Tips for navigating the New York City Subway

August 4, 2011

Do you know how to navigate the Subway like a pro, or do you rely on your trusty map to get around?

As a resident of New York, you can often take for granted the public transportation system that hundreds of thousands of residents enjoy on a daily basis. But for those who are new to the area, navigating the Subway and bus system can be a daunting task.

So where do you begin if you’re a newbie? Here are a few tips from

Find your Subway entrance. You can typically find them on street corners with a staircase that descends into the station. If it’s marked with a large green ball, you can buy a MetroCard inside, which is a card you load with money to gain access to the Subway system. If it’s marked with a red ball, you need to already have a MetroCard to enter.

Let the maps guide you. They’re located near the entrances, and there is normally a neighborhood map also that shows the streets in detail. Check out the map before you leave the Subway, or if you get lost, check back with the map to find your way around.

Pay attention to the signs. At many stations, there are separate entrances for trains running uptown and downtown. You can’t get a refund after a swipe, so make sure you’re using it at the proper entrance. Ask the booth attendant if you need assistance.

Move to the center of the car. Subway trains can get crowded very quickly. It’s important to move away from the doors once you step into the car so that other riders can continue to enter behind you without obstacles. People will likely also try to get off the train before you do, and you want to keep their path as open as possible.

Smart phones can be your best friend. Specifically if you’re an iPhone user, the Google Maps app allows you to select a public transportation option that will show you directions via the Subway system, removing doubt about which train you should be on and when. Note: The subway system does not currently have wifi, so set the directions up before you head below ground to the platform.

What do you remember about your first few subway trips? Are there any tips you’d add to this list? Let us know in the comments section.

This post is brought to you by Expert Title Insurance, New York, NY. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo credit: Mike_fleming

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One Response to Tips for navigating the New York City Subway

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