Getting around & public transport - New York City

Last Updated: 16th Feb 2011

If you can’t walk to your destination, the next-best way to get around is by the City’s transit system. It’s inexpensive, environment-friendly and a great way to see NYC and it operates 24/7.

Getting a MetroCard is your first step to getting around on the subway or bus. They can be purchased at subway stations, from either automated machines (which accept cash, ATM bank cards and regular credit cards) or from booth attendants. A single subway or bus ride is currently $2.25. Riders have the choice of buying a pay-per-ride or an unlimited MetroCard. Pay-per-ride cards range in value from $2.25 to $89. The unlimited MetroCard allows users to ride as often as they like within a fixed time period: one-day Fun Pass ($8.25), seven days ($27). For more information visit


The easiest and quickest way to travel around four of the five boroughs is by public subway. Riding the subway—or ‘the train’ and is also the best way to feel like a local during your stay in NYC. Trains operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and for $2.25 (cost of a single ride), you can use the system citywide and transfer as many times as you need, so long as you don’t exit the system through a turnstile. You can transfer from bus to subway or vice versa within two hours of using your MetroCard. Subway stations are generally about eight to 10 blocks apart.


Public buses are a scenic way to see the city and a great way to reach destinations not convenient to a subway stop. All city buses accept MetroCards and exact coin change (no pennies accepted). Check the route sign atop the front of the bus before boarding to ensure it’s the bus you want. Buses operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and for $2.25 (cost of a single ride) will take you any distance until the end of the route. Waits vary, depending on the time of day, but they’re usually 5–15 minutes. Buses generally stop every other block on avenue routes and every block on cross-street routes.


AMTRAK is a nationwide train service. Trains leave from Penn Station in midtown Manhattan for cities such as Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC. For more information visit

Taxi cabs

There are 12,187 Yellow Cabs (taxis) that service New York City. Cabs can be hailed from the street and generally if their sign is lit-up they are available. Yellow Medallion cabs are the only ones authorized to pick up hails. Any cab without the medallion has no legal authorization to operate in the City. These are regular cars that will take you from place to place; they usually cost more than cabs and aren’t as well regulated (or as safe). Taxi cabs are required to take you to your destination inside the metropolitan area. Cabs are usually cash only (some accept credit card) and it’s a good idea to have small bills because the cabbies can’t usually break anything higher than $20. The starting fare is $3 and $.50 for each additional 1/5th mile or 1 minute of wait time. Mon-Fri there is a $1 peak surcharge (4pm-8pm) and a $0.50 night surcharge (8pm-6am). Tolls are extra but additional riders are free. The 10%-15% gratuity is not included in the final fare.

Note: Public transport and taxi rates are subject to change.



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