New York City Transportation: Fast, Efficient & Cheap

Utilizing the New York City transportation system allows you to get around very cheaply and efficiently. With so much to see and do, it helps to make for a very enjoyable and relaxing vacation.
I've been riding the subways, buses, and driving in and around NYC by car for zillions of years. I've discovered the secrets to zooming in, out, and around without a hitch. NYC has many wonderful attributes, but without a doubt, the good 'ol New York City Transportation system is certainly one of these. It's not without fault, but, most of the time, it's a gem. Now, before you decide how you will get to and around New York City, consider these points.
  • Size of your group
    if there are 4 of you, and you're only traveling a short distance, it might make sense to chip in for a taxi.

  • Ages of your group

  • Stamina and health of your group: can everyone handle going up/down the subway/bus steps? Are you using a stroller which may make it difficult to use New York City transportation?

  • The weather and/or weather forecast: If the weather is poor and you're considering driving around the city, don't. The traffic can be horrible during poor weather. If you must, then do.

  • Time contraints: depending on your time limits, taxis may make sense, or a combination of taxis and subway/bus.

  • If you are driving to the big apple, park your car. I'll provide you with super rates. It's probably easier, faster and cheaper to take public transportation. Again, if you must, then do, and I'll provide you with great tips for doing so.
My point? Carefully considering and choosing your modes of New York City transportation in advance will net you a much more pleasant vacation. You'll amaze yourself at how easily you'll get around.


Arm yourself with a great subway map, and off you'll go! New York City transportation has never been simpler! Need help? Read on.

Click here for detailed information about the New York City Subway including fares, discount Metrocards, daily and weekly passes to save you a bundle, an online trip planner system to guide you from stop to stop, and lots of handy information to make you feel like a pro!


Walking is the cheapest, most colorful, and healthiest way to travel. You'll see and discover the color and charm of NYC on your way to your destination. Take your time and stop in to places that peak your interest. Remember, you're on vacation!

There's no time like now to explore. But, arm yourself with a good street map. Even as a long time resident, I still love to walk through the city without a specific destination in mind. I ALWAYS find a great store to check out, an inviting restaurant, a charming wine bar, or a great book store.


If you are nervous about taking New York City buses and/or subways, here is a fantastic option! Take the Hop on/Hop off Bus. How does it work? It's easy. Get on the stop nearest your hotel. The bus continue on to stop at all the big sightseeing attractions allowing you to get off if you wish. When you are finished with that attraction simply get back on the bus and continue on.

While you are on the bus you will enjoy a narrated guide offering audio tracks in 11 different languages English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Russian and Hebrew.

There are lots of loops and tours to choose from. This will make you feel more comfortable and you don't have to worry about getting lost. Through this link only, you can enjoy a 10% discount on a City Sights NY Uptown, Downtown, Night or Brooklyn Tour! Use code: 10OFFCS, or, save 5$ OFF NYC Sightseeing!!


If you drive to NYC, check out my secrets for getting rock bottom garage deals. Plan in advance and you'll be really surprised with the low cost of parking. Click here for fanastic rates and information on New York City parking garages.
If you'd like to park on the street, YOU WILL find a spot--either quickly (at which I have become an expert--so my husband tells me)or pay the muni-meter. For your convenience, you can buy these pre-paid cards in advance. Learn more here.


Buses are another sure fire way to travel. Although buses are alittle slower for some travel, they are often more convenient and quicker when traveling crosstown (East and West) and directly such as uptown/downtown Lexington Avenue or another avenue. Click here for detailed information on fares, routes, and other important tips, including discount travel!


There are times when taking a taxi makes sense. Consider them when you’re traveling in a group, making the ride less expensive than a subway or bus, when the weather is bad, when you’re exhausted, when you are carrying a lot of packages, and special circumstances with children.

If the light atop the taxi is illuminated, it means that it’s available. Raise your hand to signal that you’d like to hire the cab…and the cab will stop for you.

The maximum amount of passengers allowed in a yellow taxi, by law, is four. If it is a larger taxi, five is the maximum. A passenger is allowed to sit in the front seat. Drivers are required to drive a passenger to any destination in the five boroughs.

Once you enter a taxi, the meter, located in the front seat within your sight, is started.

Rates are:

  • $2.50 upon taxi entry
  • .50 for each additional unit
  • .50 night surcharge after 8:00 pm and before 6:00 am
  • $1.00 peak hour weekday surcharge, Monday - Friday, after 4:00 pm and before 8:00 pm.

So, the New York City transportation system offers you a myriad of fast, cheap and even discounted options. Take advantage of them during your visit!

TIP: When trying to hail a taxi in the rain you need to be fast and resourceful.  Do not stand in the middle of a city block.  Your best bet is to get to a corner so you are able to monitor traffic from two directions.  If you are still having trouble, make your way to a busy restaurant, bar, or hotel where people will be getting dropped off from taxis.

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