Subway & Cab Tips

Once you get the rhythm, New York City is actually pretty easy to navigate through.  Below you will find some information about the MTA Subway, how to get a metro card, buses, & taxis.

Public Transportation  —


  • The MTA is the public transportation system of the city of New York, which includes all 5 burrows – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island.
  • It runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Each line is coded with both a color and a number or letter.  Lines in the same color go in the same general direction.
  • Metrocards can be purchased by machine at most stations.  Each ride is $2.75, regardless of how far.

Getting Around:

  • Google maps will give you subway directions by clicking the little subway train car at the top.  It’s generally reliable, but times are approximate.  If you don’t have cell service, the mta maps are posted everywhere and are easy to use.  Despite reputations, New Yorkers are generally eager to help you.  Don’t be afraid to ask!
  • Some trains are local trains which stop at every station along the route, others are express trains that only stop at the most popular destinations.  Check to make sure that the train you’re on stops at the place you want to go!
  • There are weekend service changes ALL THE TIME.  Since you will be here on the weekend, check the MTA website for any delays so that you aren’t late and frustrated later.
  • Getting up and down town is easier than getting across town.  Sometimes the cross town buses can be faster, particularly up past 60th st.

Cabs in New York City:

  • Yellow cabs are the cheapest and most reliable cabs in Manhattan.
    • Cab code:  If the whole light on the top of the car is lit, then the cab is off duty and not available.  If just the inside numbers are lit up, then the cab is available and looking to take you somewhere.  If the whole top light is dark, then there is someone in the cab and you should stop waving your hands like a lunatic because they are not going to stop for you!
  • Lyft & Uber 
    • When not in manhattan, both Lyft and Uber are great options.  We prefer Lyft because it treats the drivers better, and you can tip them.  Try Lyft Line for a cheaper ride if you don’t mind sharing with other passengers.  Download Lyft here.
  • Green Cabs: If you are staying uptown past 125th st, in the heart of Brooklyn, Queens, or the Bronx, you won’t find yellow cabs.  There are “green cabs” that service these areas.  They can take you from the outer boroughs into Manhattan, but they cannot pick up passengers in the city.
  • You can get a cab to & from the airport, but it can be pricey.  Share a ride if you can.  It costs around $40 to get into the city from la Guardia, and about $65 from JFK.  A cab from Newark is…expensive!!