As you know from checking out my New York City Bike Travel Guide, taking the subway was once the only way I got around the big city. However, now that I know how to navigate the streets and all of the best bike routes, I am a city cyclist through-and-through. Still, sometimes it is necessary to hop on the subway to get where you need to go… especially if you just spent way too long at the MOMA and now you are late for a very important date!
Check out the tips below for everything you need to know about taking your bike on the subway.
Tips for Bringing a Bike on the Subway:
Download a metro/subway map - I find it much easier than staring at the wall, especially when you have a bike (if you are boarding the subway in NYC, there is a HANDY APP FOR THAT).
You need to walk through the emergency exit/handicap gate to get in/out of the station - don’t use the normal turnstile. It often says Emergency Exit Only but it is ok to walk through.
Board the first or last train.
Only sit if there is room, be courteous with your bike.
Keep your bags close - I always pull my bag around in front of me when I am in a crowded place. Also don’t put any valuables in outside pockets that don’t have zippers and careful of the accessible pockets with zippers.
Spread out your valuables. Leave a card/cash in your hotel or at home.
If you have a phone, GoPro or GPS attached to your bike, it’s better to pull it off.
Don’t pull your map out - this is a general big city tip, there are more discrete ways to figure out where you are going such as apps and google maps. You make yourself more of a target for petty theft with a map.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help - other passengers and workers are usually happy to help.
Take a look around, the people watching is really fun!
Using both your bike and the subway is an incredible way to explore a city - you can cover so much ground and it’s so fun!