March 30, 2017

3 Confusing Things About New York City Subway System

Our trip to New York City relied heavily on the Subway system to get us around the city. I carefully planned on How Much To Put On The NYC MetroCard and that worked out really well for us. Besides how old and dirty NYC Subway is, we find the system is very confusing for tourists. Here are my 3 confusing things about NYC Subway system:

New York City Subway Number 7

1. Uptown Vs. Downtown
If you have ridden Subway in D.C. or Chicago, even in Europe, you would know that each Subway station's platform will clearly mark the "destination" that the train goes to. So if you want to go to another station along the line that reaches that destination, you know that is the train that you want to get on. New York's Subway, on the other hand, goes with the station numbers and letters. Each platform is marked with whether Uptown or Downtown. If you live in NYC, you would figure out quickly whether Times Square is uptown or downtown from the airport and vice versa. But for tourists, how are we supposed to know that?

2. Express Vs. Local
The title says it all! Express means fast train by skipping some stops, whereas local is the regular slower train that has to make each stop. Express and Local words can be seen outside of the train itself. If you miss seeing that on the arriving train and you accidentally get on the Express train, there are only two things can happen. One, the train makes the right stop for you by skipping the ones that you don't want to stop at so you arrive quicker. Two, you are going far far away and need to figure out how to get back! The confusing part about this Express and Local trains is the fact that tourists are not going to know which stations that the Express train skips. So stick to the local trains to be sure.

3. Two Sides of Platform
This only happened to us once while we were there. Basically, some stations have two sides of platform that's divided by the train track. Once you enter the station and swipe your MetroCard just to realize that you are on the wrong side of the platform and the station is not connected to the other side of the platform. You will have to exit and re-enter the other platform by re-swiping your MetroCard. This means that you will be paying twice. So make sure it's the right station that you want to enter and read the  marked signs carefully whether you want to go uptown or downtown, then swipe your MetroCard to enter. What we did was we went ahead and got on the wrong direction's train and simply got off at another station that the station connects to the other side.

Although we find the New York City's Subway System is rather confusing, we will still use this public transportation method for our next trip to the Big Apple. Things can still get confusing, but we will just need to figure them out. After all, that's what being tourist is all about - get confused, get lost, and have fun! Subway is a great way to get around the city and it sure is cost-savings!

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