A New Yorker’s Guide To New York: Subway Etiquette

JULY 15, 2019

New Yorkers turn power walking into an Olympic event, but if you’re looking to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, using the subway system is the way to go. It can be daunting for newcomers: which platform goes uptown/downtown, what is the shuttle, why are Grand Central and Penn Station so big? But with our tips below, we’ll have you getting where you need to go!


Subway Etiquette:

Plan Your Route: If it’s not a spur of the moment thing, plan your route in advance. Download any trip planning app or even punch in your destination to Google Maps. You don’t want to be underground staring dishearteningly at a map trying to figure out where you need to go. If you’re confused about which platform goes uptown or downtown, yes there are signs, but there will always either be an MTA employee or a helpful bystander to point you in the right direction.

Metro Cards: If you don’t already have one, factor in time for getting one into your travel plans. There may be no line to get one when you arrive, but worst case scenario there is a huge line and now you’re delayed. Already have a metro card, but you’re digging around for it in your bag? Not a problem, just don’t do it right in front of the turnstile thus impeding others from getting in. You will receive death glares, and you don’t want that and we don’t want that.

Getting In/Out: Getting into the subway car, I cannot stress this enough, move in if there is room. There is no reason to stand by the door making it difficult for others to get in because they must go around you. You don’t have to worry about missing your stop, I have been squished in the middle of the car like a tightly packed can of sardines and have been able to get off at my stop every time. Same goes for the reverse, do not block the door when people are trying to get off, you’ll slow down the whole process. Take a step outside the car, I promise you’ll be able to get back in. Bonus tip: seats are for butts, not bags.

Pets: Some of you may be traveling with your furry friend. Be aware that there is a law for NYC subways that pets can only ride the subway if they are “enclosed in a container and carried in a manner which would not annoy other passengers.” Forgot to bring Fido’s travel carrier? Skip the subway and take a cab.


The Show to See Now: Come From Away


Jump on the subway and head to the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre to see Come From Away. This New York Times Critics’ Pick takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. This heartfelt, life-affirming, smash-hit musical serves as a reminder that there is still kindness to be found in the world. If you’re looking for a show that will lift you up, Come From Away is the one to see.

Author: Chanelle Cotton
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