What's the status of ground transport from LaGuardia Airport into Manhattan now? My last couple of attempts to use the Airporter bus have been absolute disasters -- wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Has it improved? Any other ideas? Is Uber cheaper than a cab?
Looking at all the other answers, this local NYer will give you the definitive answer (if you want ground transportation and not public transport, which I'd recommend instead)... Try to fly into JFK or EWR for the next couple years until LGA's reconstruction gets closer to a close. Until at least 2020+, cabs, Ubers, etc cannot pick you up cubside during daytime hours (until 9p I believe). As such, even to take a cab, you'll still need to hop a bus to the designated part of the airport (the same is true to get a rental car shuttle). Of course, this will all be vastly imrpoved come 2022 or thereabouts, but until then, I'd fly into JFK or EWR for convenience and sanity.
With that said, all cabs and such can drop you off at the terminals, so taking a cab/Uber/Lyft etc TO LGA is the easiest of the three airports.
Point #2, if a $35 cab ride is not in your budget, I'd recommend the subway and bus combo for $2.75. It is much more reliable than a cab (traffic Iis a huge unknown as you know, but subway bus is pretty consistent ly 60 mins from midtown), but has some caveats itself I can share if you wish to know more.
M60 bus is the cheapest. Will lead you to all subway lines basically- west and east in Manhattan. Taxi and Uber etc are still relatively inexpensive and will be quicker for sure.
I usually use Uber because of ease and not having to wait in the cab line.
All you need is a little patience for this to work: LaGuardia to Mid-town:
1) Go up and out to the curb and take the bus to the Long Island subway stop (I think it's Long Island City).
2) Take the subway to Grand Central (42nd and Madison/Lexington).
3) Transfer to the subway you want OR go out and catch a cab.
This will easily save you $30 or more.
Note: The bus may go directly to Port Authority around 30th and 7th.
I'd still recommend a taxi. You can share a taxi with someone once your in the taxi line.
If you're looking for a car company that only locals use, I've got one for you. Queen Huanghou, phone number 718-762-3333. I've been one of their regular customers since 2015. A ride for two people with two carry-on bags from LGA/Terminal C to midtown Manhattan is $28 plus $6 (for the toll). Price depends on the number of people, the number of bags you have and final destination in Manhattan. Give them a call and ask for an estimated price.
This car service company is not for you if:
To get a ride, simply:
1. Call the 24/7 telephone number when you're ready to leave the airport. Let them know which terminal you need to be picked up at. They need the number of people. They work almost like Uber except there's no app and they don't take credit card payments.
2. The driver usually arrives within 20 minutes, and he or she will contact you via telephone to find out where you are.
3. Inside the vehicle, give the driver your address and you're good to go.