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METROCARD - The Key to NYC

“And the people ride in a hole in the ground - New York New York....” We live differently here. Get used to it.  There are over 300 square miles, thousands of diverse neighborhoods, museums, cultural institutions, performance spaces, food, shopping.  


Metrocard  If you are reading this blog, you are actually planning your visit and not just arriving without a clue. Over 5 million of us ride the subway every day. Close to 2 million of us ride public buses. Subways are quicker. Buses are all accessible and public buses have  great views out the window. A word about safety. If you drop anything on the tracks it is unsafe to try to retrieve it.


Maps are useful. You can find them at mta.info. I actually like this page because in addition to finding full system subway and borough bus maps, you can also find maps of individual subway lines.  If looking at the entire map overwhelms you, spend a day checking out stops along a particular line. 


Each line is like a trail.  The number 7 train is known as the International Express.  The R train is a great one for first time visitors because it goes near many of the places you want to go.  Take the subway to your farthest point and then walk, bus, or subway back. Use the method of transport that works for you when you need it.


There’s also a section about how to use a MetroCard.  Read it. Be aware that we have express trains (that do not stop at every train along a line) and local trains. Focus on where you are starting and where you want to go. Make sure the train you choose stops in both places.  Ask questions if you are confused. How to ask a question will be covered in another post.


To mentally prepare for your subway adventures, there have been several great books written about the subway. One of my favorites is Subwayland - a book of essays about riding the subway by Randy Kennedy.  The essays are short. They were written for the New York Times.  It is a good subway read!


Take the subway to your farthest point and then walk, bus, or subway back. Use the method of transport that works for you when you need it.  It is worth the effort to use the subway because you will understand how and why NYC works and why cities need good public transportation systems. Your town might need one soon too.

Comments

Dan  Abatelli

Sue,The 5 million riders each day on the subway and almost 2 million bus riders is misleading. The correct term should be rides,not riders.For example,
each weekday I was one rider who took 4 rides to work.I took the M-86 bus to Lex then transferred to the uptown #5 and back again. I confess that from time to time I walked home from Lex.
Dan

Sue

You may be right although with MetroCard the MTA should be able to identify unique riders. In any case, there's plenty of room for visitors (outside of rush hour) and the vast majority of us make it home every night (we don't go following gym bags to the tracks - oy) and if we weren't on subways and buses but in single occupancy vehicles, no one would be visiting because the City could never function.

Thanks for letting me know that someone is reading.

mrs j slack

What is the best option for a family of 4, can you get a card that does all of you?do I have to get one individual pass per passenger my kids are ages 12 and 7

Sue

On per ride card can handle up to 4 people provided you have enough 2.25 dollar rides for each person. The real question is, how many days will you be here. 1 weekly card for each of you makes sense if you are going to be here for 4 or more days. You can then jump on buses and subways without having to think about how much money you have on each card.

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