Getting around New York City

Public transport

Public transport is run by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), New York City Transit (tel: 511, in the USA only;

The 24-hour subway is fast and cheap, although it is still best avoided late at night. The network serves over 400 stations. Staten Island is served by the MTA Staten Island Railway (tel: 511;

To ride the subway, purchase a MetroCard, available at newsagents and station kiosks. Various types of cards are available, including pay-per-use, and 7-day unlimited travel. Kiosks accept credit/debit cards (some also accept cash); when a credit card is used, you will be asked to enter your zip code for verification. However, if your credit card account has a billing address outside of the United States, type in '99999' instead.

Bus services are extensive and run 24 hours, with stops every few blocks. Fares are paid with a MetroCard or exact change.


Taxis are hailed on the curb. A 10-15% tip is expected, and there are various surcharges. Private car services can be called directly for fixed-rate fares. These are especially useful outside of Manhattan, where it can difficult to hail a taxi on the street.


Driving in Manhattan is not recommended to visitors. The traffic is horrendous, drivers are impatient, parking fees are exorbitant and street parking is elusive.

Car hire

Drivers must be at least 25 years old. Recommended car hire companies include include Alamo (tel: +1 888 826 6893;, Avis (tel: +1 212 593 8470; and Budget (tel: +1 212 333 5901;

Bicycle hire

There are over 644km (400 miles) of bike lanes in New York. New York has become much more bicycle friendly in recent years, with key bike lanes up the west side of Manhattan, down Broadway and across the bridges between Manhattan and Brooklyn or Queens.

New York's bike-sharing scheme, Citibike (tel: +1 855 245 3311; has thousands of bikes for quick hire around the city.

Central Park Bike Tours, 203 West 58th Street (tel: +1 212 541 8759;, offers bicycle hire.

For bike maps and other info, visit NYC Bike Maps (


Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.