Source: Wikipedia

New York City’s Grittiest: A Subway Rider’s Survival Guide

New York City’s Subway lines are the clogged arteries that pump thousands of city dwellers in and out of neighborhoods in the heart of the five boroughs daily. Only seasoned subway riders’ gain full appreciation for the city’s dysfunctionally reliable mass transit, for everyone else, every commute has the potential to feel like the commute from hell. But there’s hope, In light of the recent speculation of yet another fare hike, below are 10 savvy tips that’ll get you out of your public transportation-rut and feeling like an MTA O.G.!

  1. Play It Safe. On a good day, trains run on schedule, but for the MTA most days aren’t good days. Delays are like hiccups, unpredictable and seemingly never-ending. Allow yourself extra time.

2. Unless you enjoy getting pushed around, stepped on, and cursed out, don’t stand in front of the door. Move in, you might even find a seat.

3. Know your route, have a back-up route, and then have a back up to your back up route. Asking a friendly stranger is not always the way to go, especially during unpredicted route changes.

4. Embrace street performances, as quirky or displeasing as they seem, street performance is at the core of the city’s culture. You just might be in the presence of the next B.B.King.

“Accordion Player” Photo Credit: Jens Schott Knudsen

5. Free time and no plans? Hop on the train and get lost. It’s a great way to become familiar with the map while Christopher Columbus-ing neighborhoods in the process.

6. Respect diversity, You’ll encounter some of the oddest things on the train; unusual odors, unique fashion sense, and plain ‘ole crazy, but loud comments, complaints or disapproving facial expressions will only make your commute more unpleasant, and could possibly render you a New York City beat down.

Photo credit: Lanqui Doodle

7. A change of shoes could save your life. Flip-flops are always a no-go, something closed and protected is best. If you’re headed to a beach, save your flip-flops for the sand, and if you’re rocking your favorite heels pack your favorite skippies for the commute.

8. You could never go wrong with a travel-sized hand sanitizer. Just sayin.

9. Smile! Don’t be afraid to smile at strangers, you might just change the entire course of a person’s day.

10. Nothings more embarrassing than rushing through a turnstile and then being embarrassingly thrust backward because of an insufficient fare, Metro card Management is key!

If all else fails, just think, you could be stuck in morning rush hour on Tokyo’s Metro, the thought alone could brighten any commute.