“ The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system owned by the City of New York and leased to the New York City Transit Authority, an affiliate of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as MTA New York City Transit. Together with its bus operations, it is one of the most extensive public transportation systems in the world, with 468 reported passenger stations. There are 656 miles (1056 km) of revenue track, and a total of 842 miles (1355 km) including non-revenue trackage. Though it is known as "the subway", implying underground operations, about 40% of the system runs on above-ground right-of-way (the system is almost entirely underground in Manhattan, as well as portions in the other boroughs), including steel or cast iron elevated structures, concrete viaducts, embankments, open cuts and surface routes. All of these construction methods are completely grade-separated from road and pedestrian crossings, and most crossings of two subway tracks are grade-separated with flying junctions. „
I was lucky and won a trip to The Big Apple Air fare and lodging was provided. As I had only to worry about spending money and transportation we opted to use the Subway as our means of transportation. I had no idea what to expect as where I am at we are lucky if the buses run on time let alone run at all.
When we arrived in New York City and checked into our hotel the first thing we wanted to do was explore so off we went to look for a subway entrance. As our hotel was in Lower Manhattan they were pretty much on every street corner we crossed. Lucky for us we were only a block away from the Lower Manhattan hub and we went down to find a way to get our Metro Cards. As the side that we went down was not a manned entrance all that they had was a vending machine to purchase our cards from. I can not remember the price of the card in the vending machine but we did not have change or small bills and the machine would not give us all the change we had coming back so we would have lost a few dollars. We opted to leave that side and wait till the next morning to find a manned counter to buy our metro cards at.
The next morning we got up early and asked a random stranger that was going down into the sub way where a manned counter was he directed us and we were on our way after buying our Metro cards. The first time you use your card its kind of weird as you have to swipe your card through a reader then walk through the turnstile not leaving your card behind when you go. After the first time through and realizing that the reader did not read my card and having to reswipe it we were off on our adventure to Central Park and Times Square.
We thought that we would stop at Times Square and walk down to enter Central park once on the train we asked people where we needed to get off to get the best view of Times Square. There were probably 10 people that wanted to help and they all had different opinions, soon they were all talking loudly among themselves about what was the right way to go. Needless to say we just kind of hung out and listened to what they were saying then this nice lady said to us "don't worry you will learn that in New York we all have our own idea about what is the best way to go and we are very vocal about it. I laughed it off and seen that she was right we opted for the main Times Square Stop.
When we got off the train I thought it was so cool to see all the art along the walls as well as all the people coming and going it truly is an amazing place. There were performers set up performing and the whole thing was really just amazing. As we walked up the stairs I noticed that there were businesses along the stairs up tucked into little holes in the walls really. Not even what we would call a store where I am from. Then it dawned on me that the sub way system in New York City is a city all to its self below the surface.
I always expected the subways to be dirty and filled with bums begging for money or criminals robbing me. Every time I got on the sub way that was the first thing that came to mind but after spending several days on the sub way nothing like that ever happened to me. As a matter of fact I have met some life long friends while riding the subway. The people were super nice and went out of their way to help.
The best part of the whole trip was the fact that I was able to use my metro card the whole time I was in New York City even to ride the bus to the airport. I can't wait to get back to the city and share all that I learned with my daughter.
The subway in NYC is their equivalent of the tube. It is, however, a bit different from the underground. Number one, the biggest difference, is that it's a bit more difficult to find your way round. The subway is not quite so easily laid out and use numbers and letters for the lines, which I think is a bit harder to remember than names. Also, the subway was a private enterprise and you will often find there are several lines between certain destinations (because they were profitable) and none between others! However, get a map and learn the basic structure of the city's streets and you should you get it! I lived in NYC for four months and I was a pro by the end, but did once accidentally end up in Brooklyn! Be careful when getting on express trains - they only stop at main stations, so may miss the one you wanted to get off at. There are uptown and downtown trains - check you're on the right one!
The subway is not as clean as the tube in my opinion but I always felt pretty safe - a tip is to stand in the middle of the platform where the guard is if you're concerned.
There are plenty of stations so you won't have far to walk and the trains are usually air-conditioned - NYC is very hot and humid during the summer. It's cheaper than the tube - just a couple of dollars for one ride, get a metrocard and it will work out cheaper, if you're going to use it a lot.
The New York Subway system is a great way to travel around the great city. It is very easy to use and cheap for what you get.
I visited NYC twice last year, once in the winter months and again in the summer months.
