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Public transportation within the five boroughs of the metropolitan area is very well served by the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) and the best way to get around. New York’s subway is fast, air conditioned/heated, cheap and much safer than it used to be. You can buy MetroCards in cash or by credit or debit card at the MetroCard vending machines located in the train stations.
The vast network of almost 500 stations serves 24 routes. Subway lines are identified with different colors, so you will need to find out which is the one that serves you best and remember the color. You will note that there are two tracks heading in the same direction at SOME stations in Manhattan. That is because there are express trains (stop every 4 or 5 stations) and local trains (stop at every station). We suggest that - since you are not very familiar with the subway system - you always take the local train to avoid getting lost.
The single fare is $2.00 but you can choose from several great deals if you plan to use both trains or buses at least twice a day.
These unlimited cards can be used as many times as you please on either trains or buses.
The Pay-Per-Ride is also available for buses. You can pay $2.00 in coins or buy a MetroCard starting at $3.00. When you use this card you can have one free transfer from train to bus - or vice versa- within 2 hours of the first use.
Trains and buses run 24 hours
For information for people with disabilities visit click here
The Downtown Connection is a new bus service that runs in Lower Manhattan and best of all: It's FREE!
Buses run between South Street Seaport and northern Battery Park City from 10am to 8pm every ten-minutes, seven days-a-week and riders can hop on and off the bus at conveniently designated stops.
Look out for the Downtown Connection bus stops identified as "NN".
Click here to see a detailed route map.
Even though taxis or yellow cabs don't have a good reputation, they are still a main source of transportation in the city. You can flag a yellow cab on the street and hop-on in between pedestrians, cyclists and trucks, but you'll be safe. Tip around 10% to 15% of the fare with a minimum tip of 50 cents. If you think you're being ripped off, either let the driver know or get a receipt and note the license number. The city's Taxi and Limousine Commission (212-676-1000) is quite strict when it comes to complaints so cabbies (drivers) are nervous about being reported to them.
Limo service is available from many private companies. If you decide to rent a limo make it clear that you want a stretch-limo (the long luxury ones). You'll be surprised but many times people request limos and get regular-sized black cars instead. The average price of a stretch limousine is $80 an hour depending on the time of the year (holidays are more expensive, winter is cheaper...). You can reserve online to have a limo pick you up at the airport. Check out some of the sites:
The city has two main stations: Grand Central Station, (42nd St. & Park Ave.), where Metro-North Railroad services upstate New York, New Jersey and Connecticut; and.Penn Station, (34th St. & 6th Ave.), who serves both Amtrak and the Long Island Railroad.
Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) offers services to Canada and many US destinations and there are frequent shuttles to Washington DC (journey time is 3 hours) and Boston (journey time under 4 hours).
Both Stations are well equipped to service travelers with ATMs, bars, cafés, waiting rooms and shops.
Renting a car in Manhattan can be very expensive and unnecessary if you are only visiting the city. Parking fees are extremely expensive and parking restrictions on the street are strict. If you still feel like renting a car, expect to pay an average of $95 a day for a medium-sized car. You are required to show a valid driver license and pay with a major credit card. The main rental places are: Alamo, Avis , Enterprise, Budget, Dollar, Hertz .
The new water taxi service started serving the New York City Harbor on September 24, 2002. It is a 53-foot yellow catamaran that accommodates 75 passengers and services attractions and neighborhoods on the West Side, Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. The price per ride is $3 and there are daily and weekly options. For more information go to www.nywatertaxi.com.