New York City Public Transportation Guide

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
New York
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) runs the subways trains, buses, and commuter trains in NYC.

The New York City subway has 24 subway lines.

• Routes are identified by letters or numbers
• These routes serve Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.
• Many subway stations let you cross the platform to change from one route to another.  
• For information, look for the station agent booth. Station agents can give you directions and a free subway map.
• Although the subway operates 24 hours a day, not all station entrances are accessible at all times or have full-time agents.
• There is a Customer Information Center bulletin board near the main booth in every station. You'll find a subway map, train schedules, and information about changes in service due
• Conductors make announcements for the next stop along the line. Be sure you're traveling in the right direction, check the subway map. Every subway car usually has two maps posted in it on either side of the car. The newest subway cars have strip maps that show stops along the line, a digital readout of the upcoming stop, and a mechanical voice that announces the current and next station.
• Need help with directions?  Call 511, available 24 hours/seven days a week for assistance

MTA Bus have 233 bus routes:

• Bus stops are located at street corners and have a sign with a bus symbol and route number.
• Most stops also include a "Guide-A-Ride," near the bus sign pole (route map and bus schedule)
• The destination sign of the bus is on the front
• Buses marked "Limited" make fewer stops.
• Push one of the tape strips located between the windows, one of the "stop" buttons found on grab bars of newer buses, to signal the driver to stop.
• Bus fare can be paid by exact change (no dollar bills) or MetroCard
• If you pay with MetroCard, you may transfer free from local bus-to-subway, subway-to-local bus or local bus-to-local bus within two hours from entering the bus.
• If you pay your fare with coins, you may transfer free between buses with intersecting routes. Ask the bus driver for a transfer when you pay your fare. Transfers are good for two hours from the time you paid your fare.

Metrocard and Passes The MetroCard is a reloadable card used to pay for rides on the:

 - New York City Subway
 - New York City Transit bus
 - MTA Bus
 - Nassau Inter-County Express systems
 - PATH
 - Roosevelt Island Tramway
 - AirTrain JFK
 - Westchester County's Bee-Line Bus System.

• The MTA discontinued the use of tokens in the subway.  
• You may purchase single rider tickets at the vending machines using a credit card or cash in most subway stations.  
• Buses accept exact change (no bills) in addition to the MetroCard.
• You can buy a MetroCard at vending machines for $1.00 in subway stations, subway station booths (if available and open), and local convenience stores with the MetroCard logo.
• MetroCards offer a slight discount on fares.  
• If you plan to be in the City for more than 4 days and/or use MTA get a 7 day unlimited Metrocard

Click here for detailed Metrocard information

Tip If you don't mind paying a bit more and don't want too much hassle figuring out the subway system, consider a hop on hop off bus tour.  You can hop on and off wherever they stop, and all stops are near major tourist attractions.

Before you select this remember that traffic can be bad in NYC and it will be slower than the subway. 
Most of the hop-on- hop-off buses are double decker with no covering on the top deck so make sure to wear sunscreen during warm days.
Maps Link to NYC Transport Maps - with Neighborhoods
Website Link to NYC MTA Website