Ride the Subway like a Native: Tips and Tricks for Not Letting the Subway Get the Better of You
Moving to a new city is one thing, but learning to navigate New York City adds a layer of complexity that can be a challenge. While NYC is not the only city in the USA with a subway system, it is the biggest, most complicated, and most crowded. Let’s put the size in perspective. The distance of the NYC subway system adds up to more than 233 miles and carries approximately 2.75 billion people per year. That’s right, billion... I know. The NYC subway system is MASSIVE, and that can be very daunting. Below are a few tips that may be helpful.
Safety first, the MTA provides very useful Rider Safety information and advises: 1) walk, don't run on the platform, 2) NEVER lean over the side of the platform to see if your train is coming, 3) be aware of the gap between the platform and train, and 4) stay aware of your surroundings.
PLAN AHEAD by checking the MTA alerts, before leaving your house, often there are construction or other delays that can negatively impact your travel time.
On extra crowded days, it can be challenging to work your way through the crowds to actually get on a train. It is important to be assertive, without being aggressive, so you can get in a car. Just keep moving forward and hold your ground. Many times, the areas by the doors will be packed, but there will be space near the middle of the car. You can either ask folks to move in a bit or excuse yourself so that you can make your way to the open space.
The subway can be daunting but the MTA provides a lot of very free information online, including downloadable maps, and at the ticket booths, you can ask for assistance. Get comfortable navigating when you don't have appointments or somewhere to be, so that you can become accustomed to the experience. Before long, you too, will be riding the subway like a native.