First opened in 1904, the NY Subway system is one of the largest systems in the world with over 600 miles of track. On its first day, the subway carried 150,000 passengers but today it carries an estimated 5 million people per day. New Yorkers and tourists travel to all 5 boroughs by various lines of the train, most of which run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority, known as the MTA, keeps track of more than 20 different train lines. Fares are purchased for individual or multiple rides on a mag stripe MTA Transit Card available at all transit vending machines throughout. Fares can be purchased with American currency and most recognized charge cards. These cards can also be used on the MTA bus routes as well (exclusive of Express buses). Click here for the subway map.
In the mid-2000s, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, known as the MTA, consolidated most of the independent bus lines in the city into one entity. They provide local, limited, and express service as detailed below. Most buses are handicapped accessible and, except for express buses, none accept cash for service. Rides are done through an MTA Metro Card purchased in subway stations and other select locations.
Bus service runs throughout the boroughs though not all lines run through the night. Most lines also have adjusted schedules for holidays.
Local and limited-stop buses provide service within a single borough, or in some cases across two. While local buses make all stops along a route, limited-stop buses only make stops at SELECT limited stops providing a faster trip. These bus routes will be marked with buses saying SELECT on the overhead LED sign or in the windshield. Buses can be tracked with the app City Bus Tracker.
These are over the road coaches built for longer distances and provide a few steps from the outer borough. They serve areas not well served by local train or subway routes. They primarily run during rush hour service and are serviced with Express lanes on the highway reserved for them. Metro cards or coins are accepted. Paper money is not accepted.
Manhattan is an island surrounded by water. In the 1800’s it was heavily serviced by ferries. However, after the introduction of automobiles and bridges into the city, most ferries were abandoned. In recent years, due to a swelling demand, ferries have once again become visible.
NYC Ferry services Queens, Brooklyn, and parts of Far Rockaway for the same fare as the bus or subway. NY Waterway services points in New Jersey from Edgewater, Hoboken, and Weehawken to midtown 39th Street/West Side and downtown. For an interesting way to get around town, one can try the New York Water Taxi which provides Hop On Hop Off service around mid to lower Manhattan.
Last but not least is the Staten Island Ferry, which runs 24 hours a day between Staten Island and Manhattan. Best of all, it’s free and has the best view of the Statue of Liberty!