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The Visitor's Guide To The New York City Subway System
The vast web of the New York City subway system extends through four of the city's five boroughs (Staten Island has its own railway). For the majority of places that travelers will want to go to in the city, the subway is the public transport mode of choice, with reliable service, clean cars, and convenient accessibility.
Where Does the Subway Go?
In the city that never sleeps, the subway, fittingly, runs all night, so you can catch a train to where you are staying, or going, at any hour. That said, service at night is less frequent than during the day, not all the lines in the system run 24 hours, and certain subway entrances are closed between midnight and 6 a.m.
How Late Does the Subway Run?
There are two methods for entry into a subway station: a MetroCard (sold at vending machines in stations and some shops), and by a cashless payment system called OMNY via a smartphone, contactless debit or credit card, smartwatch, or a reloadable OMNY card. There are options for each depending how you will be using the cards.
Where Do I Buy Tickets?
MetroCards can be loaded as either pay per ride, or for unlimited travel for a seven or 30-day period. With the first option, riders can swipe the card for up to four people at a time, and fare is deducted from the card after every swipe. The unlimited ride option only allows one rider to swipe at a time, and these cards can't be used again for an 18-minute period.
One MetroCard Per Person?
If it is a 30-day unlimited ride card, help is available. If the MetroCard purchase was made through a Metropolitan Transportation Authority vending machine with a debit or credit card, riders can make a claim online or by calling 511, provide the necessary information, and get a refund — if it’s the 7-day card, though, there is no refund.
What If I Lose My Ticket?