NYC Subway Travel Guide From a Local

NYC Subway Travel Guide From a Local

I’m Jen with The Travel Woman and today
I will be your guide sharing my 25 crucial things you need to know about
the New York City subway and the number one mistake both visitors and locals
alike make and how to save money avoiding it. Before you watch this
awesome helpful video don’t forget to click the subscribe and bell button so
you don’t miss a video. First of all I want to say the subway is not called
the train, the metro, the underground; it’s just the subway even when it’s above
ground it’s called the subway. The subway is one of the fastest ways to get around
New York City, but it can be very confusing. Both visitors and locals get
lost or accidentally get on the wrong train at some point in time. As a local
who grew up just outside the city and has now lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn
for the past five years I still get on the wrong train sometimes so just know
you are not alone. I will also go over taking a subway with luggage which can
be tricky since many subway stations do not have elevators or escalators you
might have to carry luggage up or down stairs and use my trick to get luggage
properly through the turnstile. Okay getting back on track here are the 25
things you need to know about the NYC subway. #1 Subways go by letters and numbers but not colors, colors just show related trains that run
along some of the same tracks. In Boston for example they say the Green Line but
if you said where’s the Green Line to a New Yorker you would get a funny look
before you clarified the four, five or six train. #2 There are no zones
just one swipe and you can hop on the subway anywhere it doesn’t matter how
far or how long you ride the subway the fare is the same. A one-minute ride just
one stop costs the same as a two-hour ride. #3 there are 472 subway
stations so there are some repeat subway station names for example there are 4
stations named 96 Street so be specific if you ask
how to get to 96 Street Station clarify which one: is it off the 1 2 3 or
B C or 6 or Q lines #4 The original New York City subway was a system of elevated trains until the Great Blizzard of 1888 showed the need
for an underground system today 60% of the subway system is underground with
many trains outside of Manhattan going above ground but no matter where it is
still called the subway. #5 Cabs are not always
faster look up directions in apps like Google Maps because often times during
rush hour taking the subway is faster than driving #6 Most subway trains go uptown or downtown in Manhattan but many do not go
across to go cross-town in Manhattan there are limited options including the
L train along 14th Street to Williamsburg or the 7 or S which stands
for shuttle along 42nd Street. There is no way to get across Central Park from
the Upper East Side to the Upper West Side so you will need to take a bus, cab
or car #7 one of the biggest mistakes that visitors and locals alike make is getting on the wrong train or going through the wrong entrance going
downtown instead of uptown for example so make sure you pay attention to the
signs, when you see this that says downtown only you cannot go down here and change to the Uptown direction. You have to walk
across the street to find the Uptown entrance so
please please please don’t make that mistake even locals make the mistake
because we get to confidence we’re like okay this is the subway entrance we walk
in we swipe but if you swipe into the wrong entrance you’re gonna have to go
back up again and reswipe and repay and no one wants to repay so make sure
you pay attention ahead of time make sure you’re going in the right direction
and another really helpful tip is that some platforms have both Local and
Express trains on the same track so make sure that you’re paying attention if a 2
train comes by and you’re waiting for a 1 train check which train that you’re
getting on to make sure it’s the right train #8 Maps: since you might
not have service below ground my best advice to visitors and locals is to know
where you are going before you get into the subway stop screenshot the
directions in your phone so you can show someone if you get lost and download a
subway map PDF or image on your phone that you can zoom into. There are also
maps in the entrance of each subway station and posted in subway trains for
reference #9 Check signs if a station is unusually empty and there are
signs for construction you might have to take a cab or bus depending on the
situation so pay attention to signs before swiping this is usually an issue
on the weekends #10 Escalators: stand on the right pass on
left the right is right, left is wrong that’s how I remember it if you have
luggage hold it on the step in front of you or on the step behind you but leave
space on the left for New Yorkers who are known for being in a rush so they
can keep moving and when you get off the escalator keep walking if you need to
stop and look at a map avoid standing in the way of foot traffic stand to the
side #11 Children under 44 inches
or 112 centimetres no matter what age do not need a
MetroCard and can walk under the turnstile to ride the train for free if
they are with a fare paying adult #12 Now let’s talk about which MetroCard
you should buy. Do not get a single-use MetroCard it is not cost effective there
are two main types of Metro cards: Unlimited ride cards where you add time
and the Regular MetroCards also known as pay-per-ride cards where you add value. First try to count how many times you will need to take the subway to and from
different places. if you plan on swiping your card 12 times or to and from six
different locations then get a 7-day unlimited ride MetroCard to save money. If you are visiting for a full month there is also an unlimited monthly pass.
If you are only visiting for a few days or a weekend and you will not need as
many as 12 swipes you can add value to a pay-per ride card based on how many swipes
you think you might need, the more you add the more you save you can also
always add more value or money to the card if you need more swipes later if
you want to share a metro card with family or friends a pay per ride Metro
card can be shared with up to four people but an unlimited pass cannot be
shared since you must wait 18 minutes between swipes for exact costs I will
rate the current prices in the description box below. #13 Subway
cards cost one dollar this is new. They used to be free but now you pay for them
in addition to each swipe so do not lose it. #14 you can pay for your MetroCard with credit card, ATM card or
cash unless it says something like no bills accepted. #15 there are
two types of turnstiles if you have luggage and you have the choice find the
full height larger turnstiles or try putting your luggage near the exit door
swiping in and then opening the door or if you only see waist-high turnstiles
lower your luggage handle roll it in front of you with your hands still on it
just a few steps away from the metal so the metal turnstile doesn’t hit your
luggage thus preventing your luggage from getting stuck in the turnstile like
this guy. #16 Swipe slowly you can tell who
is a visitor by how many times they swipe their card. This is how not to
swipe your card. This is how to swipe your card you swipe with the yellow
front facing you, black stripe down and swipe slowly it might take a few tries
to get used to it but keep trying. #17 While waiting to board a train
please do not block subway doors by standing right in front of the doors
with nowhere for others to exit the train stand on the side of the door to
let people off the train before getting on. #18 Do not get on an empty
train car if the cars next to it are full there is usually a reason it is
empty like a bad smell or broken air-conditioning. #19 Be careful
not to hit others with your backpack take it off on the crowded train #20 Don’t play music loudly on the train always remember to bring your headphones #21 if you’re sitting down stand up for the elderly or pregnant or if
someone looks like they need a seat. #22 Do not lean on the pole it’s
rude and prevents others from holding onto the pole. #23 Don’t put your feet on the seat it’s technically a crime for which
you can be arrested and please don’t man spread you know when one person manages to take up two to three seats #24 you have a free transfer within two
hours of a swipe which is helpful in case you need to go above ground to
transfer to another subway or bus #25 Subway exits: There are often multiple subway exits to save time pay attention
to which exit is closest to your destination if you’re going to 20th
Street and you get off at the 23rd Street Station exit toward 22nd instead
of 23rd Street save time walking a block. I’m Jen with
The Travel Women thank you so much for taking this ride with me through the top
25 things you need to know about the New York City subway while you’re here don’t
forget to check out my other helpful New York City videos and click the subscribe
and bell button so you don’t miss any future videos as always say yes to new
adventures and I’ll see you next time Bye!

