New York is famous for its subway system, but that doesn’t mean that everyone wants to take the train. Sometimes a car just makes more sense, depending on what you want out of your trip. If you do plan to take a car, take a defensive driving course online too! It will save you lots of dough. New York pedestrians aren’t exactly famous for their caution (and neither are their drivers!)
The NYC subway station has stops for practically everywhere you’d want to be. From the airport to the major sights to your hotel room, it’s unlikely that you’ll be stuck anywhere. Still, you’re going to put a lot of time and effort into walking to those stops. The subways stations weren’t designed for people with disabilities, so you’ll need to travel by car if you can’t climb several flights of stairs.
Between the different lines, the closures, and the anomalies on any given weekend, the subway system isn’t exactly simple to figure out. While it’s certainly not rocket science, it can get confusing if you’re not used to the short-hand language. It’s not convenient at all to assume the F train goes to your hotel, only to realize that it only goes to your hotel during certain times of the year.
There also may be times when only a bus will do, and the bus lines are even more confusing than the subways are! If you’re planning to have a relaxing time when you’re in New York, you may want to stick with either a rented car and your own GPS system or a taxi. While you’ll still need to worry about your GPS being wrong or your taxi driver trying to hike up the fare, it may be more convenient than dealing with the train schedules. If you’re worried about traffic, you can probably put those fears to rest. While the New York streets can get crazy, most people are still riding the trains. Just be careful of all the pedestrian traffic!
Crime and violence are the other major concerns about New York subways and for good reason. In New York, you take the train whether you’re old or young, rich or poor, tourist or native. When you get so different kinds of people together, it makes the whole atmosphere perfect for conflict. While most people peacefully either work their problems out on their own or handle the issues using words only, there has been an alarming increase in subway crime recently. Assaults were up by 16% in February of this year, which is a part of an upward trend that started in 2014 for crimes.
It can be scary to be packed in a subway car with a lot of strangers and nowhere to go. A lot of people don’t want to constantly clutch their wallet in total fear of losing it. When you take a car, you have the space you need to breathe. You have the freedom to lock your things in a glove compartment or the truck. Still, it’s worth pointing out that most subway rides are perfectly fine, and there are plenty of dangers that you face from being on the roads of New York City too. There are so many people in the city that driving a car can feel like a constant battle of wills.
There are plenty of pros and cons to getting around NYC, no matter which method of transportation you use. The important thing is to decide what your priorities are, and then work to meet your own needs.