Everyone travels by subway in New York. Try our MetroCard Calculator to help you save money while you ride.
The NYC subway isn’t the cleanest or most reliable subway system in the world. It’s not the cheapest either. The price for a single MetroCard fare recently jumped from $2.25 to $2.75, and you’ll have to pay $1 to buy a new, refillable card — good for the environment, bad for people that perpetually lose their subway cards. There is some good news, though; now, if you buy a MetroCard for $5.50 or more, you’ll get an 11% bonus added to the card, ultimately saving you money (as long as you can hold onto that card). Try out our MetroCard Calculator at the bottom of the page to help you determine how to save the most money.
There are many factors at play when using NYC public transportation, so we created this guide to help inform travelers of all the options available to them. Check it out and find the one that best fits your needs as you trek around this enormous, labyrinthine city.
Scenario A. You’re in New York City for one day.
Taxis may be the most convenient way to move about, but they’re certainly not cheaper than the subway, and sometimes they’re not even the fastest. If you want to save money, head underground. If you pay $5.50 for a MetroCard (remember, you’ll need $6.50 with the new $1 MetroCard fee), you’ll have enough for two rides. For four rides, you should pay $10.91 (which includes the $1 fee) and you’ll get exactly $11 for your four rides. For reference, a two-mile taxi ride in modest traffic would cost about the same price.
Scenario B. You’re in New York City for several days.
First, if you’re traveling with someone else, don’t buy additional MetroCards. You can buy one and swipe it multiple times for each person going through the turnstile; there is no time limit to how often you can swipe a single MetroCard. By doing that, you already save $1 per person because you’re not paying the additional fee for a new MetroCard. On average, travelers take the subway about four times a day ($11/day per person).
Another option to consider is the Unlimited MetroCard, which lasts a week and costs $31. The problem with this card, if you’re traveling with other people, is that you have to wait 17 minutes to use it after the first swipe. Depending on your plans, though, it could still be the best option for you. And keep in mind that the MetroCard works on buses, too, and you can transfer from bus to subway (and vice versa) for free within 2 hours of your first swipe.
Consider your travel itinerary and number of travel partners and you’ll have a good idea of which option is best for you. For additional help, try out our MetroCard Calculator below. It will help determine the precise costs of your trip, based on your unique situation. And remember, ride safely and enjoy the architectural feat that is the New York City subway system!
NYC MetroCard Calculator
Fare Hike Calculator
NYC Metrocard calculator is for the current fare, in effect since March 22, 2015. The base fare is $2.75 with a bonus of 11% (with a $5.50 minimum). This calculator tells you how much to add to get an even number of rides. Just press Calculate below if you’re starting with a zero balance.
The effective fare cost per ride, including the bonus, is $2.48.
“MetroCard” is a registered trademark of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. This web page is not affiliated with or sanctioned by the MTA. The author of this page makes no guarantee of accuracy.
Featured image courtesy of NYCUrbanScape