On the heels of another announced fare hike the MTA says will take effect in March, it’s a good time to become familiar with some other affordable and more comfortable ways to get around New York City.
Taxi and ride-sharing services are no longer for the privileged and lazy.
Uber, Lyft, Gett and Via car-summoning apps are competing with each other and driving down prices.
Other forms of transportation like Citi Bikes can let you breeze through traffic jams in good weather. Just be sure to wear a helmet.
On Wednesday, the MTA announced it would raise fares again, as it has planned every other year since 2009. The price for a bus or subway ride will jump from $2.75 to $3.
New York’s mass transit service is pricier than most other big cities: it costs $2.25 to ride the subway in Chicago, and if you are eligible for reduced fare, it cots $1.10.
However, a MetroCard single-ride reduced fare in New York for seniors is $1.35 and a 30-day MetroCard costs $116.50.
In Los Angeles, a bus ride is $1.75, and $2.50 for rail, along with deep discounts of 75 percent for reduced fares. A 30-day transit pass in LA is $75.
CitiBike – An annual or monthly membership is the way to go.
It costs $155 for an unlimited number of 45-minute rides. Averaging that out, two rides a day end up costing 21 cents per ride over the course of a year. If you go for the monthly option of $14.95, you can take a spin 30 times a month and pay less than 50 cents per ride.
The 24-hour Day Pass costs $12 and generally suits the tourist or that person in a major hurry. But if you are planning on hitting up multiple locations, it can still be cost effective. Making five trips a day will cost you $2.40 per trip.
UberPool— UberPool already eases the financial burden with its fare-splitting model. Going from Columbus Circle on West 59th Street to Washington Heights in northern Manhattan will cost only $11 if you’re pooling. That’s far less than it would cost in a yellow cab, but still more than a subway ride.
The pooling service also charges $5 per ride to anywhere in Manhattan if you get picked up below 125th Street, during morning and evening peak times, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., and 5 to 8 p.m.
For anyone with an American Express card, Uber offers for the rest of 2016 up to $170 in ride credit from major NYC-area airports like Newark Libery, JFK and LaGuardia.
Gett – Its Gett Together service offers a ride-sharing model that costs $3 per ride, on specified routes throughout Manhattan at any time of day, with no surge pricing.
Your own bike: By far the most economical and reliable method of transport through New York City is using your own bicycle. Spend whatever you want on the bike but don’t skimp on the lock or else you’ll have to call one of the above car services. Or you could just take the train or the bus.