Guide to Local Transportation in new York City

Thousands of tourists descend on New York City daily. With scads of tourists and an even larger number of New Yorkers on the move, the complex transportation infrastructures and airports are vital services.

Airports

Many visitors to New York City arrive by air from cities worldwide. Kennedy Airport, the largest airport in New York, handles international flights. LaGuardia serves mostly domestic and Canadian airlines. The Newark Airport (in New Jersey) handles both domestic and international carriers.

Train

Train travel to New York City is courtesy of Amtrak. Amtrak trains arrive and depart at Penn Station in midtown Manhattan. Grand Central Terminal is primarily a commuter railway station.

Buses

Greyhound buses transports travelers to the Port Authority Bus Terminal downtown. Shuttle buses also provide reliable transportation to and from the airport. Local city buses are typically fast but can move to a crawl during rush hour.

Subway

The New York City subway is a massive network. Transporting 5 million riders daily, the subway is both efficient and safe. But with 469 stations, and numerous trains and lines, the subway system can be confusing.

New York City residents get lost occasionally and have had to rely on maps. However, fellow passengers and subway operators are helpful in guiding tourists to their destinations. Once the desired route is figured out, it is easy to travel across the city underground. Recently, large posters indicating the directions of nearby streets were erected at 4 midtown stations.

Transit fares

Subways and buses cost $2.25 per ride. MetroCards are very cost effective. You can purchase them at all subway stations.

MetroCards:

* Pay Per Ride: with the purchase of a refillable $10.00 card, one ride is free.

* Unlimited Ride Card: riders have unlimited access to subways and buses for a specific time.

Taxis

Taking a cab in the city is quite an experience. And, despite the heavy presence of taxis, it can actually take a while trying to hail a cab. Metered fares start at a reasonable $2.50. But with traffic often at a standstill, expect fares in to increase quickly even after traveling short distances.

Car Rentals

Renting a car to drive in Manhattan is not worthwhile. Dealing with unfamiliar and congested streets, and aggressive drivers is stressful. Rental and parking fees are costly; finding parking spaces can be a hassle. Subways, buses, and taxis are best bets.

Bike Rentals

Bicycles and helmets can be rented for $40.00 a day. The loop in Central Park is the safest and most scenic bicycle route. Cyclists share the moderately hilly route with skateboarders and joggers.

Walking

New York City is a walker’s gem. The city is safe to move about in but tourist must still exercise caution. Avoid copying natives’ habits of crossing in the middle of streets or disobeying traffic lights. With lots of territory to cover, walking is an awesome way to explore the city.