What is the most cost efficient transportation mode when trying to get around New York City?

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Answered by: Gordon, An Expert in the Getting Around Category
New York City is home to a massive network of transportation systems offering expedient access to all corners of the five boroughs. As a result, getting around is quite simple. Upon visiting the city, many tourists are intent on finding cost efficient transportation. Without question, the New York City subway line is the most cost efficient transportation system in relation to distance traveled.

In the city, a single ride on the subway costs $2.75, which was recently increased from $2.50 in order to accommodate inflation. The minimal fee has no relation to the distance traveled. An individual could swipe their Metro Card and ride to the next stop or take the subway across multiple boroughs. The expansive underground network offers access nearly everywhere. In addition, different trains travel at different speeds from local to express. Local lines like the 1 Train, travel slowly, stopping at every subway stop along the route. Alternatively, express lines like the 2 Train run rapidly, skipping multiple designated stops on the line. As previously alluded to, the flat rate of $2.75 does not vary between local and express. This being said, a traveler could gradually work their way down Manhattan's Museum Mile, stop by stop enjoying each attraction along the way, or quickly get from the Bronx to John F. Kennedy airport in Queens using an express route. The multitude of possibilities are endless, and it can all be achieved for a simple $2.75 per ride.

It is important to consider that like New York City's subway lines, the network of bus lines are also valued at $2.75 per ride. Though the two modes cost the same, the Metro buses run much slower, often falling victim to traffic. Additionally, each bus line covers a significantly smaller area than the subway lines in the city, requiring a passenger to make multiple transfers in the event that they are looking to travel a great distance.

Other, faster modes of transportation include taxi services and Uber. While these two forms of transportation are significantly faster than the New York City subway lines, especially during periods of low traffic, the cost of use is substantially higher. Naturally, the time spent in a cab or Uber directly correlates to the final bill. The more distance traveled, the larger the final cost of the cab will be. To make matters worse, Uber is known to bombard their customers with fees for things like rides during holidays and events, when the demand for a ride is higher. Hidden fees of this nature only intensify the already staggering cost of a cab ride uptown. Granted, if money is not an object, a cab ride is easily the quickest destination.

Though there is a vast network of transportation systems stretching across New York City, the metropolitan subway lines are indisputably the most cost efficient in relation to the amount of distance traveled. While they may not be the most time efficient, they provide an unparalleled taste of the New Yorker lifestyle. With a single flat rate fee of $2.75 per ride, the destinations are virtually endless.

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