100 thoughts on “NYC Subway Travel Guide From a Local

  1. In fact, when I add NYC vlogs to and some of my tourists tips to my channel (mostly beauty/fantasy/SFX makeup, but my audience wants to see NYC) I'll try to remember to refer visitors to this video! That was a lot of work you did and the only thing I would add is the apps you can use (Lol, I have my little transport section on my phone ??.)

  2. If I'm seeing it right, it looks like the metrocard has a magnetic strip (instead of a chip), is that true? If so, I guess another advice would be to not put your metrocard into the same pocket as your phone or any other thing with a magnet (like some wallets), as the data on your metrocard would be erased and your card loses its validity. Or isn't that a common problem on the NYC subway?

  3. Due to the differences in our anatomy it’s difficult for men to sit with their legs together. Female hips are wide which turns their feet inward whereas male hips are narrow which turns our feet outward. Notice the difference in males & females as to which direction their toes are pointing when standing.

  4. Good video overall. May I recommend probably adding some info on differentiating between local and express trains on a map as well the types of service offered such as full time or rush hour train?

  5. When booking a hotel (especially outside of Manhattan) stay at one that is near a train station that is a vital transfer spot that serves more than 1 line. The last two times I was in NYC, I got burned. The train station near my hotel was closed for the weekend for maintenance.

  6. It’s four 42nd street stops as well. 42nd-port authority, 42nd-Times square, 42nd-Bryant Park, and 42nd Grand Central terminal. So you would definitely need to know exactly where you are going.

  7. Hi Jen, I’ll be visiting New York this October and I would like to ask you if I can buy the metropass card in LaGuardia airport?? does the metropass Also allows me access to buses that go straight to the subway station near LaGuardia airport???

  8. Very useful info. for first timers to NY. Any recommendations for the "best iPhone app" for first timers to NY, using the subway?

  9. my advice is always give yourself more time than is estimated to get where you're going, because the subway will always delay you, no matter what

  10. 3:23 That's helpful except for the fact that there's three shuttles on the system, the others being the Franklin Avenue and Rockaway Park Shuttles, that use the S designation. (Plus a bunch of services that run as shuttles during late nights, like A train service to Lefferts Boulevard and the 5 train to Dyre Avenue)

  11. Why are the stations empty in this video? In my country, they're always crowded no matter the time ! (gilberto lehrer from brazil)

  12. I've been riding the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) for the past 6 years and would never have thought about not being able to get to opposite direction trains from the same entrance on MTA. You've probably just saved me dollars of money! Kudos to you! I guess the Pink line at Quncie and Wells, if you go through the turnstyle on the wrong side, you're screwed, but at least you can cross above the street when you go up the first set of stairs.

