NYC’s subway is a joy and wonder. It runs 24/7 and it’s easily the cheapest and easiest way to get around all 5 boroughs. Unless you make the mistake of trying to use it at certain times or choose accommodation close to a subway stop that is always a nightmare to navigate.
The problem has nothing to do with the subway itself, it’s all about the increasing number of people now using it.
First of all NYC’s subway has 5 different service patterns: rush hour, midday, evening, weekend and late night. Each one has it’s own timetable and here’s a quick reference to what you need to know about each one.List of NYC Subway Services
The period you must avoid at all cost or get trampled underfoot is rush hour which runs from 6.30am-9.30am in the morning and 3.30pm-8pm in the afternoon and evening Mon- Fri.
The train lines that are most overloaded are the Lexington Avenue line, the L Trains in Brooklyn and the No. 7 train in Queens. These 3 are always going to be super busy even outside rush hour so beware and don’t take accommodation near them. Amd never go near the 86th Street Station in Upper Manhattan, a nightmare.
The overcrowding on certain lines has definite accommodation implications. When you are working out where to stay in NYC, find out which line train services the nearest subway station to where you are choosing to lay down your head. Do not choose to stay near one of the super crowded ones because that is just going to create a lot of hastle for you to navigate.
The thing is to remember how wonderful the subway is. And the easiest way to do that is to steer yoruself away from the parts of the system that are now all glugged up with too many people trying to travel at the same time.