Tips & Hacks For Getting Around Nyc
- If mastered, the subway can be your new best friend in the city. The underground train network is officially the world’s largest and connects to literally every part of NYC.
- If you have some time to kill or are generally interested in walking, you can opt for a walking tour of the city.
- Opt for a combo travel pass to save on transport costs. These combo passes are generally accepted at all modes of transport and give you the freedom of choosing the mode of transportation of your choice without worrying about buying tickets separately for it.
- Another fun way to get around the city is the ferry service which takes commuters and visitors to Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, & Bronx.
- The plague of peak hour traffic strikes NYC’s public transport system as well. On weekdays, 8:00 am to 9:30 am and 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm witnesses incredibly crowded streets and jam packed buses and trains.
- If you’re looking to witness New York City in all its glory, there are certain subway trains that offer glorious views of Manhattan. Take the J, M or Z line over the Williamsburg Bridge or the B, D, N or Q line over the Manhattan Bridge for great views of Manhattan.
- If a subway car is empty, understand that it is empty for a reason. Always get into subway car that has atleast 5 to 10 people in it. It’s much safer too.
Take The Nyc Ferries For Panoramic Views
The subway gets all the attention, but New Yorks ferry system is a rewarding and much-underrated means of transportation. Seeing New York from the water is also a fun, low-cost addition to a day out with kids in tow.
The Staten Island Ferry runs from the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in lower Manhattan to the St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island. If youre not looking to step foot on Ellis Island, its a great way to take in waterside views of the Statue of Liberty and its absolutely free.
NYC Ferry connects communities across the citys waterways, including the East River, South Brooklyn, the Rockaways, Western Queens, and the Bronx, with seasonal routes between Manhattan and Staten Island, Governors Island, and Coney Island. Tickets can be purchased from vending machines at the landings or via the NYC Ferry app single-ride tickets for adults cost $2.75, and 30-day passes are $121.
NY Waterway operates between Manhattan and New Jersey, making stops in midtown, Battery Park City, and Wall Street before crossing the Hudson River and docking in Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken, and Edgewater. On weekdays, fares range from $7 to $21.50 for adults, depending on your route.
Taxis And Ride Shares
Many New Yorkers prefer to take taxis or private cars, especially late in the evening when subway service is more sporadic. Yellow taxis are the iconic New York City cars. You can flag them down when you need them. If you are in Brooklyn or another outer borough, the taxis are green.
New York City has a variety of ride sharing apps. Uber and Lyft allow you to book a private car or share a car with passengers traveling in a similar direction. Via is a service that allows you to hop in a shared van that is going along a set route. All are reliable services and usually arrive very quickly.
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How To Use The Nyc Subway
OK, so youre a master of the OMNY system or just bought a shiny new MetroCard. Now what?
With OMNY just tap and go. Make sure youre activating your e-wallet. You may need to press your thumb or type in a security key on your phone.
For the MetroCard, you have to swipe your way in, which sounds simple but can sometimes be tricky. The card readers installed in the turnstiles are finicky. You have to treat them just the right way for them to let you in. If you swipe too fast, try again. If you swipe to slow, try again. If you bend the card as you swipe, youre wasting your time .
So here is all you need to know to be able to swipe in like a local:
Tips For Other Popular Car Services
Now, all the rest of the apps have coupons and sales promotions available. First time riders can get credits for at least one free or a significantly discounted ride. If you choose to share your experience about them on social media, you may be eligible for additional discounts. Each riding option has its own deals that are subject to change, so be sure to check out their websites prior to your trip to see if any information has changed or if there is any deal that you may wish to use.
In fact, if you are looking to save money, you can do a little research on the current promotions available and use the discounts presented at many of these companies so you can enjoy less expensive rides and try out the different options for your trip to NYC.
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How To Get Around In Nyc
One city, 8 million residents, countless opportunities to get lost. Chances are, unless you know New York City very well, you will find yourself lost or on the wrong path once or twice. Don’t beat yourself up if that happens to you, even native New Yorkers take the wrong train or walk in the wrong direction on occasion.To minimize the amount of time you waste getting lost, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the plentiful transportation options New York City has to offer.
Walking / Biking Bridges And Elevated Walkways
The Highline, running from West 34th Street down to Gansevoort Street, is the coolest combination of urban and ecological planning in NYC to date. Its a nice break from the street rushers below. The Brooklyn Bridge is pretty iconic and offers not only the perfect place for a souvenir photo, but takes travelers from Downtown Manhattan straight into the business district of Downtown Brooklyn.
