How to Ride the New York City Subway Manhattan


          So you have found yourself in New York City or NY as it is called. Maybe you are on a vacation or are moving to Manhattan to live. Either way the best way to get around the city is using the subway. Walking in New York City is difficult because the city is spread so far apart that you will not be able to walk to far away destinations in time. The subway in New York City is called the MTA New York City Subway. If you are as confused as most newcomers to Manhattan, follow these simple steps to travel around the city.

Step 1

Purchase a Metro Card available at many New York subway stop locations. New York City subway now uses the Metro Card as their exclusive subway fair. The Metro Card is a thin card with a bar code on it that you can purchase and add money to. Current rates for subway travel are $2.25 per fare using a Metro Card.

Step 2

Review the basic structure of the New York subway system. The New York subway can be very confusing. It has many subway lines going across the city, regular and express. New York’s subway is separated into many lines with color designations: a Red 1,2, 3 line, a Green 4,5, 6 line, a purple 7 line, a blue A, C, E line, an orange B, D, F, M line, a green G line, a Brown J, Z line, and a yellow N, Q, R line among others. Many of the lines connect to each other at one point or another within New York City. For example the 1,2,3 trains and A, C, E trains connect at the Times Square Stop. The best method is to pick up a subway map and spend days studying it. Learn how far each of the lines goes and where the intersection points are.

Step 3

Learn what the local New York City transit subway lingo means. You have probably heard the expressions Uptown and Downtown. In general uptown trains refer to trains that run in the direction of the Northern Part of Manhattan. Downtown trains run in a south direction going towards the southern tip of Manhattan.

Step 4

One of the issues to note is the difference between regular trains and express trains. Sometimes you will notice express trains running in place of normal trains. Generally express trains are trains that skip several of the normal stops along that line in order to get to their destination quicker. These trains can be useful during rush hour to avoid train delays and get you to your destination quicker.

Step 5

Something that is somewhat unique to the New York subway system is the frequent changing of destination of individual trains that you must be aware of. Many times you will enter a train and the conductor will make an announcement that this train will be skipping several stops or will be going straight to Brooklyn or the Bronx for example. If you are on the train and do not hear the conductor’s announcement which is very common due to all the noise inside the train then you may be in trouble because you can end up far away from town. Usually when there is an issue the train conductor will announce an alternate way to get to your location. But it is usually impossible to understand what was said unless you are native to the New York Subway system. The best solution when this happens is to get out of the train and ask for new alternate subway directions to your destination.

Step 6

If all else fails ask someone on the street for subway directions. You may have to ask a few people before you get a correct answer though so make sure you get a few confirmations.

Additional Advice

                   Don’t get discouraged if you get lost. You will always be able to find a train back towards your original location and you can take a cab if necessary back into the city or anywhere within the city.

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