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NYC Mass Transit Resources for Newcomers


One of the most overwhelming aspects of moving to any of the five boroughs is learning the transit system. Some newcomers are so intimidated by it all that they end up taking a taxi everywhere until they go broke, which can happen really fast if you don’t make use of public transportation. It is not as complicated as it seems. Just ask your movers when they are there; they will likely tell you that it is pretty simple to find your way around once you get the hang of it.

The Metropolitan Transport Authority is full of information, straightforward, and easy to navigate. It gives you schedules, maps, and fares for the subway, New York City Bus, Staten Island Railway, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and bridges and tunnels.

Don’t forget about the real-time subway status, which shows you the current status, changes and re-routings, and delays, if any. You will also find a detailed list of up-to-date MetroCard fare and its different purchasing options and where you can buy your MetroCard, which you will definitely want to get right away because you will certainly get your money’s worth out of it.
Not to mention the Trip Planner lets you plug in the details of your travel plan and gives you the most efficient way to travel, including travel time, quickest route, least transfers, etc.

Google Maps

If your movers were not born and raised in New York City, there is a good chance that they made use of Google Maps, at least a few times. Download their free app, visit the mobile-friendly site, or prepare for your ride before you leave by visiting from your desktop. All you have to do is enter your starting and final destination addresses, and it will tell you your subway route. You can even add details about the time you are traveling and if you want the route that is the quickest, or the one that requires the fewest transfers or the least amount of walking. This is a good app to have on your phone, so you can find virtually anything you are looking for, no matter where you happen to be in the city.

Transit App

This free app very well may become your best friend for a while.  It conveniently gives you access to all transit options including its arrival time in real-time or scheduled times.  One of its useful features is the bike share data, it shows you the location of the nearest bike share station and availability of the bikes and docks.

Feeling like a big spender? Skip the public transportation for the day and request an Uber right from this app.


This is a very popular app because it is quite thorough. As it claims, it offers live updates of service interruptions, transit personalization options, and GPS to identify the best routes to take to your destination. This app shows you the closest subway stops, what’s nearby your current surroundings, and the next arrival time, so you know exactly when you can expect to board the subway and get moving. It even reports station crowdedness, cleanliness, live events, even incidents submitted by other Moovit users. Personalize the app by saving your favorites, home, and work address for easy trip planning.

Exit Strategy

$3.99 may seem like a steep price to pay for a mobile app. But knowing exactly which staircase to take and which doors to look for to get direct access to each entrance could shave minutes off every trip! Sounds like it’s worth every penny! What could possibly be better than interactive subway maps? What about the up-to-date bus maps of all 5 boroughs right at your fingertips. This resource does everything but hold your hands. Don’t know which block you’re going to? The map on this app shows address ranges, giving you an easier way to find where you need to go.  It even works underground, no need to drain your data or look for wi-fi.

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Unpakt Team