  13. You are so sweet and kind. Thank you I thoroughly enjoy your videos. Cannot wait until your next contribution. Thanks again

  14. I just like to wander the subway and city with no absolute destination, like I might go uptown and then go downtown to go across town and then go back uptown for no apparent reason

  15. I have travelled on subways in many non English speaking countries, (I am from London) but I still can't get my head around the NY sub.

  16. I love your guides and all of your informative videos. I'M REALLY GLAD TO FIND THESE ABSOLUTELY THOUGHTFUL VIDEOS.

    I'm planning to visit NYC in Nov. Thank you for sharing all the tips❤❤❤❤

  17. Jennifer, is it true that if I can make it in New York, I'll make it anywhere? Is it a city that never sleeps? Ol' Blue Eyes used to say so… Just kidding! (gilberto lehrer from brazil)

  18. Along with not blocking the platform outside the doors, don't stand in the doorway if there's any other option.

    Re: train vs subway. Here in SF if you say "train" you could mean a commuter train, the City light rail that runs underground in places, or BART which is our "subway." I take "subway" to mean a heavy rail system that isn't a commuter train. Though if our Central Subway ever opens it will be light rail only which won't make any sense.

  19. How do you get lost using the Subway? There's maps everywhere. In every subway car. Some of them even have a big red circle saying you are here.

  20. The metro card system is bad because if you need to transfer you have to pay again if you need to leave whereas in London oyster allows you to enter and leave as you wish

  21. 8:27 that’s awkward, in London they have gates with attendants at all stations so they can open the large get for you

  22. A single ride card is the most cost effective you are in the city infrequently and if all you are going to do is ride once from point A to point B and not return via the subway.

    One major problem with the Metrocard vending machines is that if you want to buy just a 2-swipe card, for example for a single round trip, you can't. The machine asks how much money do you want on your card, but won't tell you how much a trip is, so visitors to New York have no idea how much money to put on their card.

  23. I have friends moving to NYC in the new year ?
    Once I finished crying at their news (sorry I was in my feelings…and FOUR lemonade vodkas?didn’t help) I realized they’re only a plane ride away. This video was very helpful in boosting my confidence visiting them and getting around NYC. Thanks homegirl ?

  24. Born and raised in nyc. Riding the trains since 1977. In Brooklyn we call it the train. Wonder if it's an outer borough thing

  25. Jenny, I will come to NYC in April 12, 2020 from Washington DC. I would like to know if we can depart by using a train or subway to get into Times Square Areas. Please guide us to the right transportation if you can. Thanks.

  26. 4:15 That's why in Melb we have a 15-minute 'change of mind' period where if you touch on your card but change your mind and touch off within 15 minutes, it doesn't charge you

  27. For every "manspreader", there's at least one woman who uses purses, shopping bags or backpacks to fill the seat next to her. I guess "womanspreading" gets a pass. Quelle surprise.

  28. I have so much anxiety getting lost on the train.. someone suggest me some life saving apps … my trip is in two weeks!!!??????

  29. This is a well presented video. I'm sure many foreigners and American's that don't live in Chicago or DC with a respectable metro watch this and will thank you!

  30. I would just like to say, A big thank you, We (wife and I) are traveling to NYC on the 25th December 2019 (This year) and I have watched or started to watch these helpful tips etc, but usually after 2 minutes I try and find a better one to watch… Well stop right there this is one of those Videos that actually help us from over the pond, we are coming over for a break for 9 nights and staying in a hotel on 48th Street (see getting the streets right now lol) and will be getting the unlimited MetroCard for & days as this fits well with what we would like to go and see. Many thanks Jennifer O'Brien for the tips and Happy Thanks-Giving for today.

  31. How would I get from JFK to Brooklyn ?? I’m from Georgia and watching this video confused me even more . Our train station is very simple just 4 lines lol

  32. Hey, an interesting subway video here Jennifer. I love your B roll scenes. I just saw you today on the recent ActionKid N.Y. video. Good stuff. It looks like you really like editing. Me too.

  33. Granted I have never been in NYC, but if you have gone through the wrong entrance , can you not just travel one stop and transfer to another platform?
    Other than that it seems to be pretty generic advice, spplicabld to any city anywhere.

    Also the subways seem to be a bit old, not very modern … like almost as if you have been time traveling back to the 80's and 90's

  34. A lot of these tips regarding etiquette are transferable to other cities. Especially elevators (stand right walk left) and don’t crowd the doors.

  35. I did NYC about a month ago, and admittedly I was a bit worried about using Subway, but I didn't find it too complicated, the way I see it, if you can navigate the London Tube you should be fine!
    You see people fare evading as well, going onto the platform through the exit gate

  36. Brilliant video! I love it. Really helpful. But still I think I would get lost in NYC even with a guide lol I'm from Europe.

  37. Just got back from a trip this past weekend. Honestly, the hardest part (especially in Manhattan) is finding which way is "up" once you exit to street level. Too many times, I've walked a whole block after getting out of the subway before I realized the street numbers going down instead of up.

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