Subways, Buses & Taxis
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If you can’t walk to your destination, the next-best way to get around is mass transit, made possible by the City’s transit system MTA New York City Transit. It’s inexpensive, environment-friendly and a great way to see NYC—not to mention it operates 24/7.
Getting a MetroCard is your first step to getting around on the subway or bus. They can be purchased at subway stations, from either automated machines (which accept cash, ATM bank cards and regular credit cards) or from booth attendants. A single subway or bus ride is currently $2.25. Riders have the choice of buying a pay-per-ride or an unlimited MetroCard. Pay-per-ride cards range in value from $2.25 to $89. The unlimited MetroCard allows users to ride as often as they like within a fixed time period: one-day Fun Pass ($8.25), seven days ($27), 14 days ($51.50) or 30 days ($89). Varying discounts are given for multiple rides, as well as for seniors (over age 65) and disabled riders.
The easiest and quickest way to travel around four of the five boroughs is by public subway. Riding the subway—or “the train”—is also the best way to feel like a local during your stay in NYC:
• Trains operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
• For $2.25 (cost of a single ride), you can use the system citywide and transfer as many times as you need, so long as you don’t exit the system through a turnstile.
• You can transfer from bus to subway or vice versa within two hours of using your MetroCard.
• Subway stations are generally about eight to 10 blocks apart.
• The subway does not travel to Staten Island. To get there, board the free Staten Island Ferry.
You can get a free copy of the subway map from booth attendants or at any NYC Official Visitor Information Center. You can also bypass the map and visit tripplanner.mta.info for a customized route. This service is available for MTA bus lines as well. MTA Service Information is available at mta.info mta.info or by calling 718-330-1234.
As NYC continues to go green, the number of environment-friendly hybrid-electric buses continues to increase. Public buses are also a scenic way to see the City and a great way to reach destinations not convenient to a subway stop:
• All City buses accept MetroCards and exact coin change (no pennies accepted)
• Check the route sign atop the front of the bus before boarding to ensure it’s the bus you want.
• Enter at the front of the bus.
• A single ride costs $2.25, which will take you any distance until the end of the route.
• Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week (there may be a few exceptions in more remote corners of the City)
• Waits vary, depending on the time of day, but they’re usually 5–15 minutes.
• Buses generally stop every other block on avenue routes and every block on cross-street routes.
• MTA Service Information available at mta.info or by calling 718-330-1234
The City’s yellow fleet of taxicabs is regulated by the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC). Grabbing a cab can be ideal when tired feet, heavy luggage or too many shopping bags weigh you down:
• Taxis are available 24 hours a day.
• Hail taxis whose numbers are illuminated on top.
• Board and exit the cab curbside.
• Hotel doormen can hail a cab for you; a $1 tip is customary for this service.
• Minimum metered fare is $2.50, which increases 40 cents every fifth of a mile; there is also a New York State tax surcharge of 50 cents per ride.
• A $1 surcharge is added to the meter Monday–Friday, 4–8pm, and a 50-cent surcharge is added at night, 8pm–6am.
• All taxis accept cash and most accept credit cards.
• Tip 15–20% at the end of a trip; tolls are extra and added to the metered fare.
• Group rides on a limited number of Manhattan taxi routes cost a flat $3–$4 only from designated pickup points during morning rush hour. Call 311 for more information.
• Dial 311 in NYC to inquire about lost items or other concerns; visit nyc.gov/taxi for more info.