Despite its fast-paced hustle and bustle, New York City is one destination that's easy to navigate – once you decide what you want to see first. From buses to subways, to commuter trains and the famed yellow taxi cabs, you'll be able to get to and from your hotel and New York's best attractions with ease.
Taxis are abundant in the New York City area, although you might have to stretch out your arm to hail one down on busy streets. If the centre panel of the taxi's rooftop light is lit and the side panels are dark, the taxi is available. For travel to and from your hotel, a doorman will direct you to a waiting taxi on a first come, first serve basis.
In New Jersey and New York, taxi fare is regulated and drivers are licensed. You will see the license displayed inside the cab as well as a numbered plastic sticker on the hood of the cab. Be wary of non-yellow or unmarked taxis.
To avoid getting lost, it's usually best to know the cross streets of your destination (as opposed to just the address). This will help ensure you get to right place on time.
Taxi fares in New York are based on both mileage and time spent idling, so try to avoid busy commuter routes during rush hours. While per mile and per minute fares are low, keep in mind that taxis here charge an additional US$5 premium for rides during peak hours (from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays; 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday). You'll also have to pay any tolls the taxi incurs on toll roads.
If you're travelling for business, be sure to ask for a receipt. Unlike some cities, taxi drivers in NYC are used to issuing receipts. Last but not least, remember to tip the driver (15% is recommended).
To Rent or Not to Rent in NYC?
Renting a car for travel in NYC is not recommended. Roads are extremely busy and parking is very expensive. In most cases, it's faster and less expensive to use public transportation.
Taking the Subway
At only US$2.25 a fare, subways in NYC are the most economical option. The subway is also usually the fastest transportation option. Be prepared for crowds though. Thousands of residents and visitors alike take the subway to get to and from work and excursions on a daily basis. For more information on subway lines and stops, pick up a free map available at most stations.
Travel Near and Far by Bus
Whether you're looking to travel within NYC or beyond to other popular cities like Boston and Washington D.C., there is a range of bus transportation options open to you.
For travel within the city, hop on the MTA (New York’s public transit system). Routes tend to run north-south and east-west and schedules are posted at most stops. Fare is the same as the subway (US$2.25 a person – exact change is required).
Or, if you're looking to travel to other cities, you can catch a bus from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. NYC also offers a number of discount bus lines (check out Bolt Bus) where a typical fare is around US$20.
Whether by plane, train or automobile, you are sure to love exploring New York.