New York City Subway
The New York City Subway may seem like a complex system, but once you understand the
basics, it's quiet easy to understand in whole. There are 656 miles of subway track that trans-
port commuters to Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island City, the Bronx, and Harlem.
While the word “subway” automatically represents underground trains only, New Yorkers
call all municipal rapid transit trains “the subway”, even though some of them run above
ground. The term also refers only to the trains run by the New York City Transit Authority
- it does not include suburban railroads, or the Port Authority's Air Train to the airport and
PATH trains to New Jersey. The New York City Subway system extends to four of the five
boroughs. It does not extend to Staten Island.
Unlike many international cities, the subway runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days
a year. While some stations are sometimes closed for maintenance work or construction,
even in those cases there usually shuttle buses provided to provide service to those locations.
MTA Apps such as Roadify will be able to tell you about the change in services to avoid the
The only times the Subway systems have ever closed were during the 2012 Hurricane Sandy
storm, where parts of the subways were flooded. Otherwise, the subway never closes.
The fare to ride the subway is presently $2.50 for a single ride.
Depending on your length of stay, there are discounts for multiple ride combinations, and
also unlimited fare cards for set periods.) The subway system is made up of a number of dif-
ferent lines that go from one terminal to another in a linear fashion (unlike London, there is
no truly circular, looping route.) Where the subway lines intersect in the same or connected
stations, you may “transfer” between trains for no cost. Unlike many other cities, it does not
matter how far you are riding, or how many times you change trains. If you have paid your
fare, you are allowed to ride on that same single fare for as long as you would like (unless
you leave the station).
When you enter a subway station, you are in an area that is called the “mezzanine”. In the
mezzanine can be found the turnstiles, and in most cases the automated subway machines.
There are also many large maps of the entire subway system on the wall, as well as the
neighborhood map of where you are currently located. The Automated Subway Machines
allow you to buy subway ride cards called “MetroCards”. While the machine is the easiest