JFK Airport to Debconf venue (Columbia University)
There are various options to get from JFK airport to Columbia University, including car service/taxi, airport shuttle bus, and AirTrain to subway. The cheapest option is AirTrain to (A train) to the (1 train) or M60 bus and costs $7.25, the easiest option is car Service/taxi. Many feel that the most reliable is the AirTrain to the LIRR because it is not affected by traffic or most subway problems.
AirTrain JFK information, call 877-JFK-AirTrain (535-2478)
Travel to/from JFK via AirTrain ($5) and Subway ($2.25) is the cheapest option at $7.25.
You can board the AirTrain at each terminal. Follow the signs marked AirTrain. Take the AirTrain to Howard Beach for Subway or Jamacia for LIRR. You do not pay when boarding at JFK; you pay the fare with a Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard at the end station(Howard Beach or Jamaica). The Pay-Per-Ride MetroCar are available for purchase from MetroCard Vending Machines located near the exit of the AirTrain at both Stations
 Subway at Howard Beach
From the Howard Beach AirTrain terminal, take the (A blue) train in the direction of Manhattan. Almost everyone will be waiting on this side, and its the first side you will encounter when walking from the AirTrain.
You should transfer to an uptown (red 1) train at 59th street-Columbus Circle. Follow signs for the 1 train to "Uptown & the Bronx". These will be a red circle with a white 1 in the middle: . Stay on this train until 116th street-Columbia University. Do not take express trains or , which follow a different route and do not stop at Columbia University; if you do, be certain to transfer at 96th Street to the (1 train) local.
If you need elevator access, stay on the A train (don't transfer to the 1) and instead follow the instructions from Wiki/Debconf10/PennStation about the A train.
 LIRR at Jamaica
The LIRR option is more expensive but a little faster, it might be faster to take the AirTrain to Jamaica, . Another option at Jamaica is to take the Long Island Railroad to Penn Station then to the (1 red) train.
Subway at Jamaica in case you wanted to take the subway but accidentally ended up at Jamaica station. Take the (E Train) toward the World Trade Center to 42nd Street PortAuhority. See the instructions from PortAuhority for more detail on getting to DebConf. Either taking the train or the train.
 Disability access
All AirTrain stations and trains are wheelchair-accessible. The (A blue) train requires a transfer to the M60 bus once you get out on the street. See the instructions from PennStation for more detail. The train does not provide ADA compliant access to Columbia.
 Car Service/Taxi
Ask the driver to drop you off at 116th and Broadway, which are the main gates to Columbia University.
Taxis: $45 flat fare (plus tolls plus tip/gratuity set note below) to any Manhattan location. Taxis are available outside of every terminal and there is typically a taxi stand where you will be directed to a taxi. You may also want to familiarize yourself with the Taxi Rider's Bill of Rights. There is no additional charge for luggage and rates are based per car, not per passenger (up to four passengers). To return to JFK from Manhattan, taxis will charge you the metered rate, plus any applicable tolls. It should not be a problem to get a taxi at JFK. However for your return tip it can be very difficult to get one during rush hour or if it is raining.
Car Service: If you choose to take a car service make a reservation the day before you arrive by phone or online. Two reliable car services are Carmel and Dial7 Car (don't worry that these are also called Limo service). Once you have collected your bags, you call their number, give them your reservation number, and they will meet you outside of baggage claim in their car, which has a sign with your last name. If you do not have a cell phone, you can call their 1-800 number by using a pay phone in the baggage claim. You can obtain this number on their website or by calling them.
 Tips / Gratuity
Taxi drivers: between 10% and 15%. If the service is excellent you can tip more, but if its poor, tip less, or not at all if the driver is downright awful.
Limo or Car Service drivers: between 15% and 20%, which is similar to what you would tip a waiter or waitress at a restaurant.
 Disability access
Both car services and taxis must provide wheel chair accessible cars. However, in terms of cabs, they may not have any at the airport and you might end up waiting a long time for one. In terms of a car service, you will want to call to make the reservation and pre-arrange a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
 JFK Airport Bus
New York Airport Service Express Buses goes to and from JFK and brings you to Penn Station or the Port Authority (8th Ave. and 42 St.), where again you have to switch to subway ($2.25 more) or taxi. You want the one to Port Authority. The buses go every thirty minutes and all trip is about 45 minutes, but usually longer on a way from the airport (be prepared to spend 20-30 minutes to go from one JFK terminal to another to gather people from different terminals).
 Disability Access
It is unlikely that the airport buses provide wheelchair access.
Not recommended for arriving in NYC but could be used leaving from Debconf/NYC. SuperShuttle will pick you up from any location in Manhattan and bring you right to your terminal. That would be probably the most convenient and cost effective way to get to JFK, if you don't have to share the van with 10 other people who you have to pick up on a way from different Manhattan locations. Sometimes takes more than 40 minutes to gather all of them and just get out of the city. And absolutely inconvenient way from the airport, you have to wait more than 30 minutes to be picked up.
 Disability Access
According to their website, they have wheelchair access and a reservation is not required but encouraged. Not all their vehicles are wheelchair-accessible so reserving in advance online or by calling 1-800-BLUE-VAN (1-800-258-3826) is a good idea.