Do you want to get around NYC for even less than $2.75 a trip? You’ll probably say, yes by walking. But you can make your Metrocard stretch for longer if you make the most of free transfers on the NYC subway.
First, you can get a FREE transfer on the NYC subway with 2 hours of swiping your Metrocard for:
- Bus-to-bus transfers (ONLY if buses are not going in opposite directions)
- Bus-to-subway AND subway-to-bus transfers
- Subway-to-subway transfers (ONLY when you have to exit a station to make your connection)
So what do I mean by a transfer? It’s when you use your Metrocard twice within the specified period of 2 hours. The other day, I took a bus to go to a store near Lexington and 29th St. I boarded M103 from Lexington and 77th and it was a pretty long journey. I swiped my card on the bus and $2.75 got deducted from my card as expected. To save time on my way back, I decided to get the 6 train from 28th St. When I swiped my Metrocard at the turnstile, the message read (can’t remember exactly but along the lines of): Free Transfer ok. So essentially, I got a return trip for $2.75.
You may be able to get a paper map at a manned station, but the last time I did this (in June 2017), it didn’t even have the newest stations on the Q line on it. My best advice is to download an app on to your phone. The one I use all the time is called NYC Subway. It’s free, shows you service updates, where you are, has a route planner, and lets you look at a clear map that you can swipe around and figure out what your next station is. When you enter a specific route, NYC subway app comes up with a ‘Route Summary’, which shows the journey duration, changes, number of stations, and a tab to view the map as well. There are also options for in-app purchases such as viewing the nearest exits to your carriage, to save time.
It’s great that some stations have boards now which show train countdown clocks – but it would be great if this app had this feature built-in. However, it’s a nifty tool to have and beats being a hapless tourist trying to fold an unwieldy app and hitting someone accidentally while you’re at it, or being someone who constantly looks lost and has to stop random people for answers.
So, two great tips: Get a free transfer on the NYC subway system when swiping again within 2 hours ( see above for details) AND download a great app called NYC Subway App to simplify your travel in the city.
Do you have other tips I forgot to mention, or do you have a recommendation for an even better app? Let us know in the Comments section!