There are pros and cons to every form of transportation in a busy city. This is especially amplified in a huge and bustling city like New York City. In New York City the most popular choice is often the NYC Subway system. It is an interesting facet of the way the city functions and above all else it is part of what keeps the city running! As a tourist attraction it can be a complex subject. Use this guide to the NYC Subway to decide for yourself if it is a Yay or a Nay.
I think it’s always best to end on a high note so let’s cover the downsides first…
- Remember you are in a city…a hugely populated city that never seems to stop moving. The subway is always busy and from a tourist standpoint this can be extremely overwhelming especially with kids.
- Again, hugely busy and full of all kinds of travelers…the subway is going to be dirty and often it is clouded by the elements. Because it is underground it is semi protected but it is hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
- The underground location and the natural (and unnatural) dirt attract a variety of furry critters. Don’t be surprised if you see mice, rats, and other rodents.
- Because the NYC Subway system is such a large part of how people who live in the city get around you should expect it to be busy and crowded. That being said, not everyone shares you sense of hygiene or manners. Touch things and then sanitize or keep your hands to yourself!
- The trains run underground for the most part so you shouldn’t plan to be able to work on emails, text messages, etc. Cell service can be intermittent at best.
- Like all forms of transportation that run on a schedule you can miss trains, or be late because the train is running behind…plan ahead.
Don’t let that list overwhelm you! There are some really cool points about the NYC Subway system and some great pros to taking a ride!
- Trains run 24/7. You can almost always get a ride heading in whatever direction you need to go. Unless there is a malfunction the subway system is largely a dependable form of transportation that moves you around the city without all the road blocks and traffic.
- It is a NYC institution. If you are only going to be in New York City for a short time, or even just once in your life, you should take a ride just for the novelty of the institution. It’s amazing to think about how much work went into creating the system of tunnels and trains and also how much work goes into monitoring, maintaining, and managing the network.
- There are often lots of live entertainers who perform in the subway for tips! If you are coming from any other place in the country or even the world this can be an entirely new and exciting experience!
- Most of the stations have digital train maps that show updates, time schedule, etc. You can always see how long it’s going to take to get a train and where you can go with that train! If it’s your first time on the subway it can be a pretty fun experience to just ride the rails for part of the day, fun and really cool things to see!
- Because the cell service is so poor in most spots you won’t have to listen to the guy next to you arguing with his girlfriend! (see that cell service can be both good and bad!)
No matter if you decide to ride the New York City Subway or not, it’s definitely something I would recommend checking out while you are in the city. There are so many stations, trains, and places to go it’s a fantastic network that moves the city. Amazing just to explore and learn about!