Getting around New York: Subway, buses and Uber

Get around New York City on a budget and quickly with its fast and reliable transportation system.

New York City is a walkable city with the majority of the main attractions in an area that can be reached on foot. However, some attractions, such as the Statue of Liberty, are further but are easy to reach with the city’s public transportation system. Walking distances to some attractions can be long but the subway can be used to save time.

The hop-on hop-off bus, which is part of the New York City Explorer Pass is also a handy way to see all the attractions.

New York subway

The subway system in New York is the second oldest in the USA and one of the best in the world. It's cheaper than taxis and Ubers and zips under the city at a must faster pace.

Most tourist attractions like Times Square, Central Park and Broadway's theatres can be easily reached by subway. For beating traffic and a budget-friendly way to travel there is no better option than the subway.

Using New York public transport

Types of transport: The Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) runs subways, buses and railway lines such as the Long Island Road Rail (LIRR) and Metro-North rail.

Paying for transport: All forms of public transport can be paid for using the MetroCard, which can be purchased in subway stations. A single ride is US$3. A weekly pass can be purchased for US$32. MetroCards can be used for transfers between buses and subways but tickets bought using tokens or change cannot be used for transfers. On buses tokens and exact change are also accepted.

Getting to and from the airport: From John F. Kennedy International Airport the fastest way into the city is the AirTrain that connects to the MTA at different points throughout the city. Prices range from US$7.75–15.00. Bus lines B15, Q3 and Q10 run from terminal 5 to different areas of the city. The AirTrain can be used for free within the airport to transfer to terminal 5.

Best apps for getting around: The Transit app is a free app that shows you real-time arrivals, allows you to compare route options, has step-by-step directions and more.

Taxis and Uber

Taxi: Taxis can be hailed from the side of the street throughout the city. Taxis can also be pre-booked by calling.

Uber: Uber is available and costs US$58–186 from John F. Kennedy International Airport.

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New York car hire rental companies

With heavy traffic and high parking prices, driving in New York City isn't the most practical way to get around. But if you're planning on doing day trips outside of the city, or are staying outside of Manhattan, there are plenty of car hire options available Avis, Budget, Hertz, Alamo, Advantage, Dollar, Enterprise, National, Payless and Thrifty all service the John F. Kennedy International Airport. Use DriveNow to compare car rental prices and find the best deal.





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Airport transfers

Avoid the hassle and book a simple airport transfer that’s ready when you land to get you directly to your accommodation.

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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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