In the winter months, it was good to get out of the cold and rain. The main station we used was 42nd Street, which is near enough on Times Square. It is a very big station and if you don't keep your wits about you, very easy to jump on the wrong train. However, it doesn't take a genius to work out how to use it.
There were several entrances into this station and most stations I stopped at or got on had a few entrances. Once underground, you have to get a Metrocard to be able to go through the turnstiles to the platforms. There are several options for tickets to get, ranging from 7 day passes to single use tickets. The single use ticket cost us $2 for each ride. We did not get any passes as we didn't know how much we would use the subway (In the end we walked pretty much every where, so saved us some money).
You can either get your ticket from a machine, much like the London Underground machines. Simply use the touch screen to select the style of ticket you require and then pay the amount required. They do have 2 types of machine, so make sure you go to the one best suited for your needs. They are one's that only accept cash and others that accept both cash and cards. You don't want to stand in a queue for a ticket to find you have queued at the wrong machine.
Once your ticket is purchased, you go to the turnstiles and swipe your Metrocard through the swipe bit and the turnstile will unlock for you. Sometimes you have to swipe a couple times to get it to work.
At a main station like 42nd Street, you can choose from several lines and platforms for where you want to go. The routes are numbers and letters, but having just discussed it with the wife, we cannot remember any particular pattern as to how the routes work. You can choose between going on a local train or an express train. The local train stops at every station on that line, where as the express only stops at a few stations.
You distinguish whether you are going North or South by going Uptown or Downturn, very simple.
I found the subway to be busy during rush hour as you would expect, but then it was pretty quiet any other time of the day. When we did use it, we did try to avoid rush hour and always got a seat to sit on, which has never happened on the London underground.
If in any doubt about where to go and what line to get on, you can grab a free subway map at any station you stop at and in the tourist centres.
I would certainly recommend the subway for people, but I much preferred walking.
Price has now changed and is $2.25 for a single ride.
The New York City subway covers nearly all of the boroughs, apart from Staten Island (see Staten Island Ferry). It runs all day every day, although in the evening the trains are less frequent.
The subway is made up of a number of lines that are either represented with a number or a letter (unlike London). Where a station has more than one different numbered train stopping at it (i.e. the lines cross) you may make a free transfer between trains, to enable you to get to your destination.
The Main Entrances to all the subways are always open, however, smaller side entrances may close at certain times of the night at small stations. When you enter a subway station you will find, in most cases a token booth (usually manned by an unhelpful mta employee!), ticket machines, where you can purchase your Metrocards and pay with cash or cards, and the turnstiles that take you through to the platforms. There is also a huge map of the subway system so you can check you're on the right track (literally!), if you want your own subway or bus map, the clerk has these in the booth -- they are available for free.
You will need to purchase a MetroCard before going through the turnstiles. These are available in different formats depending on how often you will use the subway and how long your stay is - I've always used the $25 7 day pass (even when only going for 4 days) as I find that I use the subway a lot! More information on the fares available can be found here: http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/mta/09/
Once you have purchased your metrocard you swipe it at the turnstile and you should be able to go through. If the machines says swipe again do so a little quicker but if it keeps on saying this see the person at the token booth in case there's a problem with the card.
Some turnstiles at smaller station take you straight out on the platform, others involve stairs and walking. Some stations, for example 42nd Street have a lot of platforms so make sure you follow the signs to the right one and double check once you're on the platform by looking above you where overhead they have signs. Remember uptown is North (towards Harlem) and downtown is South (towards the financial district)
The NYC Subway systems aren't known by colours but by numbers or letters. There are also express as well as local trains. An express train will skip certain stations and generally only stops at the major ones, the local train will stop at every station on that line. Make sure you are on the correct train. As the train pulls in to the station there is a circle by the front drivers window with the number/letter of the train on it, it is also displayed on each carriage. If you are unsure shout out, New Yorkers, despite their reputation are very friendly and helpful - just shout in to the carriage does this go to 42nd (or wherever) and you'll normally get a reply. If you get on the wrong train dont panic just get off at the next stop and go back again.
I've travelled on the subway by myself (female) and with others and have never felt unsafe, you do get a lot of homeless people riding on them but they never both you and you often get entertains who again will do their piece, come around with a collection tin and then move on - again they never hassle you. Be aware that there aren't many stations that have lifts or escalators so if you are disabled and or are travelling with children by yourself then the bus may be a better option. A subway map which highlights the disabled friendly stops can be found here: http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/nyct/maps/submap.htm
To plan your route check out www.hopstop.com which if you enter your starting and finishing destinations will work out which subway (or bus) routes you need to take.
