New York

5 Things You Should Know About The NYC Subway

5 Things

Here are 5 solid tips that will help you navigate the NYC subway – AND are very difficult to learn by yourself! Each of these has been earned through pain!

New York subway
Subway station. Notice the font!

NYC Subway Tip 01:

Don’t bend the MetroCard! No-one will tell you this, but if you bend the metrocard, you will lose ALL your money on it. The only way to get it back is to post it to the MTA who will then send you a new card by mail, after 5 – 7 business days. Naturally, in the meantime you have to buy a brand new card.

NYC Subway Tip 02:

To properly navigate through Manhattan, look at a map of NYC – if you’ve oriented it normally, which I shall call ‘landscape mode’ you’ll find it a bit confusing – the trick is to turn it 90°s to the left – ‘portrait mode’. Suddenly, all the avenues are vertical, and going in descending order from left to right, and the streets are in ascending order from bottom to top. This is far more logical and even through you aren’t looking at the city in terms of North and South, you can navigate from anywhere to anywhere looking at the street corners. How does this help with subways? Because the next time you have to take a subway somewhere, you don’t have to think of the name of the station, just the position in the grid of where you want to go. No matter what happens, you’ll reach a subway station within a couple of blocks of the address.

NYC Subway Tip 03:

Don’t fall for the hustlers. You’ll find a million guys asking for money or help or charity. Remember the Mumbai rule: maaf karo.

NYC Subway Tip 04:

NEVER buy a secondhand MetroCard. It’s a scam. I don’t care if you ran the damn thing through the scanner to check how much money was in it. It’s a scam.

NYC Subway Tip 05:

Don’t fall for the free 50 cents every time you add value of $10 to your card. Unless you’re there for just a few days, it’s usually better to get a 7-day pass for $30. So long as you do more than 12 trips, you’re golden!