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Guide to New York City Transportation

Guide to New York City Transportation

New York City is a big place with so many attractions and destinations spread out throughout all five boroughs. It would be nearly impossible to try to reach all of them on foot, especially in one day. Luckily, the city has several ways for you to travel around its blocks and get where you need to be in record time. They range from practical to innovative to just plain fun! Take a look at some of the fastest and most affordable ways you can travel through New York City.

Transportation in New York City


Taxis are a popular staple of city life, and you’ll always find them driving through the Big Apple. They’re a great alternative to walking after traveling from a long day or a shopping trip. You can hop into the back of a yellow cab and be escorted to your destination with ease. Taxis offer you a view of the city from the ground below, allowing you to look up and see all of its sights towering above you.

You can always hail a cab from any street in the city throughout the day since they’re available 24/7. When you see their light shining on top, that means they’re available to be your ride. The standard charge for a taxi ride is $2.50, and it increases by 50 cents every fifth of a mile.

Taxi in Times Square New York City |
Taxi in Times Square (©Julienne Schaer/NYC & Company)


Another popular way to travel through the city is the subway. This small train takes you underneath the streets and gets you to your destination in a breeze. Subways are accessible on almost every street in the city, so you can always climb down to the station and hop on board, making them one of the easiest forms of transportation in NYC. Each one travels about eight to ten blocks, but you can stay on board or take the next available subway if your destination is further.

Subways require a MetroCard for travel, so be sure to have one so you can pay the fare of $2.75. If you want to beat the hustle of the city streets, a ride on the subway may be your answer.

New York City Subway |
New York City Subway (©Tagger Yancey IV/NYC & Company)


If you need to rest your feet but don’t want to feel cramped in a taxi, try taking a ride on a bus! Buses offer you a scenic view of the city from above, and there’s plenty of room for you and your passengers if you’re traveling in a group. Many of them have started to become electric as well to become more energy efficient.

You can find a bus station by spotting the lollipop-shaped signs hanging above them with the route number printed underneath. They’re available at any time of day and run every five to fifteen minutes, so you’re sure to catch one no matter where you go. The bus fare is $2.75 and can be paid with a MetroCard, contactless card or exact change in coins.

Public Bus in New York City |
New York City Bus (©Gerrie Van Der Walt)

Citi Bike

If you really want to feel the freedom of the city while you travel, a Citi bike may be the answer. Citi bike stations are set up throughout the city and can be rented for a single 30-minute trip or the entire day. You can take any bike, adjust it to your liking then set off down the city streets. Once you’re done, you can lock it at a different station and head to your destination.

Citi bikes offer a quick way to travel through the city that’s good for you and the environment. You can travel at your own pace, see the city sights while you ride and there’s even a basket in the front to set down your extra items! A single ride on a Citi bike costs $3.50, and a day pass costs $15.00.

Citi Bikes in Midtown New York City |
Citi Bikes in Midtown (©Eric Hsu/NYC & Company)


Ferries offer riders a calm trip through New York City on a unique trail. These boats travel throughout all five boroughs and New Jersey, so you can always climb aboard and get a waterfront view of the city skyline. There are three main ferries that run along the different city rivers.

The Staten Island Ferry is the only way passengers in Manhattan can reach Staten Island. You can find some great views of the New York Harbor and other city sights when you step on board, and your ride is completely free!

NYC Ferry travels to every borough along the East River for the cost of $2.75. NY Waterway can take you to various points in Manhattan along the Hudson River as well as New Jersey. Prices vary depending on which terminal you choose to land at.

Staten Island Ferry New York City |
Staten Island Ferry (©Julienne Schaer/NYC & Company)

Roosevelt Island Tram

The Roosevelt Island Tram is one of the more unique ways to travel through New York City. This airway service began in 1976 and has since been used to transport passengers from Midtown to the nearby Roosevelt Island. Riders will get an aerial view of the city like never before, letting them travel across the rooftops and over the water.

The tram runs every seven to fifteen minutes, and it operates on Sunday to Thursday from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, it runs from 6 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. The fare is paid through MetroCard, so be sure to have your card ready to swipe so you can take to the skies.

Roosevelt Island Tram New York City |
Roosevelt Island Tram (©Julienne Schaer/NYC & Company)