is distance-based, although riders can expect a fare of $2.65 for a ride downtown.

Honorable Mention: John F. Kennedy International. Despite its highly-publicized “Take the train to the plane” JFK Express service, which took travelers from midtown Manhattan to the airport in one hour for $3.50 (albeit with a transfer to a bus at the end) between 1978 and 1990 and was as well known for its jingle as for the service offered, New York City lacks direct connections to its airports. Since 2003, however, travelers have been able to take a combination of subway (the A train to or from Howard Beach or the E, J, Z or Long Island Railroad to Jamaica Station and the AirTrain, which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for a $5 fare. The AirTrain also operates between JFK’s many terminals at no charge.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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