Living in New York City, the subway tends to be the most inexpensive and reliable method of transportation. It can take you from borough to borough in less than an hour. It's almost a guarantee that you'll need to take the subway at some point living in New York. At a glance, the subway system looks intricate and confusing, but after some practice, you will get the hang of it. Although I'm a self-proclaimed subway genius now, I've made my fair share of mistakes in the beginning. Without further ado, here are 14 tips that I can give when learning to ride the subway for the first time:
1. You may think it's dumb, but please take a good, long look at the subway map before riding it for the first time. Pretty much all of the information I'm about to give you can be acquired from a subway map.
2. Most subways go north and south of the city, few go east and west. If you ever need to get to the other side of Manhattan, remember that the L, 7, and S trains are your friend.
3. Utilize express trains. Unless you need to stop at an exact station, express trains will save you a lot of time, especially if you need to transfer. Know which trains run express and when.
4. Remember the difference between uptown and downtown. When the street numbers increase, the train is going uptown. When the street numbers decrease, the train is going downtown.
5. Download a subway navigation app! Do it!
6. Times Square and Union Square are two really common transfer locations.
7. Get used to the hustle. People will push and shove you, especially during rush hour.
8. Remember which trains stop at which station. For example, if you don't remember that only the 6 stops at Astor Place, you could end up on Wall Street.
9. Don't forget about free bus transfers. They can really save you some time, especially if a train is delayed.
10. Always check the sign before you swipe. There are separate entrances for trains running downtown and uptown.
11. Hold onto the subway poles! Even if you're confident in your subway surfing skills, you run the risk of taking a fall or bumping into an unamused stranger.
12. Don't clutch your pearls. 9,998 out of 10,000 people riding the subway don't want to rob you. Also, clowns aren't the scariest thing I've seen on the subway.
13. Don't be afraid to ask someone if you're lost.
14. If all else fails, take an Uber.