How to Ride the Subway
Welcome Tourists and VisitorsPlanning a trip to New York? Welcome! With a MetroCard farecard in hand, we'll help you acquaint yourself with the subways and buses so you can get around town like a New Yorker. Read through this 'How to Ride' page first. Then visit our MetroCard City pages for airport information, sightseeing tips, and more so you can make the most of your trip and enjoy your stay in New York.
Subway fare is $2.75*, payable with MetroCard. People 65 years or older and people with qualifying disabilities who show a proper form of identification (including Reduced-Fare MetroCard or a Medicare card) are eligible for reduced fare.
The cost of a SingleRide ticket is $2.75. Sold at vending machines only.
Click here for Reduced-fare information .
People with disabilities who are unable to use subway or local bus service may apply for Access-A-Ride door-to-door paratransit service.
Click here for information about Access-A-Ride/Paratransit.
Click here for Maps
Across-the-platform transfers and connections
Many subway stations let you cross the platform to change from one route to another. However, at times trains leave before customers can make the connection.
This usually happens during rush (peak) hours when the subway is busiest and trains run more frequently. If a train doesn’t proceed it can affect the schedule, backing up trains behind it and slowing service all along the line.
During off-peak hours, when the subway is less crowded, conductors can hold trains that enter the same station at the same time, and passengers can transfer across the platform. Subway personnel can do this as long as both trains are on schedule and waiting will not disrupt either train’s schedule.
Getting Information in the Station
Going through the Turnstiles
Many accessible subway stations in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn are equipped with AutoGate, an automatic entry/exit gate that allows customers who have ambulatory disabilities, are accompanied by a service animal, or use wheelchairs to enter and exit the subway system. You need a Reduced-Fare AutoGate MetroCard to enter or exit the subway system through the AutoGate.
Waiting for Your Train
Follow the signs for the subway route you want to take. At the platform edge you'll find signs that tell which trains stop there and the direction the trains are going, such as Uptown (northbound), Downtown (southbound), or Brooklyn-bound.
In general, trains run every 2 to 10 minutes during rush hours (approximately 6:30 - 9:30 a.m., and approximately 3:30 - 8 p.m., Monday through Friday), every 5 to 10 minutes during the midday (approximately 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday), every 5 to 12 minutes in the evening (approximately 8 p.m. - midnight), and about every 20 minutes during the late night hours between approximately midnight and 6:30 a.m. Some intervals between trains may be different, depending upon the line, the time of day, the direction of service, and/or on weekends; consult subway timetables for more detailed information by individual subway line or use Trip Planner+, our online travel tool.
Platform Edge Safety
- We care about your safety – don’t become a statistic! Stand back from the platform edge.
- 146 people were struck by trains in 2011. 47 were killed.
- Standing on the platform edge is dangerous.
- Stay away from
the edge of the platform.
- Hold children's hands or make sure they stay next to you on the platform.
- Do not lean over the platform edge to see if a train is coming, because trains can approach from either direction.
- Wait for the train to stop before stepping forward.
- Keep off the tracks. They contain more than 600 volts of electricity. NEVER go down onto the tracks, for any reason. If you drop something, tell a police officer, or train or station personnel. Or use a station "Customer Assistance Intercom."
- Walk - don't run on platforms.
- Be aware of your surroundings. See someone at risk? Alert a police officer, or train or station personnel. Or use a station "Customer Assistance Intercom."
Stuff happens. If you drop something, leave it!
- NEVER go down onto the tracks, for any reason. Your safety is more important.
- Tell a police officer, or train or station personnel.
- Or, use a station “Customer Assistance Intercom.”
Be aware of your surroundings. See someone at risk? Get help.
- Alert a police officer, or train or station personnel
- Or, use a station “Customer Assistance Intercom.”
Be Safe. Be Smart. Stand Back.
Waiting for Your Train during Non-rush Hours
If you're traveling when it's not rush hour, especially at midday or at night, we suggest you wait in the Off-Hour Waiting Area. A yellow sign, usually suspended from the ceiling, identifies them. When you're in one of these areas, a station agent will be able to see you.
During non-rush hours, many trains have fewer cars. Look for black and yellow signs telling you where to wait on the platform.
Most subway lines have a two-person crew – a train operator and a conductor. One-Person Train Operation (OPTO) controls six routes at various hours. For example, OPTO runs on the Franklin Shuttle and the Rockaway Shuttle at all times; on the G and M lines weekends only; and on the Lefferts Shuttle and the Dyre Av Shuttle during weekdays, Late Nights.
Many of our stations have electronic annunciator signs that tell you when a train is coming. The sign is usually located near the Off-Hour Waiting Area, and also indicates if the train is traveling "uptown" or "downtown". You will hear a repetitive beeping sound to alert you that a train is about to arrive.
Boarding the Right Train
The front and side of every train displays the route number or letter. In many instances, more than one train route stops at particular stations so you'll want to be sure to read the route number before you get on.
Keep in mind that a local train makes every stop while an express train skips some stops. Subway maps indicate express and local stops.
Step aside and board the train only after the people who want to get off have exited. Be careful of the gap between the platform and the train. Never try to hold closing doors open.
For Your Safety
If you do not get a seat, hold onto a railing. Please don't lean against the doors. When you ride during non-rush hours, we suggest you ride in the car with the conductor. The conductor's car is usually in the middle of the train. You can also ride in the first car with the train operator. During certain times, trains are operated by one person. Click here to find out more about OPTO (One-Person Train Operation).
Click here for Bicycle Safety in the Subway
Knowing When to Get Off
Conductors make announcements so you'll know the next stop along the line. To be sure you're traveling in the right direction, check the subway map. Every subway car usually has two maps posted in it on either side of the car. The newest subway cars have strip maps that show stops along the line, a digital readout of the upcoming stop, and a mechanical voice that announces the current and next station.
In Case of Emergency
You can also go to the train's first car (where the train operator is) or the middle car (where the conductor is usually located). Our train crews have radios that they can use to call for help. During certain times, trains are operated by one person. Click here to find out more about OPTO (One-Person Train Operation) .
| Evacuations aren't often necessary. New York City Transit provides more than four and a half million subway rides each weekday and rarely has to evacuate a car. But to help ensure your safety, all on-board subway personnel receive training for emergencies on a regular basis.
Note for Customers who use Wheelchairs
Some emergencies require that stretchers be used to help customers in wheelchairs leave the train. When this happens, wheelchairs are removed separately and returned to the owners as soon as possible.
Click here to learn how to evacuate a train in the event of an emergency (decals, diagrams and tips).
Click here to view Customer Safety - Train Evacuation Video.
Plan your trip using TripPlanner+ or call 511, 24 hours/seven days a week. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay.
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