The Subway in NYC is overseen by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) who maintain mass transportation for the whole State of New York.
There are some 468 Subway stations set around the 659 miles of subway tracks of New York City alone. There are 6,344 subway cars.
There are 24 lines servicing the City, so getting around is easy when you understand the network.
Get a Metro Card to use the subway. It’ll bring the cost of a single ride down to $2.50. It’ll cost $1 to buy the card, but when you’ve got it, keep it. You can top it up at machines, with cash, debit and credit cards.
If you’re in NYC for more than a few days, it’s probably worth purchasing the Unlimited Metro Card. The Unlimited card can be bought with a seven day or thirty day option and costs $30 and $112 respectively. There’s still a $1 fee to purchase the card.
MetroCard Vending Machines only dispense up to $8 in change in coins, they can accept up to 30 coins of any type per transaction (the coin slot then closes), and credit/debit card purchases must be above $1.
With the cost of a single ride being as much as $2.75, you’ll need to only make 11 journeys on the Unlimited card to be winning. If you’re in the City for a few days, this will be easy to accomplish!
You’ll need your ticket or Metro Card to enter and exit stations.
With over 6,000 stations throughout the City, you’re not going to be too far from one. Most entrances to subways are on the corners of streets. Most have a green railing and a couple of dome ball shaped lights on posts, if it’s open, the light will be green. If it’s closed or only a part time entrance, the light will be red.
Some entrances are located within private properties, so may not be visible from the street.
Some entrances will only service a particular direction for that station, so check which platform you need. The signs will tell you. Some trains will be ‘express’ and stop at the same platform as the local train. Express trains miss out some stops, so make sure you get on the right train.
There will be a sign on the entrance. The sign will tell you which station it is and which lines it services. It’ll also tell you where the accessible access is located, if available. The signs continue inside and throughout the network. Overhead signs will tell you where your platform is located.
Top Transport Tips
There’s a FREE NYC Subway App and it’s brilliant. It’s basically a Subway map but it’s searchable. It’ll tell you if you need to change, where to change, how many stops you’ll go and give you an ETA. It’s called NYC Subway. Get it.
Wait for passengers to get off before trying to get on. It’ll be easier and there will be more room when you get on.
Wear a backpack at the front or carry it. You’ll avoid being the victim of theft or pick pocketing and you’ll take up less room on the train.
We used the subway non stop when we were in NYC and without hassle. In fact, so far, it’s been the easiest one we’ve used. We felt safe in all stations, but don’t be complacent. You can be the victim of crime anywhere at any time. Keep your valuables with you and know where they are. If something seems odd, trust your instincts. Most stations will also have an attendant in a booth – ask them for help if you need it.
Ryan and Lois