This is all we want to say before you dive into part two of our guide to the NYC Transit System:

There are no actual rules to the New York City Transit System.

But there sure are some tried and tested tips that can, quite literally, help you get places, quicker. Some of these are easy to remember, and others are bound to exponentially increase the quality of your lifestyle.

Yep, take our word for that one!

Learn the stations you frequent

At the end of a long commute, you just want to get the hell away from the subway. But it’s worth taking a second look around to familiarise yourself with the stations you visit frequently. This becomes crucial on the C and G lines as trains don’t always extend for the full length of the track.

It’s just so rewarding to be able to calculate the train door closest to the exit, from the station you enter! This could make all the difference in your mood as well as your transit time!

Be very (very) mindful of what you eat (or drink).

There may be train systems that don’t let you finish your bagel. But New Yorkers don’t stand by that kind of thinking. The cops will NOT be called on you if you decide to finish your coffee or sandwich mid-transit.

However, your odds of becoming a viral sensation increase, along with the olfactory intensity. So try to avoid chowing down on anything too strong in order to spare your fellow commuters. (This also goes for food that will make the subway messier than it already is.)

Keep moving! especially when you leave a station.

This cannot be repeated enough. When you exit a station, walk some steps forward, even if you don’t know where you are.

This will prevent you from coming in other people’s way. And also from people walking directly into your back. Or worse, causing a traffic jam of people, just because you stopped walking when you shouldn’t have.

It’s like high school hallways, where getting your bearings is important, sure. But don’t jam up the works by not getting the hell out of the way, y’know?

Common-sense etiquette is expected.

Remember, the subway is both cramped and responsible for accommodating a lot of people. So the best you can do is make the ride easier for yourself and those traveling next to you. Here are some basic subway etiquettes that we think every passenger must adhere to:

  1. Stand to the side to let people off the trains
  2. Avoid filling seats around you with your stuff or your smelly sense of entitlement
  3. Walk all the way into the train instead of stopping six inches after walking through the doors.
  4. No one likes that person who chooses to play their music on loud or to have a conversation on speaker. Sure, it makes for entertainment, but not at 7 am.
  5. If you find yourself standing against the doors on a train that’s filled:
    • Give space to those moving in and out when the doors are open.
    • If there’s space, move to the middle of the train.It’s as easy as that!

It’s also important to understand that just because you’re adhering to these rules, everyone else will too. The truth, as many exhausted New Yorkers will tell you, the subway has no rules beyond the New York City Criminal Code. But a little spatial awareness never hurt anyone.?

Get a bike if nothing else works.

Before you take us up on this, we’d like to say that everything is a little dangerous to a certain degree. There are even some coyotes running around like they own the place!

So be careful but don’t let anyone tell you that riding a bike is “too dangerous”. (Especially since the city continues to adopt a more bike-friendly infrastructure across the five boroughs!)

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