Flights to New York City will land you in a magical place brimming with museums, world-class entertainment, historical sites and cuisines from across the globe–all things you can see in just a single day! It’s easy to see it all, but first, you’ll have to find a way to get around.
The major airports servicing New York City are John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport and LaGuardia Airport. Newark Liberty International Airport also serves the New York City area, although it is located across state lines in New Jersey. For arrivals and departures, visitors can use public transit in the forms of buses and trains quite inexpensively. Taxi cabs, private car services, and shared-van services are also available. Visit JFK Airport’s website to learn more.
Many of the most popular car rental companies have outlets at the airports, allowing travelers to rent automobiles. Drivers need to be reminded of the difficulty of driving in such a congested metropolis, where heavy traffic and construction zones are a way of life. In addition, the cost of renting a vehicle, insurance and gasoline tend to be higher than in other locations. However, if your plans include spending time in suburban or rural areas outside of the city, this may be your best option.
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Right from the moment you hop off your flights to New York City, you’ll learn that this place has one of the busiest systems of public transportation. Commonly referred to as the MTA for “Metropolitan Transportation Authority” the transit system here runs on a 24/7 basis, including weekends and holidays. As a bonus, the system also provides a great deal of accessibility for passengers with a variety of disabilities so they can maintain their independence while getting around.
For information on buses, trains, schedules and fares, visit the website of MTA.info or phone the MTA at 718-330-1234. Often there are multiple routes to any one location, leaving travelers a host of alternative routes. This proves extremely helpful should traffic be snarled, especially during rush hour. The web pages of Tripplanner.mta.info also provides updates and helpful tips for riders.
The traditional New York City yellow taxicab is the stuff of legends. Visitors to the city should be aware that all taxi companies are subject to a series of strict rules and regulations. The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission sets fares, licensing and gives all passengers a “bill of rights.” To learn more, visit the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission at NYC.gov.
Citi-bike (citibikenyc.com) is NYC’s answer to bike sharing and has been in existence since 2013. These bicycles are available at stations all across the city. After buying a pass for a day, week or year, riders can unlock a bike and take off. Visitors who wish to take a bike ride in and around the city should do so with extreme caution. Bikers share the streets with vehicles of all shapes, sizes and speeds.
New York City is one of the most walkable cities in the world. Many times, the best way to get around is simply by using one’s feet and walking to the next destination. Just be aware of crossing signals and one-way streets. When in doubt, follow the locals and don’t be afraid to ask for directions.
Have you found another way to travel around NYC? Let us know so we can try it on our own.