One last thing is look out for the subway art - and I'm not talking graffiti. Art work can be found in many stations - here's a link for further information: http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/artwork My favourite is Life Underground at 14th Street and 8th Avenue Station.
It seems to be that the majority of visitors to New York are apprehensive about using the underground.I see this as a great pity as it is an excellent means of transport and certainly adds to the quintessential New York experience. It's very similar to the London underground and, using it extensively I never had any safety concerns,although after 11pm I used the buses (very convienent in Manhattan as the bus routes just go up and down the avenues no weaving up and down quiet streets) Local and express stops do exist and that may make things more complex,although the majority of the partial stops are generally unlikely to be the sort of places that the typical visitor is going to use. Generally a local train stops everywhere and an express train only stops at the large stations The area that the subway covers is huge-, it's more a train network than an underground system- and like most 'underground' systems it also spends a lot of it;s time'overground', giving you a more interesting view that the dank subway walls. The routes are identifiable by a combination of letters and numbers- as you can only get on some routes at some stations the identifier is placed outside the subway entrance. Be careful though, sometimes you find that even though it looks like a train passes through somewhere you mignt find that a particular enterance only deals with one direction. The other entrance could be some way off. Also remember that even though it may appear that the lines cross at a station you are unlikely to hop off one line and onto another- some of the transfers are a bit of a hike, especially around Times Square. it will cost you $1.50 for each journey,although I would recommend the one day fun pass which can be bought at the majority of major stations and touristy shops($4 a day) A metro card is good if
you are going to be there for a week of more. if you are at a deserted station, there is a yellow area- like a big painted yellow square where you are visible to the train staff. there's also usually help phones around there too. The best bit is often the free entertainment, lots of buskers hang out in the subways station which can be excellent, and very cheap entertainment
In my opinion the fastest and best way to get around New York City is to buy a metro card from the Subway, the card is just $4 and with that you can ride the subway and the bus all day – its simple just go to the subway and get them from the machines. Your Metro card comes with a little pocket thing to put it in which opens out as a subway map, easy to find you’re way around. The subway can be a little intimidating, but if you keep your wits about you and make sure you don’t get on the wrong side of people you’ll get on fine. We went on the subway as a group of 18 and whenever we got on a train there were amble room for us all, the whole subway seems to be bigger and much better than the underground back in London. Riding the subway I felt quite safe, at the rush hour you usually find that police patrol the subway, but I wouldn’t ride the subway at night because it can get quite dangerous. Some advice; try not to make eye contact with people or stare at people, don’t use the toilets at the stations as they are said to attract drug pushers even if there attendants there. In my opinion though I do think that the subway is the best way to travel around New York, its very cheap, easy and safe. There are stations everywhere, stations are a bit dirty but that’s New York for you.
One of the largest and most complex subway systems in the world - 714 miles of track and 468 stations, the subway is one of the quickest, cheapest ways to get around NYC and contrary to popular belief, generaly safe. Basic fare $1.50. Buy tokens or metro cards at the kiosk or vending machines near the turnstiles. Metrocards are also sold in many area stores. There are various options for unlimited travel on the subway and local busses, all of which include free transfers. The fun pass, 4$, is good for 1 day, metro cards for 7 or 30 days are $17 and $63 respectively. There are express and local trains; it is very important to know which you have to take to reach your destination. Since the whole system is very badly marked, alertness and a venturesome spirit are prerequistes. Women alone should avoid using the subway at night. 'Off-hour waiting areas,' visible to the clerks at all times are marked by yellow signs which usually hang from the ceiling.
Although I spent 9 weeks in Manhattan I only used the Subway towards the end of my stay. One of the reasons was that it's a very imposing thing to experience. The actual subway map can be hard to figure out to someone who is new to the whole thing but it's actually quite easy once you understand it. The fare is a standard $1.50 which can get you from one end of Manhattan to the other or even out of the island into the suburbs if you so wish. It's incredibly fast as well. There are some problems though if you're not familiar with New York. The problems being that everybody is in a hurry and doesn't seem to want to stop and help the tourist. My experience with the staff was on the whole negative as well. One time I wanted to get from E29th to Cristpher St on the lower west side. After trying to fighure out the map I asked the supervisor who defiantly said that I was on the east, that was on the west and there was no way to get to. This of course is a complete lie and doecn;t make sense. She didn't seem to want to help. In the end it was quicker for me to walk. It can also get very hot down there and it feels dangerous when it's quiet. On the whole most of the stations are quite clean. The biggest word of warning comes to those who intend to go on the trains with their children. Try to avoid rush hour as the chance of you and your kids getting separated becomes very high. During these time the cars are also crammed full of people literally with many squashed up against the sides. The reailty is that this is the quickest way from A to B once you get familiar with the routes and a lot cheaper than taxis.
