If the question were ever to be raised as to what is the best means of getting around the city of New York, the answer would inadvertently be “on foot,” thanks mainly due to the fairly heavy traffic present round-the-clock on the city streets. The subway system is a convenient option as well, extending throughout the Manhattan region and into the boroughs of New York. It is highly unadvisable to travel by your own car since traffic tends to be heavy. Taking a taxi is the best way to reach the city from the two international airports. Buses make for another affordable means of getting around the city but the fact that they have to traverse streets already teeming with slow-moving cars makes the journey a not-so-pleasant one. Moreover, they can prove to be more of a hassle than a help since multiple transfers are involved that may lead to an eventual gridlock.
Getting around the city by means of public transportation can prove to be very easy; on the other hand, it can be made extremely adventurous as well for those looking for it in the right place. Let us now take a look at the various means of public transportation in New York.
New York Subway
Visitors and citizens alike descend underground in order to avail the subway service. Available round-the-clock, it is an efficient and inexpensive means of getting around with the base fare for every ride being a minimal $2.50. A MetroCard can be bought from almost every station while there are machines that also accept credit cards. For those planning a longer travel on the New York City subway, a 7-day pass would be a better option with unlimited rides available for a week from the very first day of usage.These passes cost a minimal amount of $30.
It is relatively easy to understand and travel on the New York City subway. The various lines are referred to by their number or letter, but not necessarily by their color. There are a number of helpful route maps at the stations that can be consulted to get a fair idea of the direction of travel. Commuters are also advised to check if they are boarding an express train. It can be a major hassle if they have to simply zoom past their desired destination.
Bus service in New York
Available at a flat rate of $2.50 for every ride, bus rides are extremely appealing to the visitors who wish to get an above-the-ground view of New York City. MetroCard is accepted on buses as well and is better than paying cash since drivers neither accept dollar bills nor are in favor of returning change. One of the greatest aspects of using these cards aboard the MTA buses is that in case you are required to transfer to the Subway or to a bus on some different route within two hours of your initial ride, the former will be available for free. The fact that they often tend to get stuck in traffic congestions is one of the more unpleasant features of riding a bus in New York City.
Taxi service in New York
The streets of Manhattan are flooded with yellow taxi cabs that can be hailed right off the curbs. Passengers simply need to inform the drivers of their destination by referencing the closest cross-street. The meter starts from the $2.50 mark and continues to rise based either on the distance travelled or time spent in the ride. A tip of 15% to 20% is normally expected by the drivers at the end of the journey.
For those who are heading to one of the five boroughs of New York, it is important they have a clear idea of where they are going. Many drivers often claim they are not well acquainted with certain destinations is Queens and Brooklyn simply because they do not intend to drive down over there. These people are bound by law to take you wherever you want them to so if they refuse, you can simply note down their medallion number and name, and report the same to the Limousine and Taxi Commission of New York.
Roosevelt Island Tram
One swipe of your MetroCard and you will be off on the Roosevelt Island Tram, getting an aerial view of Midtown East. The tram follows the path down from Manhattan (59th Street and Second Avenue) to the Roosevelt Island located in the East River between Queens and Manhattan. It began operations in early 1900s and would carry passengers half-way down to the Queensboro Bridge. From there they would have to take an elevator down to the island. The service, however, has been extended and it ferries as many as two million riders on a weekly basis. While it operates from 6 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, the Island Tram service runs from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. on other days of the week.
Driving is one thing that everyone should look to avoid in New York as far as possible. Not only is the traffic appalling but also parking fees are expensive, provided you manage to find one in the first place. Moreover, a gas station is hard to locate when you need one. The New Yorkers themselves provide a cue for the situation by not driving around the streets themselves. And if they are unable to get around on their own vehicles, it is unlikely the visitors will be able to do so. Nevertheless, interested people can find car rental services at the JFK and LGA Airports.
For all the others, there is the impressive public transportation in New York to make best use of for getting around the various places of interest in the city.