How to Ride the New York City Subway

Posted by

(fanfare music) – Yellow Productions Presents
how to ride NYC subway, I’m Chris, this is Yellow
Productions, how to travel guides that are fun and formed of entertaining. This is part of my series of
travel guides on New York, in this one I’m going to
be telling you everything you need to know to ride this subway. I’m breaking it down
into nine different tips, give you some general
information first, then I’ll talk about buying tickets, finding the station, getting in the station,
getting on the train, getting off the train, exiting the station and then some concluding remarks. If you wanna watch some of
my other videos from New York you can click one of these cards up here, find the link in the description
below, or you’ll find the link to my New York City playlist
at the end of this video. Let me first start out with
some general information about New York City Subway, it
is a very big subway system it has 472 stations serving 27 lines, and it operates 24 hours a day. The routes are typically
numbered or lettered, so one, two, three, A, B, C. There’s a few different types of trains, there’s rapid trains they
call them express trains, and then there’s local trains. The local trains stop at
every stop, the express trains stop every few stops, they skip some. If you’re looking at the map
of the subway, you will find the white the white circles
are the express and the local stops, the block circles
are only the local trains. You should pay attention
to directions when you see things like Uptown if you’re in Manhattan, that’s typically North Manhattan. If you see Downtown that’s
typically South Manhattan. Also, you really want to pay
attention to the stations and the directions that they
go because sometimes a certain station entrance will only
be going a certain direction, and if you go in the subway you
can’t often just exit again, and you don’t wanna have to
make a costly $2.75 mistake because you went in the wrong entrance. The second tip for riding
the New York City subway is to plan your trip, and
for planning your trip, don’t be old school don’t use
a paper map, or don’t just try to get to the station,
figure out where you’re going, but use an app, come into
the 21st century, Google Maps will do it in pinch but
one of the best ones I think is called City Mapper. One of the great things about City Mapper, it’s much more detailed
then Google Maps is, you put in where you
want to go, you hit go, it’ll give your route, but
in addition to giving you the route, it’ll tell you things
like you walk a little bit it’ll give you the times for
the trains, and then it’ll even tell you things like what’s
the best section of the train to be in to transfer, it’ll
tell you how long it is to transfer, it’ll tell
you how many stops to go, and it’ll all work while
you’re on the train too, and it’ll show you where
you’re going on the connection so definitely get the City Mapper app, it’s for Android and iPhone. The third thing to know
is about buying tickets, and there will be these
types of ticket machines at the subway stations. These accept credit card
only, these big ones accept credit cards or cash. Simply put, you don’t really
wanna buy single ride tickets, you wanna buy one of
the re-loadable cards, you can do a single ride if
you’re only gonna be here for one ride, and it is
$3 for a single ride, it is good for only two hours of purchase, but what you wanna do is
you wanna get a Metro card, and then you can say get
new card, it costs a dollar to buy the card, you can
either get a regular metro card that you fill up with a certain
amount of money, every ride is $2.75, so this one will
give you two rides for example, or you could get the unlimited ride card, depends how long you’ll be
here, you can see seven days is $32, a month is $121,
if you wanna add buses that is a little bit more
for the express buses. Once you’re done with the
machine out will come a shiny new metro card like
this, I’ll point out this is not an ICE card, it’s
a magnetic stripe card, the magnetic stripe is right
here, once you’ve got this you’ll swipe this through the turnstiles over there to get in. If you ever wanna know how much
money is on your metro card, you can use these machines
too, you just say MetroCard, get card info, there’s a
little thing over here, you put the card in, and then it
will tell you how much money you have on your card. Now that you’ve planned your
route, you know what station you wanna go to, and
you got your metro card it’s time to get in. Make sure the station you’re
getting into you get in for the correct route or
line, you’ll see the numbers, the letters, the colors, and so make sure also going in the right direction. If it’s a staircase entrance
it’ll typically have some lights on the top, if you
see green lights on the top that means it’s a 24 hour
entrance, if you see red lights that means it’s an exit only,
or a part time entrance. Once you’re in the station,
to get in the part where you’d actually get on the
train, you have to swipe your metro card at the turnstile, it’ll either be a waist-high turnstile, or a full height turnstile. Swipe your metro card with
the mag stripe facing you at kind of a medium speed,
you just have to get the hang of it I don’t have
a better description for the speed other than that, too fast
or too slow, it won’t work. Now that you’re in the station,
you need to find your train, look for the route, the letter or number, and the direction up
on the overhead signs. In big stations you may be
walking up to 15 minutes to find the platform for your
train, and also make sure it’s the correct direction. Uptown is typically North in Manhattan, and Downtown again is typically South. Okay so you’ve found the
platform, now just get on your train when it gets
here, make sure you get on the correct local or express train. But when you’re riding the
train, seriously don’t bother listening to the
announcements, the speakers are usually lousy, the
microphones are lousy from the train operators,
they’ve got thick New York accents, the best way
is just to count your stops, if you use the City Mapper
app that I told you about earlier, you’ll know how
many stops, five stops, you just get off at that stop. Also can be worthwhile knowing
the stop before your stop, so you can see the station just
outside when you get there, and you’ll know your stop is the next one. Also, when you’re riding the
train don’t stare at the people on the train, don’t get
on an empty car, there’s a reason why people aren’t in it, it is either hot or it smells. If you’re wearing a backpack,
remove it so you don’t bump into people or stuff doesn’t
get stolen out of it. Stay awake, don’t fall asleep
cause otherwise people might steal your stuff or you
might miss your stop, but yes there are pickpockets on
the New York City subway, so do be careful. If you’re standing, make sure
to hold on to the railing because the trains do stop and
rock, and restart suddenly. Locals might not be holding
on, but they are used to it, and if you’re watching
this video chances are you are not used to it. Now that you’re at your stop,
you need to exit the station. If you use the City Mapper
app, and it has a few stations, it’ll tell you what exit to
go out of, so take a look at the overhead signs to
find the correct exit. When you get to the turnstile, you don’t need to swipe
out, just push out. Your metro card is valid for
transfers up to two hours after you swiped it into the subway. You can go from the subway to
the bus, or bus to a subway, but not subway to a subway,
for a transfer to work in New York City, you
basically have to ride a bus at some point. And finally, when you’re
all done, go wash your hands or use some hand sanitizer
when you leave the subway, it can be kind of germy,
definitely don’t eat anything until your hands are clean. Thanks for watching, if you
enjoyed this video please click on this yellow ball, subscribe,
follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Instagram,
or click here or here to watch some of my other
videos from my New York series, you know you want to. Alright thanks, bye bye.


