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12 facts about the subway in NYC

Subway station in NYC

The subway system in NYC is an experience, it’s another world down there, with its own rules, paths, smells, sounds, and residents – and I’m not talking about humans here.  After using it frequently for a couple of years, I’ve noticed and learned a few things that I’m going to share with you. Some facts are useful; others are just for curiosity!


Here are 12 facts about the subway in NYC


1. It’s fast, works 24/7 (unless there’s a major problem, like a hurricane), and can take you anywhere in the city. Be aware that some lines change at night or during the weekends – You’ll see warnings around the platform.

2. The track of the subway is not the cleanest place in the city, and it’s home for several mouses (the “residents” I was talking about). But during the winter it’s easy to see these little fellows walking around the platforms – besides the tracks. Oh well, they clearly forgot their limits!

3. Sometimes only one of the train cars is empty while all the others are packed. You may think you got lucky, but it’s a trap. There’s a reason for that car to be empty; you’ll realize that when you get in. The smell will tell!

4. The subway in NYC is like a stage for street artists; some stations are full of them (Union Square is a good example). There’re also those artists who venture into the subway cars, and after performing they, ask for money. Get your coins ready if you take pictures or film them, they’ll go straight to you!

5. Always follow the subway “rules”: Do not block the escalator, wait for people to leave the train before you get in, and don’t take a seat only for your purse when the subway is crowded.

6. Sometimes the ratchet makes you pass the MetroCard several times until your money is totally gone. The funny thing is that I’ve never seen this happening with an unlimited MetroCard. Weird or smart system? Who knows…

7. When it starts to rain, the subway instantly fills up. It’s a wet hell!

8. That moment when you see the train you have to take is hitting the platform just when you got there, and the only thing that separates you two is the ratchet. Then you realize you forgot to charge your MetroCard!

9. It’s pure happiness when the express train arrives before the local one. It’s a small happy moment!

10. Not all the stations sell tickets. This is NOT usual, but it happens. One time – and only this time – I had to walk from one station to another just to buy a ticket.

11. Usually, the platform from one side of the street goes Uptown, and the other across the street goes Downtown. But you’ll see that some stations have more than two entrances, and sometimes they go to the same direction. So, ALWAYS read the direction before getting in.

12. To buy/charge your MetroCard at the vending machine is always the best choice since you don’t have to deal with the lack of sympathy of the counter attendants. I don’t know what happens, but some of them are always in bad mood!

Subway station in NYC

There’s much more about the subway in NYC that could be on this list; each person has different thoughts, experiences, and impressions about it. Now, let’s hear from you… Which facts would you add to the list? I bet you have a few more!

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