The absolute beginner’s guide to New York subway

If you are new to NYC or are just visiting, you might be wondering what the most convenient way to travel around town is. Most people will tell you it’s the subway. Although it is so convenient to use, it can seem scary at first. But, if you are planning on moving with Best Movers NYC, you will have to learn at some point how to use it. That is why we have prepared this absolute beginner’s guide to the New York subway. With this article, you will be able to make your way in NYC underground with ease. Additionally, you won’t feel completely lost. We will prepare you for your first descendants into the underground so you know exactly what to expect!

So, why exactly is NYC underground the most convenient to use? Well, there are a few reasons. For starters, it is the cheapest way to get around NYC. Moreover, it is the most efficient way as there is no traffic. Delays can happen and it can get pretty crowded depending on the time you are taking the subway. But those tiny inconveniences don’t compare to the benefits the NYC subway holds over other types of transportation.

stations in subway
We will help you get to know how things function in the NYC subway!

Understanding New York

In order to not get lost as often, and to approximately know where each train is headed, it’s crucial to understand how Ney York City is divided. You can even ask your local movers in NYC to explain it a little bit better to you, or thoroughly research the internet. But, we will give you a quick rundown of everything you need to know.

NYC is divided into 4 boroughs:

  • Queens;
  • Brooklyn;
  • Bronx;
  • Manhattan.

This also reflects on the metro as there are trains specifically going to these places. However, it is important to mention that Staten Island, which is also a part of NYC, is not connected to the subway directly. This is important to note as you won’t be able to get to Staten Island by taking the subway.

How does this correlate to the New York subway?

By understanding what NYC looks like and which parts of town are where you can get basically everywhere by following the official map. Different routes are colored differently and you can see exactly at which stations they stop. Moreover, you can use Google Maps or other apps to help you navigate this system so you don’t miss the direction you are supposed to go in.

Buying tickets

For the subway, you don’t exactly buy tickets. Because thousands of people use the subway every day, buying individual tickets will make a complete ruckus. That is why there is a system to ensure everything runs smoothly. So, how does this system function? There are two ways to pay for your ticket:

  • OMNY Readers
  • MetroCard

OMNY Readers just scan your credit card or phone app and charge you on a ride-to-ride basis. They are good if you are taking less than 10 rides a week. You just can your credit card or phone and are good to go.

You can also buy a MetroCard in a vending machine. These are quite counter-intuitive unfortunately. You can get 3 types of MetroCards:

  • One-time MetroCard which is used for 1 ride only;
  • Regular MetroCard on which you put a certain amount of money, it charges you per ride $2.75;
  • Unlimited MetroCard which you put $33 on and can ride the metro an unlimited amount of times in a week.

An important thing to note is that with the Unlimited MetroCard, you can only swipe once for a ride in an 18-minute interval. Additionally, after moving with commercial movers in NYC you can trust, you can buy a monthly Unlimited MetroCard which costs $127. So, calculate your expenses accordingly.

New York subway sign
Buying a ticket seems easy enough, but how do you find your way in the metro?

Finding your way in the New York subway

How do you actually get to the subway? Well, it’s pretty easy as entrances are very clearly marked. There is usually a sign that says which trains leave from that station. But you can also look for green globe lamps which means there is a subway entrance there. When the globe part of the lamp is red, it means this “entrance” is an exit only.

Thankfully, there are signs everywhere, so you can follow the signs and combine them with your maps. Reading the signs and boards can be a lifesaver. It almost feels like an airport, but you will get used to it quickly. To get to a specific platform, you need to swipe your MetroCard or scan with OMNI Readers to get your ticket.

If you get lost, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help if they don’t seem like they are in a hurry.

What about missing a stop?

While you are inside the train be mindful of the stops that are coming up. But, even if you miss a stop, there isn’t anything to worry about. You can just go back or change your route. If you get lost and don’t want to ask people for help, you can chat with MTA on WhatsApp. They speak many different languages and you can ask them for directions or even report any problems.

train going past
It isn’t that hard to navigate in the subway, and, with experience, it will get better!

Finalizing everything about the New York subway

We want to give you some final tips you can implement when visiting the subway:

  • Take care of your belongings!
  • Always look like you know where you are going.
  • We don’t recommend you use the bathroom unless you necessarily have to.
  • Follow the crowd. If everyone is situated on one side of the train, there probably is a reason for that.
  • Don’t stare at other people!

If the subway is what scares you from moving to NYC, there’s truly no reason for fear! You will easily get to know the metro by actually being there. However, this guide will give you a general idea of how the New York subway functions. So, don’t wait! Get matched with residential movers NYC and move to this fast-paced city.

Latest Posts