The iconic New York subway is probably the most famous public transport system in the world. You've seen it in movies, on TV, and when you get to New York yourself, it's the easiest way to get around all five boroughs and more. In many ways, it's the most quintessential subway system in the world—the most ideal of its kind. However, it is an undeniably large subway system and because of that, it's easy to get confused when riding it. So how do you ensure that nothing goes wrong with your commute here? Follow these useful tips!
Buy An Unlimited MetroCard
A great way to save time and money is to purchase an unlimited Metrocard. It's practically a must for one to buy this sort of travel pass when it comes to public transport
. In New York, metrocards are the train passes you use to get to the New York subway. A single-ride metrocard costs $2.75, which means if you don't have an unlimited one, you'll have to pay this amount every time you use the subway. Meanwhile a 7-day unlimited metrocard costs $33.00 while a 30-day unlimited pass costs $127.00 (with $63.50 reduced fare). Think how much time and money you saved by getting any of the two!
Always Have Change
Imagine this scenario: you're rushing off to work and you're heading to the subway. When you reach into your bag or pocket, you realize that your metrocard isn't there. You probably forgot it at home on the kitchen table or something. Anyway, because of this, you have to buy a new single-ride metrocard since you also don't have enough money to buy an unlimited pass. In this instance, it pays to have some loose change on hand. As already mentioned, single-ride metrocards cost $2.75 each. If you don't have some coins with you, you'll have to go out of your way to make change. In the end, you wasted time and money.
Know What The Green & Red Globes Mean
You might not notice since you're probalby rushing to catch the next train but if you look at the subway stations on the street, there are some that feature green blobes atop the posts and others, red globes. You probably think they're just for decoration but they're not. Green globes mean that the station you're entering stays open 24/7. Conversely, the red globes mean that the station will close at night. Moreover, entrances with red globes are also actually signs that they're exits, not entrances. But, of course, the rush hour crowd in New York ignore this. So just remember that, at night, you ought not to enter a subway station with red globes on the posts.
Remember The Letters & Numbers
When it comes to choosing a specific train to board, don't refer to the colors on the map—which usually only signify their routes—but instead, remember their letters and numbers. At least, that's how New Yorkers do it. Remember that New York city has a ton of different districts
divided into the five boroughs, many of the trains may stick to one color, making it easy for you to distinguish which one you have to take to get to your destination. But eventually, these trains separate and go into other colors, making it all the more confusing for you.
Rely on a Transportation App for Help
To say that you'll need help in navigating the New York subway is an understatement. There are even those that have lived in the city for decades yet they still haven't mastered riding the subway. In this regard, don't be afraid to take out your phone and use a transportation app
to assist you. Specifically, journey-planning programs like Citymapper or Moovit. These apps won't just show you the map of the subway and the nearest station, but it will also give you options on which train to take, how long it'll take for you to reach your destination, and the like.
Take Care of Your Belongings
This probably goes without saying but when you take the subway, always take care of your belongings. As much as possible, keep them close to you and be aware if you feel like something is missing. This isn't to say that pickpocketing in the subway is that big of an issue. On the contrary, according to New York's crime rate
, there's a bigger chance you'll get robbed on the street rather than on the train. But in any case, pickpocketing in the subway does happen. And when it gets crowded here during rush hour, it'll be harder to find the culprit. It's better for you to take better care of your stuff instead!
Avoid Eye Contact
As far as stereotypes go, the one about New Yorkers being unfriendly is close to the truth. This isn't to say that all of the locals here have bad attitudes or that you wont' feel welcome in the city at all. But more often than not, New Yorks prefer you stay out of their business. Many of them are stressed, rushing to where they need to be, and simply have no time for others. Most of the time, it's to the point that even making unnecessary eye contact, whether accidentally or otherwise, can incite violent reactions. In any case, you're better off avoiding eye contact while inside the subway, especially during rush hours!
The very famous New York subway system travels to all five boroughs of the city and the different districts in each one. Navigating it will be challenging, especially if it's your first time here. So as to not lose your way, here are a few tips to help you out!
Just remember that mastering how to ride the New York subway will get you back to your luxury home
in no time!