Navigating New York City – Discover the Best Ways to Commute in the Big Apple

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“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years”  -Tom Wolfe

Setting aside the fact that you are not really ever a local. If you are just visiting, you can still do things to blend in and get a real sense of New York City by exploring it like a local.

Subway

It’s the most cost-effective and fastest way to travel and also assures safe commute. The New York City subway has 472 stations serving 27 subway lines – more than any other system in the world.

Regular Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards are used to travel by subways, MetroCards are easy to purchase and can be used for NYC subways and buses. It can be purchased at any MTA Metro-North Railroad station ticket vending machine or staffed ticket window. After inserting your card, choose the Get Card info screen. Each time you use Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard to pay the subway fare, the turnstile displays the amount you’ve paid and the balance. It will not show when an Unlimited Ride card runs out. You can find this information at the MetroCard Reader or the Booth Reader. You can transfer for free between subway and buses or between buses within 2 hours of using your card for the first time.

The Manhattan bus map is very useful because it is drawn to scale and shows both bus and subway routes. You can get one for free at the tourist centres, libraries and most hotel lobbies

Subway entrances in NYC

Car service

It’s your best bet if you are a luxury lover. You have to pay around $30-50 for a car service or up to $175 for a limousine. This allows you to travel door to door to any venue in the city. If you want to do this occasionally, or every time, you can easily arrange it through your concierge. Services like blacktiecarservice, allstatelimo.com‎, lincolnlimousine and many smartphone apps help you book a car in advance.

Get anywhere in style with a chauffeured limo service in NYC

The Ferry Ride

This is a favourite mode of commute for most tourists as it provides excellent views of the Lower Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. The Ferry has been offering free rides to commuters since 1997. Vehicles have not been allowed since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, though bicycles are permitted on the lower level at no cost.

Staten Island ferry, NYC

Taxis

If a taxi is your first choice to get somewhere quickly, these familiar yellow cabs are difficult to get even if you are actively looking for one. Ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft make it easier by assuring a clean taxi with seat belts that will arrive within 15 minutes and you will almost always be able to actually get a ride.

NYC Yellow Cabs

Go Green – Bikes and Jogging Paths

If you want to explore the greener part of the city, escape to your nearest park and enjoy the lovely views along the way. The city offers a bike map, and Google Maps also provides bike-specific directions that feature safer, car-free spaces to ride. There are also beautiful views along the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, which has bike and jogging paths that practically surround the island. There is no necessity for adults to wear helmets in New York, and it is common to see experienced riders just leap on and pedal away as there is no law that makes it compulsory.

Biking and jogging paths in NYC
Parting Titbit: It is advisable to wear a helmet every time you ride, even if it isn’t mandated by law. You can also witness the largest annual recreational cycling event in the United States, the Five Boro Bike Tour, in which 30,000 cyclists ride 42 miles (68 km) through the city’s boroughs.
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