“ Public transit is the overwhelmingly dominant form of travel for New Yorkers. About one in every three users of mass transit in the United States and two-thirds of the nation's rail riders live in New York and its not suburbs. This is in contrast to the rest of the country, where about 90% of commuters drive automobiles to their workplace. New York is the only city in the United States where more than half of all households do not own a car (in Manhattan, more than 75% of residents do not own a car; nationally, the percentage is 8%). The New York City Subway is the largest rapid transit system in the world when measured by track mileage (656 miles, or 1,056 km of mainline track), and the fourth-largest when measured by annual ridership (1.4 billion passenger trips in 2005). The transportation system in New York City is extensive and complex. It includes the longest suspension bridge in North America, the world's first mechanically ventilated vehicular tunnel, more than 12,000 yellow cabs and an aerial tramway that transports commuters between Roosevelt Island and Manhattan. New York City's public bus fleet and commuter rail network are the largest in North America. The rail network, which connects the suburbs in the tri-state region to the city, has more than 250 stations and 20 rail lines. The commuter rail system converges at the two busiest rail stations in the United States, Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station. „
If you're planning a trip to New York, get yourself a Metro card as soon as you arrive. A 7 day card costs just under £12 (daily ones are also available)and will cover you on all the buses and subways in the city, 24 hours a day, with no limitations at all. It will even get you totally free of charge from JFK airport to Midtown Manhattan, a trip that will cost you around £10 in itself by most other means. Just take the free shuttle service from JFK to Howard Beach station, and then the A Train to Manhattan (covered by your Metro Card). The buses are first rate and cover the city really well - reliable and frequent. Subway is much safer than it used to be, but still best to keep your wits about you, especially later on in the evening and in the night. There are places to wait before the trains arrive, so you don't have to hang around on your own on an empty platform late at night.