  1. 5:20 don't bother listening to the announcements? Actually it's good to keep an ear open as sometimes sudden changes occur (might skips stops or next stop might be last stop) while on the train. Some trains use automated voices while others have a live person saying what stop is next. Depends on the train. No app will tell you in real-time if there's a delay up ahead,whether that be a police investigation or the always fun "sick passenger" announcement. If you're a tourist, you should pay even more attention. The Wifi also works only when the train pulls up to the station. It dies when it goes inside the tunnel. All stations are Wifi enabled. If anything,ask an MTA attendant or the train conductor before boarding,if you have any questions.

  2. Grab a seat, don't matter if u gotta sandwich between fat people. Don't play with your iPhone, get that shit snatched. Pay attention tile signs and do not engage.

  3. Don’t forget that free WiFfi and cell service is available in all 282 underground subway stations!
    For Wi-Fi access, just log on to the TransitWirelessWifi through your network settings. We’d love to see a video about how to access free Wi-Fi while traveling in New York!”

  4. Tips for those who ride the R-
    I’ve been going there constantly for years and I can say that they’ll get re-rerouted to either Queensbridge (To Manhattan-bound) or Roosevelt-Avenue (To Queens-bound) it has happened so much times I’ve lost count

  5. Tips #2 from a native NYCer-
    Please please please, DO NOT HOLD THE DOORS. You are stopping the train from leaving and holding up the one behind it. That makes you seem like a huge jerk and people might be pretty pissed at you.

  6. Hi, great video. Can I use Metrocard also for PATH ride? We will stay in hotel in Jersey City for 8 days. Thank you.

  7. It would be worth it to pay some college student to show you how to do this crap if like me you are just visiting for a week. I’ve never had to ride a bus or take a train and December in NYC May not be the time to start.

  8. Fantastic video. I so wish I had seen this before I went to NYC last week. I wasn't aware that you couldn't change platforms within the stations like you can in London and got caught out a couple of times, having to pay an extra 2.75 for the privilege! D'oh!

  9. Don't look at people. Don't talk to anyone. Beware of thieves. Hardly any toilets. Use sanitiser. Don't eat. No coverage in tunnels. No location indicators in carriages. Yikes; makes Sydney's trains (176 stations, 506 miles) and integrated light rail, ferries and buses sound like heaven, even with a cost of up to $15.80 (about US$11.00) a day.

  10. What was that last station from the last clip? I’ve never seen that before… the fact that the metro card is inserted !!

  11. If you're literally gonna make tips about the subway, DO NOT include anything to PATH because path isn't related or the same as MTA.

  12. You forgot warn everybody about all of all the rats, roaches, urine, vomit and homeless people everywhere in the subway. New York City subway is a toilet.

  13. I have lived in North Jersey my entire life literally 15 minutes from the city and I still don't know how to take the Subway. Or don't feel confident enough on my own. Unfortunately, I have to go to Brooklyn on my own and this video was the saving grace I needed. Thanks!

