Friday, January 3, 2014

I Still Love New York...MTA Public transportation fares!

It's been a month and a few days since I moved to New York! I still love it! However it has been quite an adventure!!! I am a city girl but you never realize how spoiled the country can make you just doing day to day activities. Some might say life in the north (east) is just harder life. I'm going to say it's just different! I now catch the bus and train as opposed to driving a car. This was a choice because the public transportation is readily available here and the insurance and gas costs are high. I bought a metro card and every week I load $20 dollars on it to help me get around. There are many options for to pay for the bus or train. The first is by change, yes I said change and not cash because you must pay with coins bills are not accepted. The bus/ train for a single ride with a transfer costs $2.50. Could you imagine how heavy your pockets would be if you have to constantly have to carry change around?
Most people purchase a metro card and there are four ways to pay for it. Pay per ride where you can buy as many rides as you need starting with a minimum of $5. Unlimited ride where you get unlimited rides for a fixed price either for 7 days regular fare, 7 days express bus plus; 30 days regular fare; JFK Air Train 10 trip card or JFK Air Train 30 day unlimited ride card. When you first purchase a metro card there is a $1 service fee. You can go to the MTA Website to evaluate prices and determine which option would be best for you. I decided pay per ride works best for me I can add time and value to it at the MTA Vending machines or at the Station booth at anytime. When you spend more than $5 you also get a 5% bonus plus you get a free transfer with every ride.

 I've decided I don't like the bus but prefer the train. My reason is that if I get lost and I'm walking down a street looking for a bus, chances are I look lost and that could make me susceptible to crime. I have heard many people say just the same about taking the train especially considering the numerous amount of homeless people loitering in and around train stations. A couple tools that have helped me is my android phone's GPS and a free app called NYC Bus and Train. When you are using GPS remember that once you are underground you will not be able to plot a route so do it before you swipe your metro card. The app I mentioned allows you to download a train map and you can download bus maps. These maps work without the use of internet or GPS. 

One day I went shopping in Brooklyn and was headed back to Queens after dark. I forgot to pull up my route. I had a moment of panic because I was on a train route I was unfamiliar with and I couldn't connect to the internet from inside the train station. I had bags in my hand and I'm standing in the train station feeling like everyone knew I didn't know how to get home for all of 60 seconds. I re-grouped looked at the map and plotted my way using the NYC Bus and Subway Maps app. I was able to figure out from the Barclay Center I needed to take the R train to Jay street, transfer to the A train towards Canal st and then the E train towards Jamaica Center. The rule of thumb is to always pay attention to your surroundings, be armed with information, be prepared to defend yourself and know when to call for help. Happy Travels! 
Until later Toodles! 
With Love from New York!

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