Commuting in the City

Illustrated map of Manhattan, New York City

Since I’ve moved to New York people often ask me, especially my friends back home, how I move about the city. Last April my best friend and I conquered the challenge of Apartment hunting in NYC, which you can read about in a later blog, and found our dream apartment right on the East River. Luckily for me, it’s only a ten-minute walk to school and an additional 2 minutes for work. If you don’t live in the city you probably don’t truly understand just how expensive it is to live here, so I’m going to break it down for you, the commuting part at least.

If you don’t live within walking distance of your main visiting locations, for me that would be work and school, then your best chance to get around the city is the subway. You have a lot of payment options when it comes to riding the subway: your two main options being buying a card with time on it or amount. What that means is you have the option to get an unlimited amount of rides for the options of one week, bi weekly, or a monthly. The second option is constantly refilling it with a specific amount of money.

Since I only travel on the subway a handful of times a month, I usually put $50 on my card at a time with each ride costing $2.75. My roommate however, although she can walk to school, has to take the subway to work which means she has to buy a monthly. A monthly costs $121.00, that’s a lot, I know. However, a monthly provides an unlimited amount of rides for 30 days. Obviously, the subway is the most cost-efficient way to get around the city besides walking.

Even though the city has a massive amount of car service options, they can add up quickly. There are many fees that get added when taking a cab; for instance, if you’re in a cab during rush hour, it costs an extra 4 dollars or so. Every cab ride is different and costs a different amount. Once you get used to the roads and the layout of the city you eventually figure out the best routes for everything and you can tell your cabbie which way to take, but you never know how traffic will be and how long it will take to get from point A to point B.

But I want to share with you a couple more options of commuting in the city that many of my fellow New Yorkers opt for that you may not know about. Did you know that there are over 10,000 Citi Bikes in Manhattan with around 600 stations to park them at or check one out? Citi Bikes are cost efficient and good for the environment. Every day I see people in their work clothes riding a Citi bike on their way to a productive day. This is just one of the many options people have when commuting. There is also the bus which in some ways can be better than the subway because you stay above ground, so you won’t lose service and if you get stuck in traffic you can just get off and walk. Whereas in the subway you’re stuck underground until the train can move again. There are a few main hubs in the city that will get you just about anywhere you need to go to including all three major airports, JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark. These hubs are Grand Central, Times Square, Penn Station, and Union Square and every subway line connects to at least one of these main four. Just remember, when in doubt of how to get somewhere and if it’s too far to walk and the subway seems difficult, just call an uber.



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