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Mass Transit Use And Car Ownership
New York City is distinguished from other U.S. cities for its low personal automobile ownership and its significant use of public transportation. New York City has, by far, the highest rate of public transportation use of any American city, with 67.2% of workers commuting to work by this means in 2006. 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 City or its suburbs. However, New York City also has the longest mean travel time for commuters among major U.S. cities.
New York is the only city in the United States where over half of all households do not own a car . However, absolute figures for car ownership are still high when compared to other cities: in 2019, 55% of households were not car owners, indicating that 45% of households did own a car.
The Best Ways To Get Around New York City
Once youve made it to the city, youll have to decide how youd like to get around. The best, most inexpensive tourist attraction for anyone visiting New York City is simply walking around the city which is free! so pack comfortable shoes. But, if inclement weather strikes or its too cold to be outside, you still have plenty of options. Well, ahem, walk you through them all.
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Arrive At Your Choice Of Two New York City Locations By Bus
Travel to New York from throughout New Jersey on many bus routes. There are several major routes that serve Midtown Manhattan and further north in Washington Heights in New York. Start trip planning by checking NJ TRANSIT service near your location.
Dont Overspend On Poor Value Nyc Attractions
There are a ton of tourist traps in NYC. Most of these are overpriced stops that will teach you nothing of the culture within the city, and youll recognize these traps by the long lines that lead to them.
Some of these traps are found near the most popular tourist destinations such as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, and the like. Even some restaurants are designed to lure tourists in, and charge much more than some of the better eateries in the city.
If you want to save a few dollars, shop where the locals shop, eat where the locals eat, and youll find that often the best food can be found on a food truck. At the end of the day, keep your eyes open for the gems that line the city, and talk to the locals.
This is how youll really get to know the city, and while you take in the electric nature of the city, maybe youll even learn a thing or two about yourself in the process.
Travel tip: A big part of what makes New York so great is its atmosphere, and you can soak it up for free by walking the city streets.
Using Taxis In New York
Taxicabs are easily the most convenient method of transport around NYC. They are not always the cheapest though. Expect fares of $10-15 dollars for short trips. Penn Station to Battery Park would be over $25+ each way!
As you can see this quickly adds up if you are using Taxis a lot. Compared to $2.75 on the Subway. If there are a few of you sharing it quickly becomes more affordable though. Remember this will be door to door when you need it. Even the best subway journeys require a little walking. So you are paying for the convenience
For some, the convenience easily outweighs the extra cost. Your concierge will happily hail you a cab at your Hotel and you will have little trouble finding a return ride at any tourist destination. We have all seen the Films, just lift up your hand and yell TAXI and one appears!
Well not quite but waiving down a Taxi is pretty easy, they are after all looking out for rides! At heavily visited areas such as outside museums etc expect there to be queues of taxis at the ranks.
The Big disadvantage with taxis, in fact, all road-based Transport is the traffic. It really can be appalling at times. Taxi fares are linked to time spent stuck in traffic as well as the distance of the journey. So by hitting a snarl-up, you are not only costing precious trip time but its costing money also! Fares can actually Double in the worst of the worst traffic.
Example Taxi Fares:
Use The Subway To Get Around
Knowing how to use New Yorks public transportation is crucial, since the subway is hands-down the best and cheapest way to get around. Its safe, easy to use, and extensive. We get it can be intimidating for first time usersbut its so worth it. A single ride is less than $3, which is pennies in comparison to the $30$60 you may spend on an Uber or taxi.
Our friends at Two Wandering Soles suggest getting the 7-day unlimited pass. Check out their other budget tips!
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Dont Spend $ Chasing The Best Viewscheck Out These Free Vistas Instead
Speaking of free, dont overspend for views at the Empire State Building or 1 World Trade Center. There are free ways to get awesome panoramic views of NYCand some are even better than the ones you have to pay for.
- The Staten Island Ferry: The Staten Island Ferry is free to take, and it provides incredible views of the Manhattan skyline as well as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island . Its also a wonderful way to cool down on a summer day. Plus, they sell beer on board!
- The High Line:The High Line is an impressive way to see the city from an unusual perspective. Once an elevated railroad, the High Line is now a park filled with greenery and public art.
