With everything there is to do in New York City, it’s important to know the best way to get around town. With one of the most efficient public transportation systems in the world, the NYC subway is by far the best way to plan a trip and not to mention the cheapest. If you’re from out of town, the subways can be quite overwhelming, but here are a few pointers that will have you riding the subways like a native New Yorker!
Subways serve most of Manhattan and the outer boroughs so anywhere you want to go, there is a subway line that will take you there (map). Just purchase a Metrocard from any subway station and off you go!
There are many options when buying a Metrocard. A single ride (one-way) will run you $2.25 but if you plan on spending a full day traveling to multiple areas of the city, definitely purchase the “One Day Fun Pass”. It will allow you to ride the train for a complete 24 hours all for $8.25. Click here for a list of all fare options and pricing.
One of the greatest things about NYC subways is that they run at anytime during the day or night. Subways typically run every 2-5 minutes during rush hour, every 5-15 minutes during the day and approximately every 20 minutes from midnight until 5 a.m.
Now that you have the facts, here are some tips to riding the train!
Know Where Your Going
To get you from one place to another, a good resource is HopStop. This website allows you put in your start and end destination and will give you detailed subway directions.
Finding a Subway Station
Typically stations are located on street corners. Stations marked with a large green ball means that you can buy a MetroCard inside; if a station is marked with a red ball, you need to already have a MetroCard to enter.
Look at the signs BEFORE you swipe
At many Subway stations, there are separate entrances for trains running uptown and downtown. Once you swipe your card, you can’t get a refund, so be sure to check the sign to make sure you’re swiping your card at the right entrance.
Hold On Tight
If you don’t get a seat, make sure you find a pole to hold when the train begins to move. It can get a bit unsteady when starting and stopping and if you’re not hanging on, you could take a fall.
Don’t Lean on the Poles
This is personally a pet peeve of mine (and many New Yorkers). Just because you’re tired, it doesn’t mean it’s alright to lean up against a pole in the subway car. When someone leans on the poles, it makes it difficult for other folks to hold on and, well, its just inconsiderate.
Keep Your Bags (and Your Feet) Off the Seats
Would you put your feet on your seat at home? Probably not. The subways can fill up fast, so keep your feet and other belongings on your lap or on the floor between your feet so that other riders can take a seat.
Don’t Block the Doors
When trains are crowded, it is important to move to the center of the subway car to make room for other riders. Standing by the door even if you move to the side makes it difficult for people getting on and off the train.