What Types of Transportation are Available in New York City?

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1. Subway

Home to the world’s largest subway system, NYC boasts one of the most cost and time efficient solutions for commuting in the world. Run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), a ride costs just $2.25 one way TO AND FROM ANY STOP in the city, or as little as $3.50 per day with an unlimited ride card. Talk about bang for your buck! Please check the MTA site for updated subway maps, fare prices, train delays and additional information.

2. Buses

With over 5,000 vehicles in operation, NYC’s bus service offers over 300 routes! Though bus service often presents an alternative for the subway, buses are especially prevalent where trains are absent. For passengers who need both bus and subway service to arrive at their destination, free transfers are offered w/in 2 hrs of getting on. Fares are $2.25 for regular service and $5.50 for express service. Like the NYC subway, the buses are run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). MTA cards may be used for entrance to subways or trains. Please check the MTA site for updated bus maps, fare prices, delays and additional information.

3. Cabs

3.1 Cab Fares:

Base fares range from $2.50 to $3.50 depending on the time of day, and increase incrementally based on distance traveled or time spent in slow traffic. At the end of the trip, an extra 50 cents NYC tax is added. In addition, it is customary to leave at least a 15% tip for the cab driver. Even after all these costs, NY taxis are widely considered to be very affordable, especially when commuting with other passengers.

3.2 Hailing a Cab:

Only yellow “medallion taxis” are legally allowed to pick up passengers in response to a street hail. When ONLY the center light showing the medallion number is lit, the cab is available.When the OFF and DUTY inscriptions to either side of the medallion number are lit, the cab is off duty. When no lights are lit, the cab is occupied.

4. Car Services & Limousines:

Similar to the yellow medallion cabs, NYC “black car services” take passengers to their desired destination. They are often more luxurious & more expensive than cabs. Rides must be arranged in advance, typically by phone (these cars cannot be hailed). Please note, car services charge flat rates for trips, so make sure to get a quote before hopping in! Tip is included in the cost, but it is not unusual to add a little gratuity on top. (Tip may not be included for limo services.)

5. Pedestrians, Bikes & Pedicabs

Get ready to exercise! There’s no way around it; whether you’re taking a stroll by the Hudson, jogging through Central Park, or touring Liberty Island, you can count yourself as one of NYC’s pedestrians. Walking is a great way to get an everyday feel for the city, and it’s FREE!

Biking is gaining popularity in the city . . . currently boasting over 400 miles of designated bike lanes, NYC has ambitious plans to increase that to 1,800 miles by 2030! Much like Washington DC, Paris & London, NYC is also has a bike sharing system.

Pedicabs offer a very personal transit option for the tourist. They are also an ecological solution to transportation during the afternoon rush hours when vehicular traffic is moving less than 5 miles/ hr. However, regulation is limited, so please double check the cost of the trip beforehand!

6. Roosevelt Island Tramway

The aerial tramway is one of the popular ways to get to and from Roosevelt Island. Alternatively, one can take the F train or bus (which uses the Roosevelt Island Bridge). The fare is only $2.25 one-way, and like NYC buses & subway trains, you can use your metrocard for admission! Check this one out for amazing views of the city- especially at night!

7. Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island ferry provides FREE 24 hr, 7 day/wk transportation from lower Manhattan to Staten Island. Though Staten Island may often be the butt of NYers’ jokes, this ferry is no joke! We highly recommend a trip for beautiful views of the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and even Jersey . . . Oh, and also an opportunity to walk around Staten Island!

8. PATH Train

If you’d like to visit the dark side (AKA Jersey), the PATH is a great way to go! It connects NYC to bordering cities in New Jersey including Jersey City, Hoboken, Newark & Harrison. The trains are very clean and cost only $2.25 one way. New York PATH stations are located throughout Manhattan.

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