New York Subway

I decided to locate my new post about the Subway in the „Places” folder on my site, because subway truly is something more than just means of public transportation. It’s an integral part of New York life, without which functioning of the metropolis would be unthinkable. What’s equally important, it’s the world’s only subway operating 24/7.

Looking at the map above, you can see for yourselves how complicated system the subway is. If you already had the opportunity of using subways in other cities, you will certainly appreciate both the considerable size and the simplicity of the New York one. The first subway line in NYC was built in 1904 (yes), despite modest technical means (Warsaw, are you listening…?)

The rules of travelling by subway are very simple. They need to be, given the great diversity of its users – too much complication would make life more difficult for millions of people. There are no zones here and the basic ticket you purchase ($2.50) will get you anywhere you’d like.

The most important thing is to determine what color is the line you’re taking, what are the last stops on both ends and, of course, what is the name of the station you desire to reach. This information is necessary for you to travel in a stress-free manner. When you’re riding the train, you need to check what color are you currently in, then you look at the subway map (available at every station and on every train), look up your color and line and determine at which stop you need to change trains.

At every platform, there are boards saying what is the last stop of any given train. This is the crucial information, since it helps you determine if you’re standing at the right platform. The boards often say also what part of the city the train is going to. If you happen to be in Queens or in Brooklyn and want to get to Manhattan, all you need to do is to go to the platform marked „To Manhattan”. It works the same the other way around. When in Manhattan, you’ll see trains marked as „downtown” and „uptown”.

Subway maps are free and available at every subway station – all you need to do is find one of those glass booths you know from American movies and ask the attendant for a copy. If you get lost anyway, just ask and everyone will be very eager to help you.

There are a couple of stations that are worth remembering. Union Square (my favorite one), where most of the subway lines meet, just like at 34th St. (where the famed department store Macy’s is located). Others include 42nd Street (welcome to Times Square!) and 47-50 Rockefeller Center, where the famous ice rink with the golden figure of Prometheus is. It’s just a couple of streets away from Central Park.