PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

The best way to get around NYC is through a combination of walking and the City’s energy-efficient 24/7 mass transit system. NYC’s subways and buses are operated by the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority). The system is inexpensive, provides a fun way to extend sightseeing—and it gets you where you need to go. 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. A MetroCard is required to enter the subway system, while exact change or a MetroCard can be used on buses. You can purchase a MetroCard at any subway station from multilingual machines (which accept cash and credit and debit cards) or booth attendants. Riders have three options for fare payment; a single-ride ticket, a pay-per-ride MetroCard or an unlimited-ride MetroCard.

A single-ride ticket costs $3, is sold only at vending machines and must be used within two hours of purchase. For MetroCards, there is a $1 fee to purchase 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). With a pay-per-ride MetroCard, the base fare for a subway or bus ride is $2.75. If a value over $5.50 is added to the card, an additional 5 percent bonus is added as well.

Below are some samples with the bonus:

  • Buy a $ 10.48 MetroCard ($11 value) 4 rides
  • Buy a $20.96 MetroCard ($22 value) 8 rides
  • Buy a $41.91 MetroCard ($44 value) 16 rides

An unlimited MetroCard enables users to ride all subways and buses as often as they like and costs $32 for seven days or $121 for 30 days. Additional discounts are available for seniors age 65 and older and disabled riders. For a map of New York City’s subway and bus