NYC’s subway stem is the biggest in the world but no need to be overwhelmed. The simple step by step approach outlined here will have anyone unfamiliar with it, using it like a native in no time. The video attached is good but the presenter rattles off her information so quickly it’s hard to follow. But after you have read this post watching it is a good way of embedding the steps given. It is also out of date. Earlier this year the cost of a single ride rose from $2.50 to $2.75. All the prices quoted in this post are up to date. So here we go subway……
Get yourself a free map of the system. You can get one at any subway station, just ask a transit worker where, or download one from here MTA Subway Map NYC
use your map to find out something super important about the subway system, how to tell the difference between express and local trains.
Express stops are indicated with a white circle or bar. Local stops are indicated by a black circle or bar.
Do not get on an express train if you want to get off at a local stop. The indicator on the platform will tell you which stops the next train is stopping at.
One of the beauties of the NYC subway system is the capacity to transfer from one line to another to get to where you need to go.
On your subway map a station where you can transer will be indicated with either a white bar or a black bar.
If your map shows a line with several numbers or letters on it you can transfer between these different lines at any station
Before you board a train you need to know whether it is going Uptown or Downtown. A short way to work it out is the Bronx is Uptown and Brooklyn is Downtown. This may be indicated outside a subway station.
Right down at the southern tip of Mnahattan all the streets have individual names. This is the original settlement part of the City.It is Downtown
As soon as you can see 1st street on a map you are into the other part of Manhattan which has numbered streets.
If you hop on at 2nd St and you go to 46th St you are heading north which is uptown.
If you are confused about the right train to catch find a transit worker and ask, they are there to help you.
You cannot travel on the subway without a METRO card. You can buy a METRO card at any station using the machines provided.
It costs an initial $1 to buy a card and then you just load as much money onto it as you want so you don’t have to keep buying individual trips..
A single ride costs $2.75 but there are special deals on getting a 7 day unlimited card, $31, or a 30 day unlimited card, $116.50.
The Airtrain to JFK cost $5.
Once you have your METRO card the next step is to go through the turnstile and onto the platform.
First watch a few people go through, standing off at the side to do so. Watch how they hold their card and the pace at which they walk.
Once you have it down, step up and copy them
Once you are on the platfrom stand well back from the edge of the track. A NYC nightmare is to fall onto the tracks, make sure it is impossible for you to do and you’re safe.
Standing on the platform you will see an electronic board saying which train is coming and the stops it is stopping at.
With your new found knowledge of uptown and downtown if the station number are going from 14th st to 103 St it is going uptown and the reverse also is true.
The train pulls in and you stand back again until passengers getting off have cleared the doorway or congestion occurs.
Step into the train briskly and keep moving towards the center of the carriage looking all the while for a seat to grab.
If there are no seats grab a pole to hang onto so you can steady yourself during your journey.
If you can get a seat do not put a bag or clothing on the seat next to you or if you are a guy, don’t manspread. Both are unfair to other passengers by taking up seats.
Also do not eat very smelly food on the subway, also unfair.
Listen to announcements as you ride along. Each station will be announced as it is coming up.
When you hear your station announced get up and move towards the entrance so you can exit briskly when the train stops.
If you are using an escalator or the stairs at a station stand back frist and work out which is the quick lane and which is the slow one.
Quick lanes are the ones people rushing to work or wanting to catch a specific train.
Before you step onto either choose whether you want to move quickly or more slowly first and then keep pace with the one you choose.
Never run anywhere in a subway station.There are too many places where you can trip or bang into something. There’s always another train. Take it all at a wlking pace.
Never move between cariages on a moving train.
If you are concerned about your safety on a train always pick a carriage with plenty of other people in it.
If there is an empty carriage give it a wide berth. usually this means someone has put something vile smelling in that carraige.
Some subway stations have lights at the ground level entrance.
A green light means the station is open 24hrs.
If there is red light it means the station is closed at night.