New York City Subway System

Operating Hours

Subway trains operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


$2.75 (the cost of a single ride when using a pay-per-ride MetroCard or OMNY contactless payment)

Getting Around

Use the MTA’s Trip Planner for a customized route.

New York City Subway: Navigating the Pulse of the Metropolis

Dive into the Rhythm of NYC, Where Every Subway Ride Unveils Urban Adventures.

New York City Subway Basics


The NYC Subway is one of the oldest and most extensive public transportation systems in the world, operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). It runs 24/7 and covers four of the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

Lines and Routes

The system has 26 lines, identified by either letter (A, B, C, etc.) or numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.). Each line has a specific color, and the trains on a line generally follow the same route.

Stations and Maps

Subway stations are marked on the street level with green lamps or poles with a metro “M”. Inside, you’ll find maps of the subway system. You can also get a free map at station booths or download the MTA’s official app. You can also download free subway maps from our site before you travel.

Using the New York City Subway

Paying Your Fare

Purchase a MetroCard from machines or booths in stations. As of 2023, a single ride costs $2.90. You can also use contactless payment methods like OMNY by tapping your card or smartphone at turnstiles. Unlimited ride passes are available for 7 days or 30 days, ideal for longer stays. Learn more about MetroCard and OMNY here.

Entering the Subway

Swipe your MetroCard at the turnstile or tap your contactless payment method. When swiping, ensure the magnetic strip is facing you and the MetroCard logo is at the top.

Finding Your Train

Use maps and digital information displays to find your line and direction. Lines are often referred to by their end stations for direction. For instance, a train might be “Uptown and The Bronx” or “Downtown and Brooklyn.”

On the Platform

Stand behind the yellow line for safety. Wait for passengers to exit before you board. Be aware of “Express” and “Local” trains: Express trains skip certain stations for faster service, while Local trains stop at every station on the line.

On the Train

Hold onto a rail or seat, as the train can start and stop abruptly. Listen for announcements about your station and line changes, especially during weekends or late nights when maintenance can alter normal routes.

Exiting the Train and Station

Pay attention to signs and announcements for your stop. Exit the train and follow signs to the street or for transfer to other lines.

New York City Subway Tips and Etiquette

  • Rush Hours: The subway is busiest from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM and from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM. Trains can be very crowded during these times.
  • Safety: Stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Keep your belongings secure.
  • Etiquette: Offer your seat to elderly, pregnant, or disabled passengers. Don’t block doors and move into the center of the car to make room for others.
  • Getting Help: If you’re lost or need assistance, station agents in booths can provide help. You can also ask fellow passengers; New Yorkers are usually willing to help with directions.
  • Apps and Resources: Consider using apps like Google Maps, Citymapper, or the MTA’s official app for real-time updates and navigation assistance.

Navigating the NYC Subway can seem daunting at first, but with a little practice, you’ll find it’s a convenient and efficient way to explore the city. Happy travels!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the subway system is generally safe. Adhere to basic safety precautions, and follow guidelines posted at stations and in trains.

Yes, subway maps are readily available at stations, inside trains, and on the official MTA website, aiding in easy navigation.