The Big Apple is exactly that. Big. And getting around New York can be complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Take a look at this handy guide to New York's transportation system and you'll be a local expert in no time!
For public transportation in New York City, you have two main options. They work on the same system with the same tickets so you can combine the two for the same price.
- The subway – This is almost always the fastest way to get anywhere, except late at night when taxis can, and do, fly through the city streets.
- Bus system – These aren’t used often by visitors to the city, but in certain cases, they can really come in handy. Particularly for going up and down the avenues, or for people who can’t deal with lots of stairs, these can be a helpful option
New York MetroCard prices
A single ride is $2.50 – tickets are sold at vending machines
7-day MetroCard will cost you $29.00 and is a popular New York subway pass option.
Please note: MTA Tickets are not sold online & are not part of The New York Pass®
The New York subway system can be a bit intimidating at first, and the locals do rush around so you might feel the pressure of someone right behind you in line getting ever more impatient.
Riding the subway with New York MetroCardWhile planning your NYC trip, make sure to get a NYC subway map - Download a Free Subway Map here >>
To enter you have to swipe your MetroCard through a reader and then wait for the display to say, “go.” Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as it sounds at times. It can be kind of tricky at first, but if you can’t seem to get it working you are not alone as with many other Metro passes. Just watch other people and do what they do.
For many decades the New York City subway system had a reputation for being dirty and dangerous. The famous graffiti is long gone, but the stations and carriages sometimes still do suffer from people unable to find the abundant station trashcans.
The bigger issue is safety, and fortunately, there is good news there as well. The amount of crime reported throughout the system is way down from its peak, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t be cautious.
Alternative to NYC public transport - Hop on Hop off buses
We honestly believe that a ticket on a sightseeing bus gives a greater return for the money than almost any other expenditure the traveler can make. It will save you limitless time, and while of necessity, the bus will hurry you past many things you will want to examine at greater leisure. It will also visually show you many other things you would never have found for yourself.
There are many good sightseeing systems in New York, but for purposes of illustration as to what a bus will show you we would recommend Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours of New York City, there are 3 routes that will take you around Manhattan and the stops cover very best of NYC Attractions.
While sightseeing, make sure you get your New York Pass – the ultimate sightseeing pass that provides you entry to over 90 top attractions in New York City. More info >>