The NYC Subway System 1-2-3


At first, I found the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) or New York City Subway System to be somewhat daunting. We've all seen those movies where nothing good happens down there. So what would possess someone in their right mind to intentionally enter into the New York City underworld?

It's cheap and convenient.

So, you might be taking your life into your own hands by stepping down into the bowels of the city to save a few bucks but I'm here to tell you that not only did I survive but I actually enjoyed the experience. Police presence was evident, I met friendly, talkative NewYorkers along the way and eventually got to where I was going.

Did I get lost? You bet. Was it life-altering? Not at all.

Far from an expert in New York City transit, here's my advice...
  • get an MTA map or download an app on your smart phone (just shop for NYC Subway or MTA...there are several free apps). Route maps are not always in the train car.
  • familiarize yourself with North-South-East-West - this is non-negotiable in NYC and makes a difference in getting to your destination or having to change trains in The Bronx. Been there.
  • Color codes are your friends. Find the color of the line you want to be on and determine which way you are going. This helps. Walking down a set of stairs only to have to turn around and walk up the same set, all to cross the street and walk down another set gets old.
  • Don't count on hearing the next stop called by the train conductor. Totally unintelligible. I think they are just messing with you anyway. 


- Subway fare is $2.75 each way. A MetroCard is a card that you can buy in the subway from a kiosk (credit cards/debit cards and cash - super easy to use). A 7-day unlimited ride pass = $33.00.

Metro Buses are cash or Metro card

If I were to do it again, I would have bought the 7 day unlimited pass.

Although I was only in NYC for 4 days, memories of climbing and descending those subway stairs amounted to way more than 12 times. Choosing the 7-day option surely would have saved me a few dollars.

Don't get me wrong, riding the NYC Subway is not for the faint of heart. But after spotting a rat the size of a domestic house cat on the subway tracks one morning, I embraced the NYC experience and felt like a New Yorker - warts and all.

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