5 NYC Subway Tips for Travelers and Newcomers
- Nov 3, 2016
Whether you’ve recently relocated or are in town on a temporary assignment, the subway is one of the quickest and most cost-conscious ways to navigate New York City. Knowing the ins and outs from timing to etiquette will dramatically improve your commute and keep you on your A-game throughout a busy work day. Here are 5 NYC subway tips to consider:
1. Service Status
Visit mta.info for train service status, schedules, fares, maps and more. Never be surprised by a rerouted train again. On the go? Bookmark ‘o you’ll always have a mobile-friendly version to reference.
2. Buying a Metrocard
The MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) provides a few options. The current fare is $2.75 USD which includes any transfers needed to reach your destination. You can add funds to your MetroCard or purchase a 7-Day or 30-Day unlimited card. If you’re going to be in New York City for more than a few days and will need to commute between home and work, it’s usually your best bet to go unlimited—a set amount tends to run out faster than expected. MetroCards can be purchased in every subway station from the MetroCard vending machines or from the station booth.
3. Get Where You’re Going
You’ve swiped your MetroCard and you’re waiting for your train to arrive. What next? Newer trains have illuminated signs that indicate the current and upcoming stops. This makes it easy to see how far you are from your destination and when to exit the train. Beforehand however, download Google Maps or similar apps on your smartphone that include transit directions. Google Maps also provides route options (no transfers, etc.) in addition to clear instructions for traveling to any NYC subway station.
4. Riding the NYC Subway: Train Etiquette
In a nutshell, train etiquette is less about “how you act” and more about “how you react” to others. What do we mean? When the trains are crowded and uncomfortable, it’s easy to become a little irritable. Perhaps it’s not the ideal time to ask a stranger to quit cursing or to force yourself into a tiny seat space between two people. Common courtesy should play a role too—allowing pregnant, elderly or disabled passengers to have a seat, not blocking the car doors, and other niceties go far in having a safe, uneventful ride.
5. Quicken the Commute
Okay, so you’ll only go as fast as the conductor takes you, but there are ways to help pass the time from point A to point B. Listen to new music, catch up on reading, play smartphone games—we’ve seen everything, but those are a few inoffensive ideas to start. Some stations have cellular reception and others have Wi-Fi, so if you’re stuck underground and late to a meeting—you may be able to give them a quick heads up during transit.