Subway Etiquette

212Access November 2, 2012 Comments Off on Subway Etiquette

By Stacy Liberatore


“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenements halls and whispered in the sounds of silence.”-Paul Simon


There is no cheaper way to navigate the City than taking the subway. Don’t be afraid to venture into the underground world if you are visiting New York City. However before you blindly walk through the shiny and inviting turnstiles, make a plan so you don’t have a nervous breakdown on the platform.

For figuring out the subway schedule visit or before you even leave your hotel. These websites will you give times for the next train, which train and where- its fool proof. These sites give you step by step instructions a 5th grader can understand. You’re smarter than a 5th grader right?

In almost every New Yorker’s wallet, tucked away in an easy access secure pocket, is their golden ticket to anywhere on the island. It’s $2.50 a single right or you can get a seven day unlimited card for $29.  The more money you put on your card the more bonus trips you will get.  And who ever said the city is a rip-off?

So you’ve made it to the right platform all by yourself, now for the most important tip about riding the subway- subway etiquette.  You already look like a tourist with your fanny pack and camera in hand, which can all be forgiven, but riding the subway with ignorance is a crime no one will overlook.

Patience is a virtue: When the train stops let those who are on off first.  Yes we are all in a hurry, but you will be the only person trying to get in when 50 people are trying to get out, you get the picture.

Chivalry isn’t dead: Believe it or not a New Yorker is more than willing to give their seat up for the elderly, a pregnant woman, or anyone who seems to need it more than them.  So if you see someone who could use a seat offer yours, consider this an unwritten golden rule.

You are not the gatekeeper: Subway doors are just like elevator doors, if you stand in the opening they won’t close.  If you’re waiting for the rest of your group to catch up, wait for them on the platform and take the next train.

Spread eagle is not a welcoming position: The seats are limited on the trains and everyone wants one, supply and demand.  Taking up more than one seat is

When leaving the train head to the nearest exit.  There’s nothing worse for yourself and others than you dipping, dodging, bobbing, and weaving. Just like they say, “don’t go against the grain” it goes for exiting the subway.  New Yorkers are in a hurry and have no remorse for bumping into you if you’re not going with the flow of traffic.

Just remember the city is set up at a grid, an Uptown and a Downtown, and it uses a lovely numerical system specifically created to help you navigate on your adventure through this concrete jungle.