New York is known for its busy streets and bustling public transport. From riding the Subway to grabbing an iconic yellow taxi, there are an endless number of ways to get around New York. New York is also known for its comprehensive subway system, with over 1000 k.m. of track that operates 24 hours, 7 days a week. There are also trains that go into Long Island and New Jersey. For areas not covered by this extensive subway, there are buses that cover 3,000 miles of road throughout the state. So if you’re wondering what exactly transport in New York is like, look no further!
New York is not only known for landmarks like its Statue of Liberty, Central Park and Empire State Building. This popular state is also known as a multicultural hub with tons of shopping, places to eat and things to see. If you’re travelling to New York or moving there sometime soon, it’s important to be aware of the various forms of transport so that you can explore the state with ease. This guide will give you an overview of all the different modes of transport in New York!
The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system owned by the government of New York City and leased to the New York City Transit Authority, an affiliate agency of the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It has over 1000 k.m. of track operating 24/7, with trains even heading to Long Island and New Jersey. There are almost 500 stations so you can rest assured that you’ll be able to reach your destination, no matter where it is. In fact, the Subway is the most popular form of transport for those living in New York, with over 39 percent of people commuting via Subway.
Wondering about the prices? Riding the subway costs around $2.75 for most riders. An easy way to pay for your ticket would be using a MetroCard. You can buy MetroCards for $1 by using a MetroCard ticket machine, which is available at any subway station. If you want an unlimited ride MetroCard pass, you can choose to pay either weekly or monthly. The 7-Day Unlimited Ride Metrocard is $33 per week, while the 30-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCard is $127 per month. For those who rather pay for each ride, you can top up your card for whatever amount you choose instead! Those who ride often may choose an unlimited card to save on expenses. People aged 65 and up have reduced-fare options. This includes people with disabilities and even low-income New Yorkers.
To make things easier, you can download the MYmta app (available on both iPhone and Android) to check out train arrival times, real-time service status, station information and more.
2. Commuter trains
Slightly different from the popular Subway is the Commuter Rail. The Metro-North Railroad is a suburban commuter rail service run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), a public authority of the U.S. state of New York and under contract with the Connecticut Department of Transportation. It runs service between New York City and its northern suburbs in New York and Connecticut, including Port Jervis, Spring Valley, Poughkeepsie, Yonkers, New Rochelle, Mt. Vernon, White Plains, Southeast and Wassaic in New York and Stamford, New Canaan, Danbury, Waterbury, and New Haven in Connecticut. The Metro-North Railroad has 124 stations with 5 lines, operating on more than 1,000 k.m. of track road. It is also the 3rd most popular railroad in the United States.
Another popular Commuter Rail is the Long Island Rail Road, which provides commuter service from Long Island and Brooklyn into New York City’s Penn Station. Additionally, there is the New Jersey Transit, which provides commuter service from New Jersey to New York City’s Penn Station. Travelling from state to state is a breeze with the commuter rail system. While not as popular as the Subway, with only 7 percent of people commuting daily via the Commuter Rail, it is still useful in travelling greater distances throughout New York.
The second most popular form of public transport is the bus, with 11 percent of people using it to commute to work. Travelling by bus is perfect if the “short walk” to your local supermarket just feels too long, or you just need to head further down the street or the next avenue. The buses in New York are run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), under MTA Regional Bus Operations. Created in 2008, it was made to consolidate the various bus operations happening in New York. It runs over 234 local routes and over 70 express routes. The MTA Regional Bus Operations can be divided into two brands: MTA Bus and MTA New York City Bus.
The MTA New York City Bus has most of its routes operating within the City of New York itself, while the MTA Bus has routes in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhatten. There are close to 6,00- buses in the largest municipal bus fleet in the US, and they operate 24/7. Just like the Subway, the cost of riding a bus is $2.75. You can also pay for your bus fare using your MetroCard. If you’ve forgotten your MetroCard at home, feel free to pay using coins or any spare change you have!
Find out more about the bus routes in New York here.
The metropolitan areas are well-connected thanks to public transport systems like the Subway and buses. However, if you’re planning on travelling around the state often or merely want the convenience of owning a car (which can come in real handy when grocery shopping), having a car can become important. In fact, 23 percent of people living in New York travel by car. Even if you’re worried about the financial aspects of owning a car, your worries can be alleviated just by renting a car instead. Leasing or renting gives you access to a brand new four-wheeler that’s good enough to hit the roads. You can rent or lease a car at Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty, Enterprise Rent A Car and Alamo.
If you’re wondering more about renting or purchasing a car in the USA and are not sure where to start, check out our article How To Rent Or Buy A Car In The USA. Another way to alleviate the financial worry of having a car is to use a taxi instead. New York especially, is known for their bright yellow taxis that litter almost every street. Taxi services are easily recognisable and readily available, with a “taxi” sign atop their roofs. You can hire a taxi through phone or online booking, wait at a designated taxi stand or hail from the side of the road. Every fare is metered and regulated by the government, and extra charges like road tolls and late-night surcharges can apply.