Love it or hate it, the subway seems to be a necessary and vital form of getting around New York. Personally, I’m not sure what I’d do without my MetroCard – easily one of the most expensive yet most important purchases I’ve made here.
Luckily, there’s a lot of supplementary resources that made the (at first confusing) subway system much more simple when first starting out here in May. These guides, in the form of smart phone apps, still assist me now after a month and a half in the Big Apple.
The first of my ‘big two’ when it comes to apps that I’m accessing the most during this big city summer is HopStop. This app is basically a MapQuest to MTA’s subway station, allowing the user to enter in any valid address (landmark, etc.) in New York’s five boroughs and generating detailed rail and/or walking directions to that destination.
The app that is constantly pulled up on my Android while riding along on the subway, however, is a program simply called NYC Bus & Subway Maps. The interface within this app acts as a hub of MTA maps of all sorts (including buses), and basically provides you an easy-access and phone-friendly way of downloading and storing these maps onto your device. Once you download a particular map, the map is saved under the app and alleviates a possible would-be need for a 3G signal along the spotty (at best) subway rails. I have really enjoyed this form of guidance, because it has required me to still figure out for myself where I need to go and which stops/trains I need to pay attention to, as opposed to mundanely being told exactly where to go with each trip.
While the subway has certainly become a much easier and somewhat comfortable experience throughout the course of this summer, it can never hurt to have some digital support as backup.