There are enough and more things in this world that can make a New Yorker sob. This statement is especially true when it comes to the city’s (not so) beloved public transit system, the Subway! The subway in NYC is famous for a lot of things, one of our top favorites being that one time Hozier performed a few songs for commuters at the Rockefeller Center subway stop in NYC (Yep, just like that!). The New York City Subway Station has the most number of stations in the WORLD. In pre-corona days this would amount to overcrowding, delays, and service changes, the kind of barely-controlled chaos in a train in NYC. And overwhelm even the most seasoned city dwellers.

Here are some hacks that can help prepare you for the subway train in NYC to navigate the system better!

How much is a subway ride in NYC?

Riding the subway costs $2.75 for most riders.

People with disabilities or who are 65 or older are eligible for a reduced fare.

An unlimited rides’ MetroCard can save you money.

These give you unlimited swipes for a certain length of time.

MetroCards cost $1.

All cards except for the Single Ride card are refillable.

Up to three children under 44 inches tall ride for free!

This is applicable when they’re with a fare-paying adult.

You pay the fare at turnstiles before you board the train.

You don’t have to do anything after.

Now with services up and running again, the NYC subway demands a $50 fine from riders who refuse to wear a mask. Additionally, they are also offering free masks to anyone who needs them. The only time the subway in NYC is suspended is from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., while they disinfect stations and trains.

 The New York City Subway.

Related: Traveling by NYC’s Transit System: A Guide To NYC’s Subway

Do not ignore the maps and the apps and navigate better on the subway in NYC!

There’s nothing worse than getting caught in a situation you could’ve easily avoided, mid-transit. Here are some apps you need if you’re planning on frequenting the NYC subway:

Exit Strategy

If like most New Yorkers you’re really in a rush, this app tells you where to best board and off the train! We love anything that helps us save time.

KickMap & Google Maps

If you’re looking for help with directions, plus transit alerts if there are service changes, KickMaps and Google Maps do the job perfectly well.

Look for that black & white board, and the conductor at the subway train in NYC!

If you find yourself in a fix that you doubt an app can solve, just place yourself under one of those black-and-white boards that hang over the middle of the platform. Why you may ask? Because conductors use these boards to make sure the train is aligned properly in the station, and their cars always stop in front of them, so you’ll be ready to ask a quick question before the train has to move on. Pretty neat trick, right?

Is it safe to ride the subway at night? And other safety concerns.

Generally speaking, the subway is a much safer place than it used to be a couple of decades ago. But there’s little reassurance in that statement. Here are some things you can do to ensure your safety on the subway and beyond it!

The NYPD advises riders to:

Make use of a station’s off-hours waiting area. This may vary from station to station but is typically next to the station agent’s booth. And if you’re traveling late at night, it’s best to ride in the conductor’s car.

There will be times when you should avoid the subway entirely.

In which case, rideshare services like Uber are a relatively affordable alternative. And for women and gender-nonconforming people, RightRides is a non-profit organization that provides free, late-night rides home to ensure safety.

When you’re anxious or uncomfortable on the subway,

Move away from someone who is crowding you, keep your bags zipped and phones out of sight. Staying alert is the least you can do.

Another aspect of self-protection involves keeping an eye on your fellow passengers’ behavior and body language. Stay aware of your surroundings. For some people, this might mean losing their headphones. And if someone strikes you as erratic or threatening, try to move to a different car, or simply get off the train.

Many subway stations now have “Help Points,” which allow passengers to call in case of emergencies and ask for help.

Related: Traveling with NYC’s Transit System: Part 2

Avoiding the empty train car is in YOUR best interest.

Just think about it. Everyone on the train left that one car empty for a reason. The AC may be broken and the air inside might be blisteringly hot. Or maybe someone threw up on it the night before while coming home from a party. If all the other train cars are full and that one is empty, trust the judgment of your fellow New Yorkers and steer clear.

D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers figure out the train and subway in NYC? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!