How to use the transit system in NYC
New York, New York
How to use the transit system in NYC New York Reviews
How to use the transit system in NYC Jul 15, 2009
To get a metrocard to use the metro system, go to a toll booth if there is an actual person but you're best off having small denominations of money and using self-service with a kiosk.
The kiosks are simple enough, they ask if you want to continue in English or Spanish. Next question is if you want a "Single ride, Unlimited, or Regular metrocard."
*Single ride* is for one fare, the costs which is now $2.25. I believe you can use it to transfer (up to 2x) from the bus to a train BUT not from a train to a bus. Do not fold the white and blue card, it's flimsy cardboard like paper; it won't swipe properly. Do NOT let more than 2 hours elapse if you want to use your transfer. Also, the single ride card does not work if you were to use it a second time for a bus on the same line. Ex. you took B20 bus, you may not use it again on another B20.
*Unlimited metrocards* have free transfers from bus to train, vice versa. These can be purchased for the day, week, or month. They can be used multiple times a day as long as 18 minutes have elapsed OR if you are using it to transfer bus to train then you don't have to wait the 18 minutes. If the unlimited is used multiple times, the fares break down much cheaper. Only ONE person may use it, otherwise it is is illegal and you may be fined by an undercover police office. The MTA (metro transit authority) is really cracking down on that.
*Regular metrocards* may be purchased at different set prices, which often comes with bonus money when you buy in the fare prices suggested. Ex. you put $7.00, you may get an extra $1.50 or something like that. Or you can put however much you want. Multiple people can use the one regular metrocard.
The metro cards may be purchased with a credit card or cash or coins. Get a receipt in case you lose your card, then it may be refunded, depending on how much money was left on the card when you lost it of course,
If there is a ticket booth with a person, you may ask for a free map of the transit system.
Do not stand too near the platform edge. Don't bother to ask when the train is coming, there's no set schedule. Well there technically is an "expected schedule" which can be found on the MTA website but that's only a suggestion, it's not set in stone. There are occasional delays throughout the day but the service is frequent enough usually every 10 minutes or so, unless it's after 1AM or weekend service which is more slow. Any questions, ask a surly conductor for the most accurate information.
It is advisable to avoid rush hour on the train if you like breathing room and to have a seat. It's roughly from about 7 to 10AM and 5 to 8PM, when people are going to school or work.
To get more information on fares, and to see a MTA subway or bus map, check out:
For train or bus directions, personalized to your base address:
If you have an iPod on other expensive gadgets, it's best to keep it hidden, occasionally people are forcibly parted with them :)
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