New York Transportation

New York TransportationNew York City has the largest subway system in the world. It is the main form of travel for nearly everyone in the city. The subway lines are easy to navigate with the help of a map that is available at any token booth or visitor center. The subways are fast, safe and very efficient. Visitors in the city should purchase daily or weekly MetroCards that allow an unlimited number of rides over a certain period. The subways run 24 hours a day in Manhattan although service is more limited in the outer extremes of the boroughs like Queens and the Bronx. Buses are available above ground although they tend to be slower and less reliable than the subways in Manhattan. Buses are sometimes the only option in the outer boroughs.

Taxicabs are everywhere in New York City. They far outnumber any other vehicles in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn and Queens. Cabs are inexpensive, tightly regulated and very convenient. Stepping to the curb and hailing a cab is very easy in most parts of the city. Cabs can take longer than the subway because of traffic although they allow families to avoid the crowds and confusion of the subways during rush hour. It is sometimes easiest to find a cab outside of a large hotel or other attraction. Visitors in the outer reaches of the boroughs like the Bronx or Staten Island might need to call a taxi service to get a cab.

There are a number of rental car agencies hidden throughout New York City usually near indoor, underground or outdoor parking lots. Renting a car in New York provides a family with the freedom to go anywhere. They are especially useful when traveling to locations like the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens or the Bronx Zoo. Something to be aware of is that traffic is very bad in Manhattan and the areas close to Manhattan. The highways can be confusing as well. Renting a car is not usually a good idea in Manhattan because there is almost no on-street parking.

One option for families who are visiting Brooklyn, Queens and potions of the Bronx are dollar vans. These are privately run vans regulated by the city. Visitors get in the van from a marked stop or the base of operations for the company. Riders can get off the van at any location along the route. Payment is made when leaving the van. These are convenient although they can be inconsistent or hard to find. They are very convenient in certain neighborhoods in areas like Queens where there is a lack of transportation.

Visitors to New York City might need to take a ferry. The most popular option is the Staten Island Ferry that takes passengers to the borough of the same name. There are also ferries to the Statue of Liberty. A few ferries that leave from the southern parts of Manhattan drop riders in neighborhoods in Brooklyn like Red Hook. Ferries can be convenient although they do not run at all times of the day and could leave visitors stranded in an area if not timed correctly.