18 Important Tips And Tricks For Your NYC Subway Survival Guide
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18 Important Tips And Tricks For Your NYC Subway Survival Guide

How to survive on the Subway.

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18 Important Tips And Tricks For Your NYC Subway Survival Guide
Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash

Before moving to New York, I was clueless when it came to the Subway. If someone were to drop me in the middle of the city, I would have no idea how to make it back to the Bronx.

In case you are as uncertain as I once was, the New York Subway system is a public transportation system which runs through Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. The Subway system can be complicated, so it’s important to know some tricks of the trade from a New Yorker herself. It won’t take long to get used to the Subway, but there are definitely a few tips you should consider before you start your ventures.

1. Save the official Subway map on your phone so you always have it.

Once you download this from the official MTA website, you’ll always have the key to getting around New York.

2. Express vs. local trains.

Express trains are fast; they skip many stops throughout the trip. Local trains are longer because they stop at every station in their path. You should know which train you’re getting on in order to ensure your stop won’t be skipped!

3. Budget time to get your ticket.

It’s hard to predict how long it’ll take to buy tickets since stations can get crowded and, sometimes, ticket machines don’t work properly. Cut out a few extra minutes to get your tickets; the worst that will happen is you’ll get to the platform early and take an earlier train!

4. Daily card or monthly card?


You should buy a daily card if you take spontaneous trips. However, if you are planning on using the train almost every day, it’s a good investment to buy a monthly card.

5. Be patient when swiping your Metro card.

The machine won’t process your card if you swipe it too fast or too slow. If you have a hard time, you might create a traffic jam behind you. Make sure to swipe your card at just the right speed so the machine processes it. Look around at others to see how they’re swiping theirs.

6. Don’t stand near the end of the platform.

There are signs on the ground that says this, and that is for a reason! God forbid someone trips into you, or if you lose your balance, you or the people around you may fall into the tracks.

7. Let people off the train before going in.

Before entering, let the people off the train first; you can’t get on a train that’s packed with people waiting to exit.

8. Don’t stand near the doors when they’re closing.

Keep your distance from the doors when they’re closing. If you happen to be by the doors, make sure no clothing or belongings are caught in between the door. If this is the case, try to remove them before the train starts moving.

9. Avoid walking in between cars while the train is moving.

It’s pretty obvious that this is a very dangerous thing to do. Try your best to move between cars only when the train is not moving.

10. Check for any substances on the seats before sitting.

Some seats get dirty over the course of the day. Make sure to wipe down the seat before you sit so that your clothes don’t get dirty.

11. Keep bags on your lap while sitting down.

To make sure seats are available for all, put bags and backpacks on your lap to make room next to you. This is also a good idea to protect your items from being stolen.

12. Be aware that you might lose phone service.

While underground, your phone may lose its signal. This is important to know in case you need to contact somebody.

13. Try not to fall asleep.

If you don’t want to miss your stop, or be robbed, stay awake during your travels!

14. Headphones are a blessing and a curse.

Headphones can help relieve the loud sound from the Subway. However, you won’t be able to hear the stops over the loudspeaker if your volume is too loud. Be aware of your volume so that you don’t miss your stop or any other important announcements that are made!

15. Bring hand sanitizer.

If you’re a germaphobe like me, hand sanitizer is holy water. Trains can get dirty, so do whatever you can to protect yourself.

16. Walk toward the door before your stop arrives.

If the train is crowded, you should start making your way to the doors before your stop even arrives; this ensures that you won’t miss your stop.

17. Keep to the right when walking.

When walking on the stairways and through cars, keep to the right to avoid getting bumped into. If everyone does this, traffic will run smoother.

18. Last, but definitely not least, if you see something, say something!

Always contact authorities if you see any suspicious activity. For all you know, you may be saving the lives of hundreds of people!


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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