- Brooklyn Heights Promenade:For a killer Manhattan view, check out the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. The gorgeous, serene view of the skyline across the water will make your Instagram followers so jealous.
- The one exception:The view from the Top of the Rock is pretty phenomenalplus, you get to actually *see* all the famous buildings. So if youre going to pay for a view in New York City, pay for a view there.
For A Better Look At The City Hop On The Bus
The MTA is also responsible for the citys buses, and its fleet includes nearly 6000 vehicles. While a small percentage are hybrid-electric and electric, more than half run on pongy diesel fuel a situation the agency is looking to rectify in the coming years as it pushes to be fully electric by 2040.
For the most part, New Yorks buses run on a grid, and routes cover uptown, downtown, and crosstown with stops on every corner. There are stop-everywhere local services as well as express lines which eliminates local stops for a quick ride. The select bus service is even faster but requires prepayment before boarding.
For a normal bus trip, pay the fare as you board with a MetroCard or exact change . For SBS routes, buy your ticket before you board from one of the kiosks near your stop. You wont have to show your ticket to the driver, but you do need to keep it for the duration of the trip in case of inspection dont lose it, or you could get hit with a hefty fine.
The MYmta app has timetables and service info for buses, and each bus stop has a QR code thats scannable for arrivals, departures, and status updates.
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Public Transit Buses And Subways
To ride the buses and subways in New York City, it’s most likely you’ll need a MetroCard from The Metropolitan Transit Authority or MTA for use on the New York City bus and subway systems. While it is possible to pay bus fares using exact change , you must have a MetroCard to enter the subway system. Cards can be bought online, at station booths, at vending machines in subway stations, and at many grocery stores and newstands . The vending machines in the stations accept credit cards however, MetroCard vending machines will require that you type in your 5-digit zip code, or your regular PIN on international cards.
The PATH subway system, which operates between New York and New Jersey, is not operated by the MTA and is therefore separate but with the same fare as the MTA. Even though PATH accepts payment by MetroCard, no free transfers are available to or from MTA subways or buses, because PATH is separate. JFK AirTrain also accepts MetroCard, but again, is not operated by the MTA and no free transfers are available.
Metro-North Commuter Railroad, Long Island Rail Road , New Jersey Transit Buses, Trains, and Light Rail systems, and Amtrak trains don’t accept MetroCard.
Famous Nyc Yellow Cab
The taxis in NYC are pretty expensive so we didnt use them. We did use Uber a couple of times which also adds up, but the prices depend on time of the day, rush hour, distance If you get stuck in traffic, which happens often, walking will be the better and faster option.
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Getting Around The City
Because most travelers confine themselves to Manhattan, I will, as well, in this section. Those traveling to the outer boroughs can be confident, however, that public transportationsubways, buses, ferries, or some combination of the threecan get you anywhere you wish to go in the city proper, whether it be the sandy shores of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, or Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The citys transportation network is run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority maps and schedules for NYCs myriad transportation options can be found at www.mta.info.
How To Get Around New York City By Car
NYC streets are always congested and making your way through the city by car can be difficult and time consuming. Driving around the city may sound like a good idea, but in reality, it will be a bigger pain with trying to find parking, navigating through the streets, and dealing with other drivers who can quickly become irate. There are several major car rental companies to choose from.
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Ferries And Water Taxis
Staten Island Ferry Shaun Merritt/Flickr
Seeing New York City from the water is something every visitor should do at least once to get a truly jaw-dropping angle on the citys magnificent heights. The citys official ferries, operated by Hornblower, cost the same as a swipe on the subway . These criss-cross the East River between select riverside neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens and Manhattan . The ferries also run to the Rockaways for those looking to access the beach. Some routes are only seasonal, so check ahead. Youll find automated ticket kiosks near the docks, and can purchase single rides or packs. Rides on these ferries can also be ordered by using the companys app and paying ahead of time.
There are a few free ferries, including one of the most legendary boat rides in the city the Staten Island Ferry. This is a great way to glimpse the skyline, New York Harbor, and the Statue of Liberty without paying a dime. Boats depart from just east of the Battery, and dock in St. George, Staten Island, which is experiencing something of an urban renaissance . The ride back to Manhattan is free as well. Other seasonal ferries run to Governors Island, with its stunning new parklands, and are free at select times.