Commuting NYC, like a pro, is no big deal. Truly. Sure it seems intimidating at first, given the sheer vastness of the city. But don’t worry, We’ve got a guide on NYC’s Subway Trains to help you hop around the city in no time!

Any form of travel in New York has its own set of hitches. Our traffic is truly among the worst in the world. And it really isn’t getting better anytime soon.

Those who appreciate sanity often end up resorting to the mass transit in NYC, specifically, the subways and the busses.

Sure, pieces of the former may be falling from the ceiling, and speeds for the latter may be slowing. But if there’s anything NYC’s Subway Trains has going for itself is that it’s cheap, open 24/7, and covers all five boroughs. Yep, Staten Island included.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a visitor or not, you may want some advice on NYC’s Subway Trains. And we’re here to provide! Keep reading!

Related: NYC Apartment Finder Apps With The Best Features

Planning ahead is everything.

The first thing anyone will tell you about the subway is to plan ahead. Subway delays are a part of the New Yorker’s life.

All we want to let you know about this is – never trust anything Google Maps tells you about your ETA. Leave early, always. 15 mins, an hour? Whatever makes you comfortable to get somewhere, if reaching on time is key. Reaching early is always better than getting stuck on the subway — everyone dreads making that excuse.

Download an app.

In the year 2018, the MTA finally released their app — this app is meant to cover NYC’s Subway Trains, bus, and commuter rail services. You don’t just save your frequent trips and look for subway stops and bus stations near you. You also get updates on service and delays, and find an array of helpful maps for trains and busses!

Another alternative to this app is Transit — if at all your MTA beta app lags or is too chunky.

You might also need another e-Tix app to purchase tickets virtually for the Long Island Rail Road. The MTA’s contactless payment system, OMNY, doesn’t have its own app yet, but, you can use your digital wallet on your smartphone to very conveniently tap and go.

Metrocards: Unlimited or not unlimited?

This one depends completely on your daily route. You might find that you’re more comfortable with an unlimited MetroCard, which comes in two variants:

  1. A 30-day MetroCard for $127
  2. A 7-day for $33

But before you decide on a solid option, give yourself time to understand what exactly your subway needs are like. You might just find that certain routes are easier if walked or biked!

You just might find that you can walk or bike everywhere (especially since a one-year Citi Bike membership is just $169). In this case, buy an occasional $40 MetroCard, or get a 7-day card if you’re entertaining a visitor who you’ll be riding around with all week.

If you do decide to get an unlimited card, make sure to swipe it forward. More on this very curious subject here.

Refilling your MetroCard

Imagine running to NYC’s Subway Trains when you know you’re late, hearing it pull in as you’re swiping your card. And then realizing you don’t have any remaining balance on your MetroCard. It’ll always work in your favor to pay attention to how much is left when you’re swiping in.

The moment you’re under $2.75, just fill the card up again at the station when you exit. This will help you avoid finding yourself stuck behind a family of tourists. And then watch them trying to figure out the MetroCard system, as the train arrival time teases you into panic mode. ?

Getting a pre-tax card?

The city’s pre-tax MetroCard offer allows people with a full-time job to save a little money! It’s a 30-day card that will still cost $127, but that $127 will be deducted from your pay before taxes – and to us, that sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

Here’s a calculator you can use to see just how much you will be saving per year with the pre-tax option.

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