Getting Around New York City
The best way to get around NYC is through a combination of walking and the City’s inexpensive and energy-efficient 24/7 mass transit system. NYC’s subways and buses are operated by the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority).
Other interborough connections include a recently expanded ferry system and even an aerial tramway.
Getting an MTA MetroCard is your first step to navigating the City by subway or bus. You can purchase a MetroCard at any subway station from multilingual machines (which accept cash and credit and debit cards) or booth attendants. You may also use exact change (no dollar bills) to ride any city bus.
Riders have three options for fare payment: a single-ride ticket, a pay-per-ride MetroCard, or an unlimited-ride MetroCard. There is a $1 fee to purchase a MetroCard, so be sure to retain it—and check the expiration date on the back of the card (the MTA will issue a new MetroCard for no charge if your card has expired or is damaged). A single-ride ticket costs $3, is sold only at vending machines and must be used within two hours of purchase. With a pay-per-ride MetroCard, the base fare for a subway or bus ride is $2.75; the minimum purchase is $5.50, maximum is $80. An unlimited MetroCard enables users to ride all subways and buses as often as they like and costs $33 for seven days. Additional discounts are available for seniors age 65+ and disabled riders. For a map of New York City’s subway and bus system, click here.
The City’s fleet of taxicabs is regulated by the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC). Taxicabs operate 24 hours, provide door-to-door service, and accept cash or credit cards. NYC’s apple-green Boro Taxis can pick up passengers in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens (excluding the airports) and Staten Island, plus northern Manhattan (north of West 110th Street and East 96th Street); they are not authorized to pick up any trips elsewhere in Manhattan.
To hail a taxi, stand at the curb and look for a yellow cab with an illuminated white number on top. Off-duty cabs display the illuminated words “Off Duty” on the same sign. Board and exit the cab curbside. For yellow or green taxis, there is a minimum meter fare of $3, and prices increase based on the distance and duration of the trip (assume prices are higher during peak rush-hour traffic). Surcharges apply to the meter price. Drivers appreciate a 15–20 percent gratuity at the end of a trip. Bridge and tunnel tolls are not included in the taxi’s metered fare.
For further details, visit https://nyc.gov/taxi or call +1.212.NEW.YORK (639.9675) from outside the City or 311 when in town.