Affordable Ways to Get Around in New York City

Fans of this series may be charmed by watching their high-heeled gal pals whistle up a taxi in quintessential NYC style, but when you stop to consider how much these fictional denizens probably spend on transportation you might wonder just how they can afford all those Loubotins and Manolo Blahniks (forget "hello, lover", how about "hello, bankruptcy"?). For the native New Yorker or visiting tourist, the need to get from here to there in an affordable manner is essential, and luckily the city provides for many forms of transportation that will cost less than sitting in a cab for hours on end. So here are just a few options for those who want to hit up the nightlife in Tribeca or the Meatpacking District (but can't actually afford to live there).

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The first option is to drive a car, but while this might be more affordable than taking taxis it's not exactly the most efficient choice. Owning a car is a rather expensive proposition to begin with, and in New York City it can get even more pricey thanks to the terrible parking situation. If you live in the suburbs and you want to commute into the city via car, well, you'll have convenience on your side during the drive. But once you get into the city you will face the hassles of gridlock and limited parking. Although there are parking garages aplenty, you'll have to pay a pretty penny to use them. So while this is likely less expensive than taking cabs, it's definitely not the cheapest option for transportation. You'd be better off with a motorcycle, which at least gets better gas mileage and may be able to squeeze between cars in a pinch (although good luck finding even that much space).

A better choice for most commuters is the public transit system, made up of trains, subways, and buses that can take you nearly anywhere in the city, not to mention surrounding burghs, or at least get you darn close to your
destination. According to, a regular bus or subway trip will cost you $2.25-$2.50 while an express ticket will run you $5.50 these days. You may also purchase prepaid Metro cards that will give you unlimited rides for a week ($29) or a month ($104). All of these can be purchased via kiosks at any Metro station. But for residents that ride more frequently, a better idea could be the EasyPay Xpress MetroCard, which links to your debit or credit card so that you never have to worry about refilling it. You just create an account and they mail you a permanent pass. And anyone eligible for a reduced fare (the elderly, disabled, etc.) will automatically receive their discounted rate via this card.

Of course, the cheapest way to get around, especially if you live in the city, is to walk or bike. This can be tough in the winter, but during the summer months you can zip through traffic or hoof your way to work for free. And for those visitors romping around the New England area that don't necessarily want to shell out beaucoup bucks for a limo or car service to JFK from Connecticut or New Jersey, there are plenty of airport shuttles that will get you there for less (although some car services do come with excellent flat rates). So there are plenty of ways to get around NYC on a budget, whether you live there or you're just looking for a fun weekend away.

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