Getting Around New York

I’ve been neck deep working out my transportation options for Paris next week.  In Feb 2005, I did a single trip once (returning from the Louvre to Champs Elysees, primarily because I had no more energy to walk back!) and then Alan and I got a one-day pass each for the one day we went around.

The coming trip is more complicated because I’m planning two trips outside of Paris.  I hope to write about that over at Pinay Francophile but this post is about New York.

Some people find out transportation a little daunting but with basic information and some common sense, you’ll find your way around New York rather easily.

Our main transportation system is all woven into one integrated network.  Fares are “extended” between subway-bus or bus-bus on any 2-hour period.  But let’s confine ourselves to talking about Manhattan for now and not get confused with the four other boroughs of New York City, namely Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and The Bronx.  (Picture it this way, NYC is Metro Manila, and those 5 are actually its principalities.)

A ride costs $2 and entitles you to one transfer within 2 hours.  So you can take the subway from any of the other 4 boroughs into Manhattan, and upon getting to Manhattan transfer to a bus to get to your final destination.  Everyone commutes in New York which is rather difficult for those on the West Coast to grasp.  You’ll find everyone from your movie stars, the executives, the homeless, the students, etc., all in the subways and buses of New York.

We use either MetroCards or coins (only accepted in the buses) to pay the fare, and MetroCards are available from vending machines at the subway stations.  You can pay either in cash or debit/credit cards.  A single ride costs $2.00, a one-day pass $7, a week’s pass $24, and a monthly pass I have to check out.  (For more information, The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority Website http://www.mta.info )  So if you’re planning a visit to New York City, you can get one of those passes and make it around easily.  Schedules and route maps are available at the website.

One good site to keep in mind if you’re going around New York as a visitor or as one of us New Yorkers is this Subway Finder which can give you suggested routes based on your destination.  It doesn’t tell you what train to get from where you are but identifies the stops closest to your destination and which trains run through that particular station.  Please take note of the disclaimer on the website lest you find yourself seething mad if there have been route changes and you find yourself “lost”.

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