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City Guides


Sep 17, 2015

Tips for Riding the NYC Subway

The New York City Subway system will get you where you need to go, but it’s not perfect. Trains can be slow and crowded; stations are sweltering during the summer; disgruntled passengers will voice their discomfort; and so forth. Push through the inconveniences and you’ll find the subway system is a practical way to navigate Manhattan and the outer boroughs. You’ll beat bumper-to-bumper traffic, avoid awkward cab interactions and save money too. So the next time you’re planning to hop on the train, remember these few tips for improving your subway commute.

Know Where You’re Going in NYC

Whether you’re a regular to The Big Apple or a first time visitor, mapping out your subway route beforehand will spare a headache.  Consider direction of travel, transfers needed to reach your destination, reroutes and delays. Visit the MTA’s official website for up to date information. Newer subway cars provide illuminated indicators signaling upcoming stops so it’s almost certain you’ll get off at the correct one. For older cars, it’s important to listen closely to conductor announcements to hear what’s next. If you need assurance on the train, it’s acceptable to ask a friendly neighbor. Knowing the stop before yours will familiarize yourself with the commute and provide time to prepare your belongings.

Passing the Time on Subways in New York

One stop or fifteen, the objective is the same—efficiently traveling from point A to B. Think of ways to pass the time. Listen to a new song or read the next chapter of your novel. MTA advises keeping electronics out of sight, so think about storing your music device in your purse or front pocket. We’ve seen knitters knit and teachers grade papers—so do whatever works for you and respects your fellow passengers.

Practice Train Etiquette

To ensure a more pleasant commute, be mindful of etiquette rules. When trains are hot, packed and slow, everyone’s on edge. Keep to yourself and avoid confrontation for your own and others safety. It’s not a wise time or place to ask a stranger to refrain from using curse words. Remember, point A to B. Always allow pregnant, elderly or disabled individuals to take your seat. It’s the right thing to do. When going up or down escalators and stairs, notice naturally formed slow and fast lanes. This rule isn’t denoted, but serves as an unspoken form of efficiency and etiquette among city dwellers.

Minimize Your NYC Commute by Getting to Know NYC Neighborhoods

Check out our NYC neighborhood tips to get a better understanding of NYC neighborhoods and their surroundings. After you learn a bit more about where you want to be in the city, explore our short term rentals in Manhattan to find one that’s most convenient for your stay, or explore short term rentals in Jersey City that provide for a more direct commute to midtown, or lower Manhattan.

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