Welcome to Travel Tips Tuesday! Thanks for joining this weekly travel carnival. Please stick around and check out the travel tips from bloggers around the globe, and even add your own.
Not only is the subway the most economical and quickest way to get around New York City, it is also essential to the getting the full New York experience. For first time riders, the network of 26 trains (largest in the world) crisscrossing the map can be daunting, but with a few simple steps, it’s easy to navigate the system like a local.
Step One: Get a Map
The best way to tackle the New York City Subway system is to know where you want to go and the best way to get there, and that means looking at a map. Pocket sized subway maps can be purchased as the subway station, and at most drug stores or convenience stores in the city. You can also download an App like Embark NYC Subway to use as your subway map. Whatever your method, study the map before you get to the subway and have a good idea of where you are going. If you don’t have a portable subway map, large maps are posted at each subway station.
Step Two: Pick the Right Train
Determine the nearest station to your current location and the nearest station to your intended destination. Be aware that not all trains stop at every station, even if the trains are on the same line. Open circles on the map show that all trains on the line stop at the station, while a darkened circle indicates that only local trains will stop at the station. Listen for the conductor to state whether you are on a local or express train when you board.
Step Three: Buy a Card
Metrocards are required for riding the subway and can be purchased at the station with cash from the attendant, or using debit, credit or cash from the automated kiosk. Metrocards can be loaded with cash that will be automatically deducted from the balance on the card with each use. There are also unlimited use cards that can be purchased at the same machines and are ideal for tourists who will be sightseeing. Note that the unlimited Metrocard can only be used by one person and does not work on the NJ Path Subway lines.
Step Four: Use your Ticket
Swipe your Metrocard at the turnstile with the blackstrip towards the left. If you are traveling with a wheeled bag, suitcase, or wheelchair alert the attendant to open the gate to let you pass.
Step Five: Find your Train
Follow the signs to reach the platform, keeping in mind that most train lines travel both uptown and downtown. Remember to travel north, you need to go uptown and to travel south, you need to go downtown. The S and L trains travel east and west.
Step Six: Board the Train
Subways run 24 hours a day, seven days a week at a varied frequency. Expect trains to arrive every 2 to 5 minutes during rush hour and every ten minutes during the day. The frequency of trains will slow down after midnight. When the train arrives, wait for the departing passengers to get off the train and then board.
Keep on traveling with Tips for Using the London Underground