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Seven Tips for Riding the New York City Subway

Grand St Subway Station

The New York City subway is still the best way to get around the city but sometimes it can be a bit tricky to navigate. Avoid all the hassle and maybe save some money with our seven tips for riding the New York City subway!

Plan Your Trip Ahead of Time

NYC Subway 6 Train

P.C. wikipedia, Robert McConnell

The subway takes you through Manhattan and the outer boroughs. If is your first time traveling on the subway you should definitely look at the MTA subway map and plan your trip ahead of time. Maps can be found on the website,, at every subway station and on every subway car. You can also ask a MTA booth for a paper map.

Check for Delays and Detours

NYC Subway E Train

P.C. wikipedia, AEMoreira042281

Similarly you should make sure to check out for delays or detours especially if you are traveling during the weekends or later at night. Since the subway runs for 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week, this is when most of the track work is done. It can be a bit of a hassle if you don’t plan around delays and detours.

Avoid Rush Hour

Inside a Subway Car

P.C. wikipedia, R38R40

The subway can get crowded during rush hour (6:30 – 9:30 AM and 3:30 – 8:00 PM, Monday through Friday) and if you can avoid it, you should. But even during rush hour, the subway runs more frequently so it really isn’t too bad.

Get a Metrocard

Throwback Holiday Train

A metrocard is the best way to pay the subway fare. The other option, buying a single ride is more expensive in the long run. Also you should definitely keep your metrocard since new metrocards cost an extra $1. Even if you don’t use it again, it makes a great souvenir!

Take Advantage of the Metrocard Discounts

Times Square Subway Station

P.C. wikipedia, Harrison Leong

If you are planning on taking multiple trips on the subway, you should take advantage of some of the discounts that the MTA offers. If you load your metrocard with $5.50 or more, you get a 5% bonus. Also if you are planning to use the subway quite a bit, you should look into unlimited metrocards (7 Days – $32.00 & 30 Days – $112). It is very convenient and it can be a good deal.

Use the Free Subway to Bus Transfers

New York City Bus

P.C. wikipedia, Fan Railer

You can get a free subway to bus transfer or vice versa if you are traveling within 2 hours. So for example you can use only one fare for a round trip by taking the subway uptown and the bus back downtown.

Double Check if a Train is Going Uptown or Downtown

Subway Station Sign

P.C. yelp, Marianne W.

Many of the subway stations have different layouts so it can be a little disorienting at first. You should double check if you are on the right train and if a train is going uptown or downtown before you hop on the train. This can save you a lot of time.