  14. From a New Yorker , I am so glad someone has done their homework on NYC, you don't know how many do not and do not know the Vanacular for New York, from a New Yorker.

  15. I thought you were going to show the trains with the overhead stops and yes Plz people know your route I will most like always give you the wrong direction because I live NY but I haven't been everwhere in NY

  16. Me and my mom sometimes pertend to be tourists just so we dont get stopped and REALLY DONT STARE AT PEOPLE We think its rude

  17. Here's one more Subway personal safety tip from a Bi-Coastal Resident (New York & Los Angeles): If you are riding the subway late at night or feel uncomfortable riding the subway, get on the car where the Conductor is located (Towards the center of the train). Thieves/Violent people tend to avoid these cars since there is an official MTA Staff Person there who can call for help , etc if something should happen.

  18. Thank you!!! I got an internship at SoHo NYC this coming April till August. This will help me a lot!!! Oh btw so the 30 day Metro card will be the best one for me?

  19. since I've always taken the A train to JFK, here is a trick I've recently discovered last summer to avoid taking the (Far Rockaway-bound) A train. To avoid the $5 passenger fee of going into the AirTrain @ Howard Beach, take the Lefferts-bound A train to the last stop Lefferts Blvd, transfer there for an MTA bus called the (Q10) which goes from that subway station, and runs straight down Lefferts Blvd into JFK Airport. The exit for the Q10 bus to JFK is located at the front-end of the station (bus stop for JFK is on the southwest corner of Lefferts Blvd-Liberty Av directly across from the Popeyes Chicken Restaurant). If each person has their same separate metrocards from the subway, and uses each one onboard the bus as a transfer within 2 hours of paying the full $2.75, each transfer is free since its included in the $2.75 that each person paid when entering the subway. If each person is using the unlimited ride pass, this route should be used because the unlimited ride pass does not work going into the AirTrain @ Howard Beach, but does work onboard all local & *LIMITED*/skip-stop MTA buses.

    Best part about the transfer at the Lefferts Blvd-AirTrain station from the Q10 LIMITED bus to the AirTrain is that it’s right across from the bus stop. Another thing is that anyone can board the AirTrain at that station also for FREE, they also do not need their metrocards to enter; just walk into the station, go right up to the platform and wait for the AirTrain to go to either terminals 1, 2, 4, 7 or 8. Lastly super important, passengers flying with JetBlue or any of the other four airlines that depart out of terminal 5 (Aer Lingus, TAP Portugal, Hawaiian or Cape Air), those passengers going out of terminal 5 do not need the AirTrain at all because when they get on the local Q10, or Q10 LIMITED @ Lefferts Blvd-Liberty Av, they can then take either of those buses to the last stop @ JFK which drops them off directly @ terminal 5!!! Preferably to save time from Liberty Av (via Lefferts Blvd) to terminal 5; use the Q10 LIMITED because it takes just over 15 minutes whereas the Q10 local takes about just over 25 minutes.

  20. Don't isolate yourself. There are people who have been through what you might be facing right now and they overcame it. Don't push people away, surround yourself with people who are spiritually mature and get the help that you need. Isolation when you are in pain and don't know if there's a way out is dangerous and that's why we have suicide cases. Listen, there's nothing that you can be facing that God is not able to solve for with God nothing is impossible. Hold on. Jesus loves you.

  21. To the person reading this, you are who God says you are. You are made in the image of God, The Creator of  heaven and earth. Because of His love for you and I, He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for you so that you can have everlasting life and not go to hell. Jesus Christ arose from the dead, He is alive and is the only Messiah, the King of kings, the Beginning and the End. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the whole world. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, invite Him into your heart/life today. Wherever you are, He can hear you for He is everywhere. Remember Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to God the Father. Jesus loves you sooooo much so that He gave His life for you. You are valuable…You are loved.

  22. These are actually great tips. Im going to look into Citymapper just out of curiosity.

    In the meantime, you forgot a few important tips

    1) follow the arrows on the card for the swipe / insert direction. Easy to see

    2) when you get to the platform you can use the map to verify your destination. However, don't stare at the list of stops on the train blocking the doors… It's get in and go, not look at the stops. You can look once you're on the train moving

    3) when boarding, let the people exiting get out first. This makes it 10x easier to get in and find a spot

    The only other thing was I wouldn't have discussed "express buses" or at least clarified that they are special inter-boro buses but are not necessary for crossing the Boros (tbh I've lived in NYC my entire life and never used the express bus nor do I really know anyone who has)

    Other than that it was good

  23. Ahead of our trip to NYC we watched this video and found it extremely helpful. The section on how to purchase/load a Metrocard was especially useful, as was the note to pay attention to the "uptown and downtown" signs. And Citymapper! Invaluable. Well done.

