New York City is always so busy and for an outsider, it may seem a bit difficult to get around. Between buses, subways, taxis, (and maybe the occasional Uber!) there are plenty of options to travel around the city. Here is a simple New York City guide to transportation, useful to tourists and native New Yorkers alike.
The train is the easiest way to transport around the city. There are over 20 subway lines that can take you anywhere from the South Ferry to Harlem! Near almost every major attraction, a subway station is nearby.
The trick to mastering the subway is the plan ahead. Use apps such as Citymapper and Transit App which will help guide you where to go. Or, use my favorite – Google maps! The iPhone also now has a feature in its map app that includes subway lines, which is extremely helpful.
To ride the subway, you must use your MetroCard. A single ride ticket is $2.75. If you plan on staying in New York for a week or more, I’d recommend getting the 7-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCard ($31) or 30-Day pass Unlimited Ride MetroCard (116.50.) It will save you both time and money if you plan on using the train as your method of transportation! The MTA website even has a “Get the Best Value” Guide breaking down the numbers.
Buying a new MetroCard also requires a $1 fee.
The same rules apply for the bus with the MetroCard. If you are planning a longer trip to New York City, or you know you’ll be needing the bus and/or train a handful of times, the Unlimited Ride cards are your best bet. A plus to the bus, is that they accept MetroCards and exact change ($2.75!) If you find yourself low on your fare, collect your coins and pay. Express buses cost $6.50 per ride.
The bus is useful but remember, it can take you longer because it travels with traffic. Plan accordingly. Most stops have a code which will tell you how many stops away the bus is.
Tip: Transfers between the two methods of transportation (bus and train) on one ticket is free as long as its 2 hours after the swipe on your MetroCard!
Although more expensive, taxis are a classic New York City staple. Tolls are extra and added to the metered fare. Most taxis accept credit cards and all accept cash. Minimum metered fare is $2.50, and tipping is expected.
A bike is an ecofriendly way to get around the city. Citi Bike is New York City’s bike-sharing system, with thousands of bikes available at hundreds of locations 24/7, 365 days a year. Daily and weekly passes are available, but you are also able to rent bikes for a half day as well. You are able to unlock a bike at any station, ride wherever you want and check in the bike at any other station.
- If you are planning on traveling around the boroughs and neighborhoods a number of times over a period of time buy the value Metro Card pack! It will save you both money and time.
- Use Google Maps and other Apps to help you navigate, again this will save you a lot of time.
- Read the signs on the train platforms. They will state which direction the trains are heading.
- Don’t be afraid to ask train conductors, taxi drivers, and bus drivers for directions.