Tips for City Living: Commuting

For people moving to NYC from locations where it’s common to drive everywhere by car, one question is usually on their minds: How will I get from one place to another? While you can absolutely have a car in the city, most residents find it to be more of a nuisance when figuring out how to get around in NYC.

The average time a NYC resident spends commuting is a little over six hours per week. Commuting offers a more practical solution, and there are tons of ways to go where you want without spending a fortune or waiting endlessly in traffic.

Take the Subway

The subway system in New York is set up to be efficient, even though it can be confusing for first-timers. Follow these tips your first time:

  • Explore the map of the NYC subway online. This will help you become more familiar with the sights and sounds you can expect, and you’ll also figure out the routes you need to take to make it to your desired location.
  • Have the right change for a MetroCard. Nothing is more annoying than getting to the subway and realizing you can’t go anywhere because you don’t have cash to get in.
  • Learn how to read the signs above the trains. If you need help, ask a Metro agent what each sign means.

If you can, have someone comfortable with the NYC subway system take you the first time you try it. Over time, you’ll get accustomed to the way the subway works, and you’ll be swiftly commuting across the city!

Take the Bus

Buses are another form of public transit that traverse the streets of NYC. The bus lines are predictable, although heavier traffic can sometimes delay buses. On the other hand, a bus may stop a little early, so plan your commute accordingly. Other hints include:

  • Check to see if you can use the subway to get where you’re going faster, especially if it’s a long distance.
  • Use the bus in conjunction with the subway to get around when it makes sense.

As you get more advanced with your knowledge of the city and the way the public transportation system works, you’ll be able to better judge whether you want to take the bus or hit the subway.

Hail a Cab

Have to get there now, and don’t have time to mess with the subway or a bus? Hail a cab. Just look for one that’s available for hire, get in the back, tell the driver the address and wait. The downside for cab rides is that you’ll pay more money than the subway or bus for this convenient service. Still, when you have to go somewhere, such as the airport or an important meeting, the money you spend is worth not worrying about being late.

Consider Walking

There’s a reason people who move to New York often find it to be a great way to lose weight: They can and do walk everywhere! You can go to the corner shop and get your morning coffee, and then come back to your apartment where your paper has already been delivered thanks to a Manhattan delivery service.

There’s nothing wrong with using your legs as part of your commute. That way, you can burn off all the incredible food that’s available on every corner! But no matter which method of transportation you choose, NYC is a bustling city that you’ll quickly learn to love once you know where you’re going.

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