  24. not very inviting…. I have ridden the subway only once and that was in San Francisco… it was actually a neat experience… I can't imagine having to use the subway every day to get to work and back home…

  25. By far the most detailed video on using the markers to identify needed routes. Great job! Wish I'd found your video on the first day of my trip.

  26. Bad advise to tell people.not to listen to announcements. You may miss important info about delays, changes in service, emergency conditions,.etc. Please, listen carefully. to the announcements.

  27. Thank you very much, my brother is tryning to live here, and does not think about buying a car yet. I will show this video for him. Thanks from Brazil

  28. Any tips for traveling with children? Is the fee of $2.75 the same for them? Do they need a metro card? We live upstate and will be visiting the city soon and my 7 year old is just dying to ride a subway!

  29. More details on getting through the different turnstiles would be helpful. I lost money just trying to swipe then push but got stuck a few times.

  30. I'm amazed at the complexity! My wife and I are going to NYC in August for what will amount to our first trip to NYC (both of us have visited briefly when we were young and had no resources, so it was a bust!). Since we have some resources, we have been to Chicago (with friends who served as tour guides, but it seemed easy to use the Metro) . . . and then Buenos Aires, Santiago and CDMX (Mexico City). All of those systems were WAY easier to use . . . and, while Buenos Aires and Santiago are smaller than the Big Apple, CDMX is actually somewhat larger. You can get anywhere in the 21-million population metro system for about 29 cents U.S. Another 29 cents gets you back to where you started. If you spend $1 per day in CDMX on travel, you have traveled a hell of a lot! Clean, comfortable, simple, smooth and safe . . . I think CDMX metro is going to be tough for NYC to match. We will see, of course . . . Because we're going to end up in both in late summer.

  31. the written part of citymapper app is far more useful than anything. App is more useful over long distance but when you get close to destintion within 5 miles its garbage. Id give 2 out of 5 stars

  32. At 6:42 could someone please explain the transfer and bus situation a little more? and why is it that way?

  33. Sorry but i have a very very basic questions cause I’ve never been on a subway before ..what A,B,C,D / 1,2,3 means ?like if i wanna go to downtown which one I sould choose A or B..? also how do I Know If my train local or express do you choose it or its just random ?

  34. Actually I have had wonderful small talk on the subway. However it is a matter of reading a person BEFORE talking to them. As has been noted, people maybe heading to a job interview, job an audition and cannot be late and as the NYC subway can be quite mercurial they may have had one of those unexpected "delays" announced by the train conductor — delays due to signal, sick passenger, police activity/investigation or the dreaded car out of service — and are now running more behind. It is as if you dear visitor were on the E train heading to the JFK shuttle and experienced subways delays or change of service (I see this all the time when they have the express E train to connect with the shuttle go LOCAL, this is a big change as MTA now has added about 12 – 16 train stops to your trip).

    So, when to ask for assistance when on the train? Best once everyone is one board, doors closed and NOT at peak rush hour. If you want to ask a New Yorker for assistance at rush hour, I would go to the station agent. The video is FLAWED as the tour guide forgets to mention we still have station agents who will sell your card and give you directions. Granted the customer service quality will vary but they are there to help and with ticket vending machines, have time to help. In addition the station agents who will be in these enclosed cubicle-like kiosks can open up the "emergency doors" (which really no longer serve that function) which are actual doors which you can easily roll you luggage and packages through – unlike the turnstiles which due to their height present many a traveler with a contortion puzzle to figure out (usually rather quickly once you determine how to scooch your luggage under the damn thing). Also during rush the MTA has in recent years added train personnel to get people to board on the train and avoid holding the doors, but are also invaluable in helping out those in need of directions.

    Finally, for those of you who come from areas where you drive and escalators are abundant, except for the World Trade Center stop connecting to the PATH trains to Jersey City/Hoboken/Harrison/Newark, you will be climbing a lot of stairs. There are some escalators but mainly at the larger ones and in Manhattan. So for example, the N/W line going into Astoria from Queensborough Plaza to Ditmars has only one escalator I believe – at Ditmars. In addition there is no elevator along this portion. The MTA is working to improve accessibility and the map (and ONE REASON TO GET A PAPER ONE AS BACK-UP) indicates which stations have elevators or wheelchair accessible.

    For those of you whoever wish to visit NYC drop me a line at YouTube.

  35. The old trains have no announcements,nobody has new york accents,the announcements are usually made by people with foreign accents and you can't understand them

  36. I visited NYC once for a reason, it’s nasty as hell, the subway is nasty as hell, also you can’t ride the subway without being hassled about money or something by a heckler. And nobody cares or helps

  37. Just got back from a jam-packed 4 day trip to NYC/Manhattan. The City Mapper app was GOLDEN both for walking directions and for subway directions. Thanks for the info! Saved our trip! And sanity!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *