New York City Transit Tips

Tips and advice for trouble free trips on New York City Public Transit

  • New York can have it's share of inclement weather and you won't want to be uncomfortable, so check the forecast and wear or bring along appropriate clothing. While subway stations are underground and many bus shelters are undercover, when travelling by transit, you will be doing some walking and waiting for connections.

  • Always double check where you sat just before exiting any transit vehicle to make sure you've left nothing behind. People often loose wallets, purses, cellphones, umbrellas, jewellery, or bus passes on the seats of buses and trains. Loosing something like this can really spoil your day, so double check to make sure that you have all your belongings with you before getting off. If you do loose something try to remember the bus, train, or subway route, direction of travel and time of day when it was lost and check MTA - Lost and Found for information on how to claim your lost property. The Lost and Found Office is located at:

  • Quick Subway Tips: Avoid empty cars on the subway (It is probably empty for a reason (not a good one). One of the most common errors is to board a train going in the wrong direction. Make sure you access the appropriate station for your direction of travel by reading the sign at the top of the stairs (uptown or downtown). If the station is for trains going in the wrong direction for your trip the right station is usually across the street. Check the sign on the train for express or local service. If taking an express train, verify that it stops at your destination. When swiping your metro card at the turnstyles make sure the arrows are facing forwards and the card is facing towards you.

  • Be sure you are standing at the correct bus stop. Not all buses stop at all stops as they may be express. Most stops served by more than one route have the route numbers and names listed on the bus stop sign. Do not remain sitting on the bus shelter bench as your bus approaches - it must be clear to the driver that you want the bus or he/she may pass by. Indicate to the driver that you would like his or her bus by making eye contact and taking a step toward the bus stop sign. During rush hour buses sometimes fill up, but service is very frequent and another bus will be along within a few minutes.

  • Make sure you catch your bus going in the right direction. Don't just go by the route number. People often catch buses going in the wrong direction when travelling in unfamiliar surroundings. To avoid going out of your way ask the operator as soon as you get on to confirm the bus goes to your destination or transfer point.

  • Some bus routes are express, having limited stops through all or a portion of their route. This is good for getting you somewhere quickly, but not so good if the bus doesn't stop where you are going. It's always a good idea to confirm with the driver that the bus stops at or near your intended destination.

  • Most buses, subways and trains have an automated system which announces all approaching stops over the PA system.

  • Remember, when travelling late at night service frequency is significantly reduced so you may have some longer waits. Plan your trips accordingly.

  • The important thing is to study the maps and plan ahead. A little time spent doing this before your days outing can help you save a lot of time and frustration. If in doubt ask questions at the start of your trip, it may save you from having to backtrack.

More Info for Getting Around New York City on Public Transportation

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