New York City sits at the top of travel bucket lists for individuals across the globe; however, until one arrives in NYC, they seldom consider how they’re going to navigate this concrete jungle. Initially, everyone says they’ll just get the subway, yet they don’t understand just how complicated this underground network can be to novices. When tourists find themselves unsuccessful with the subway, they often turn to taxis, but this too can be tricky if you haven’t spent your life hailing taxis. So, just how do you go about getting around New York City as a tourist?
When using New York taxicabs, it’s important to know just how they differ from taxis across the globe: you don’t use an NYC taxicab in the same way you’d use West Malling taxis in the UK. For instance, you don’t book taxis in advance in NYC; there will be a fleet of yellow cabs on almost every street, so you really don’t need to. Despite this, you need to make sure that you’re only hailing taxis with illuminated signs, as this signals they’re on duty. Another difference between NYC taxicabs and the rest of the world is that it’s customary to tip 15 to 20 percent at the end of a journey; to tip below this or not tip at all is considered very rude.
Perhaps the most popular mode of transport throughout New York City is the Subway, with trains operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A single fare costs only $2.75, making it an affordable option when it comes to navigating NYC. The Subway can take you to pretty much anywhere throughout NYC, apart from Staten Island. As a result, the Subway is the most convenient and quickest way to get around NYC. Not to mention, this is one of the best ways to feel like a local and experience NYC for what it is.
In the instance that the Subway doesn’t seem to be the most convenient transport option, you might opt for buses instead. On the busy streets of NYC, there’s not denying that it will take you a lot longer to get from A to B on a bus; however, it provides you with the unique experience of seeing NYC while you travel. What’s more, the buses of NYC are more environmentally friendly than you might think, with a growing number of them being hybrid or electric, and in 2018, it was announced that the bus fleet will be all electric by 2040.
The Roosevelt Island Tram
Since 1976, the Roosevelt Island Tram has run from East 60th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan to Roosevelt Island. The direct service runs seven days a week between the hours of 6 am and 2am Sunday to Thursday and 6 am to 3:30 am Friday and Saturday. Every year, two million riders use the Roosevelt Island Tram and, when accompanied by a fare-paying adult, as many as three children under the height of 44 inches can ride the tram free of charge.
The last thing you want to do in NYC is drive a car, as the chances are, you won’t get very far in the busy traffic. Therefore, if you’re looking to travel solo, a bike would be a good choice. This doesn’t mean that as a tourist, you have to cart your bike around the world, as Citi Bike offers a bike-sharing system. There are around 1,500 Citi Bike stations throughout NYC, providing as many as 24,000 bikes that are available for use 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just make sure you’re a confident cyclist, as the cycle paths of NYC aren’t very forgiving to say the least.
New York is a waterfront city, making it home to an extensive ferry system that expands across New Jersey, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, downtown, and uptown Manhattan. Since 1905, the Staten Island Ferry has been in operation since 1905 and is a staple of multiple commutes. Meanwhile, the NYC Ferry travels throughout Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, comprising stops at Rockaway Beach, Governors Island, Roosevelt Island, Staten Island, and the Bronx. As with the Roosevelt Island Tram, children under 44 inches ride free.