In a city of this size and with this amount of traffic, a good sub-way is essential. The NY subway is an excellent way to get anywhere in the city for a great price. The fare for a single ride is $1.50 and as long as you change at a major station you could stay on for as long as possible and therefore reach any destination for $1.50. There is also a $4 day ticket that allows you to make as many journeys as possible in a single day - this is great value for touring the city as the attractions are spaced out and you could end up walking for miles. The trains are clean, especialy the new ones, and from what i saw were very safe (I was staying in Harlem and had no problems travelling on the subway. You do get beggars and people selling but they are very polite and don't get offended when refused. The trains are frequent and the stations all have excellent maps and information points to aid the iexperienced traveller. The trains do get crowded at rush hour but this is not really a major problem because of the frequency of stations.
New York city is huge and subway is the best sort of transportation to get around the city. It is cheap, cost you only $1.50 (by token) for a single journey (compared to £1.50 for London underground). It is quick and frequent, trains coming every 5-10 minutes. And it's a very complete system covering the whole New York city. Now, sounds like it is not much different from London underground except for the price. In fact, NYC subway is horrible. Much worse than London underground. If you think London tube stations are dirty, NYC subway stations are even worse. Most stations are very dark and very old. And the trains are dirty and old, too. The worst station in Manhattan is the one at 42nd Street. A lot of doggy people hang around there, holding brown bags (with alcohol inside) in hands, staring at people like everyone's alien from outer space. And most of the staffs working at the token counters are rude. They don't talk but shout. However, I understand that it must be really stressful to work in a small room underground, very stuffy and unhealthy. In general, I don't like NYC subway. But it's the cheapest and quickest (not safest) way to get around NYC so I would still recommend it to you. (Well, unless you can afford the yellow cab.)
Hey guys, what can you say. We Brits have got alot to learn about public transport. This hustling, bustling transport system, is without doubt the cheapest, speediest and easiest way to travel the city. What else could you possibly ask for : air conditioning in the summer (London Underground, take note!!!), heated carriages for the winter, a whole underground culture zipping here and there every day. One can really meet some interesting characters on the Subway. Even at 5:00 in the morning, safe to use (just stay clear of those dodgy areas (The Bronx). "How much does it cost?" I hear you cry. Cheap at the price,$1.50 to ride all day (should the need take hold!!!)
I was wary of the subway when we first arrived in NYC. It's hot and sticky in the summer,and very confusing, although in the whole time we were there (about 6 weeks) I only twice made mistakes about getting on the wrong train or missing a stop. Trains are defined by numbers and colours, and at first sight the whole system seems very intimidating, but like anything, confidence comes with experience. I rode the subway all over Manhattan day and night with 3 children on my own, and only felt unsafe outside of Manhattan, once when we went through the Bronx to get to the zoo, and once when we missed our stop and went out into Queens. Manhattan has had such strict implemetation of the zero tolerance policy by the Mayor, that as I wrote elsewhere, an in-flight mag described it as being as safe as a corner of Sesame Street! Not only is it safe, but unlike in England, whenever the kids and I travelled during rush hour, the kids were offered seats. I also found fellow travellers more likely to strike up a conversation and be friendly than on any other transport system I've used. Metro cards are good value, and can be topped up by handing them over at the ticket booth. Make sure you have a good map and that you know where you're going. Follow the same basic safety awareness procedures that you would in any city and sit back and enjoy the ride!It's an essential part of getting to know New York!
The main advantage of this subway system is that it has 24 hr 7 days a week service. Despite this it was a complete pain in the behind to use. The map looks simple enough but take a closer look and all those letters and numbers begin to make very little sense. Manhattan is served by about 6 lines, most trains and routes are identified by a letter and/or number, just when you think you've got it right you realise you're heading in the wrong direction. Apart from the confusion the NY subway seems a pretty sinister place,after rush hour it's pretty deserted (and by this I mean 3pm on a Friday as well as the middle of the night!) and judging by all the police notices looking for suspects, it's an eventful place! Give it a try if you can work it out, I'll take the cab. =)