Get excited: WorldPride is coming to New York City in June 2019! Next year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which occurred in New York’s West Village and initiated the modern LGBT movement. Now, people from around the world are coming to New York to celebrate diversity and equality throughout June. Pride Week will last June 24-30, culminating in the world’s biggest Pride March ever. For first-time visitors (or those who haven’t visited since Uber came to town), here’s a brief guide to the transportation options in New York City.
How To Get Around NYC for WorldPride: By Foot
New York is a walker’s paradise. From shop windows to fabulous apartment buildings to skyscrapers to Central Park to museums to street performers, the sights last miles and miles. The more you walk New York, the more its strangeness becomes familiar. It’s likely you’ll remember more of its quirks and, consequently, navigate it better the more you brave it on foot. Major shopping corridors like Broadway in Soho or Fifth Avenue in Midtown make great territory for walkers as well, while parts of Times Square can only be accessed on foot. We recommend walking adjacent neighborhoods if you have time; take a jaunt from Soho to the West Village, or walk across Central Park from the Upper East Side to Upper West Side. You’ll stumble upon bars, restaurants, and sights you would never have discovered otherwise. And needless to say, your FitBit will thank you.
How To Get Around NYC for WorldPride: Subway
The subways in New York can get a bad rap (sometimes deserved), but they are often the fastest, cheapest way around the city. The subway is best for traveling through crowded areas in a short amount of time, and each subway ride is only $2.75 (you can also buy cost-efficient Unlimited Metrocards if you’re staying for several days). For example, if you’re traveling from Rockefeller Center to Union Square, the subway will most likely get you there faster than any road transportation would. Study the MTA subway map before you arrive, and get a sense of which subway lines are around your hotel and your must-visit destinations. A quick perusal of this map and a plan for your subway route could save you a lot of money!
When you’re looking for the street entrance to a subway station, find the spherical, kelly-green lights on lampposts, which flank every subway entrance. Be sure to read the white signs posted on the subway platform, which are printed in several languages and notify passengers when service is disrupted on a certain subway line (be advised that this is pretty common on weekends). Apps like CityMapper, which is free to download, make handy guides for subway navigation. If you get lost or you board the wrong train, don’t hesitate to ask someone for help!
How To Get Around NYC for WorldPride: Taxis & Cars
The yellow taxi, once the omnipresent method of transport in New York, has received some stiff competition in recent years from app-based car services. All of these services are more expensive than the subway but much easier to navigate—that’s because you’re not navigating at all! With a professional driver, you’re getting a person who knows the city well and can drop you off exactly where you need to be. In general, cars and taxis are the best option if you’re traveling late at night or getting to and from the airport.
Some car services pick up other passengers along the way; these rideshare services like Lyft and Via will take longer but shave a few dollars off your fare. Car services like Uber are convenient and less expensive than a taxi, although keep in mind that these apps up their prices during “surge” hours when demand is high. In busy areas like Midtown and major airports, bright yellow taxis are easy to find in a pinch, but their convenience and affordability has declined somewhat. In fact, now there are more Uber cars in New York than yellow taxis!
Keep traffic in mind as well. If you’re leaving a huge event like the Pride March or Pride Island, the roads might be so congested that you’re better off on the subway. Before you come to New York, download an app like Uber, Lyft, or Via so you’ll have it handy when you need a ride!
How To Get Around NYC for WorldPride: Buses
In addition to subways, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (or MTA) provides buses around the city to ease transportation. In our experience, MTA buses serve an important but limited function. They’re typically slower than the subway (although they cost the same at $2.75 per ride) but can aid the physically disabled passenger who needs inexpensive transportation around the city. MTA buses are equipped with handy ramps that extend from the bus doors for passengers in wheelchairs, as well as tools for securing a chair once it’s in place inside the bus. With their large fishbowl windows, buses also offer great views of the city while you travel—that’s something no underground subway can offer.
Looking for the best view of all? Book a ride atop a double-decker bus and enjoy a narrated tour around some of the city’s most beloved areas. Read about bus tours of New York City here.