The best way of getting around New York is to use public transport or walk, particularly for short distances. Most New Yorkers make extensive use of the subway, which is usually the quickest way to get around the city if it’s too far on foot. You will probably still have to walk a few blocks on each end of your journey, so make sure you pack warm clothes and comfortable shoes.

Follow our guide for more hints and tips on getting around the city.


Getting Around


On Foot

Most of New York is built on a grid system, which makes finding your way fairly simple. For short distances, walking is probably your best option; it is also a great way to experience the city. There are several tourist attractions near the conference venue, so the streets are likely to be busy, especially at rush hours when commuters are intent on getting around as quickly as possible. Don’t stop suddenly, and if you need to consult your map or want to take photographs move to the edge of the sidewalk.

The Subway

The subway can seem intimidating, but the extensive network and frequent trains make it once of the most convenient and cost-effective ways of getting around the city. Subway maps are posted outside most turnstiles, and you can request paper versions from station agents at the main entrance of the platforms. Maps are also available online.

The Sheraton is located next to the Seventh Avenue stop on the B, D, or E lines, and the other hotels are very close by along West 53rd Street. To go to other areas of the city, walk or take any of the lines north one stop to Times Square to reach nearly every major subway line in the city. Use the “S” shuttle to cross over to Grand Central station for access to the east side of the city.

Train routes are shown by color on the map, although they are named by number or letter. Many stations are shared by local and express services. The separate platforms will be clearly marked on placards above the track. On the map, local lines are designated by black dots and express lines by large white dots. It can be some distance between express stops, so do double-check you are in the right place. Also check which direction you are traveling. Overhead platform placards and signs will indicate Uptown or Downtown.

Finally, the routes split the farther you get from midtown, so review your destination on your subway map to see which train lines service your particular stop and then make sure that the train you are about to board has the corresponding number or letter posted above the car windows.


New York’s yellow taxis are an iconic symbol of the city, and the only ones authorized to pick up passengers who have hailed them in the street. Taxis are available for hire if the center light on their roof is lit. The lights on either side in older models indicate that the taxi is off-duty. You do not need to go to a designated taxi-rank but can hail a cab from anywhere, although please be aware of your own safety and that of others. During wet weather and rush hours competition can be fierce!

Yellow cab drivers must by law take you anywhere within the five boroughs, and they must also accept credit/debit card payment. Check that the meter is reset when you start your journey, and only pay what is on the meter. A 15 to 20% tip is customary. If you have any problems with a cab, record the ID number and report them to the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Be aware of the new green taxi fleet. These are designated as outer-borough hails only, so they are a great option for traveling to Manhattan, but they will not pick up new passengers in Midtown or anywhere below 96th Street.

There are taxi service apps, such as Uber or Lyft, which allow you to book and pay for a taxi via your mobile phone.


New York’s buses are not known for their speed, but they are a great way to see the city. Routes and timetables are posted at stops, and information is also available from the MTA website. The east/west routes are often the best method of going crosstown, and are the only easy ways of getting across Central Park.


To use the subway or bus you’ll need to a purchase a MetroCard. Dispensing machines are located at the main entrances of each subway station and accept cash or credit/debit card payment. Individual rides cost $2.50, and you’ll need to pay a $1 fee for each reloadable MetroCard.

If you are extending your stay, consider a 7-Day Unlimited pass for $30. It saves you money if you take 13 trips or more, but note that timers on the passes prevent you from swiping in more than one person per pass.

Citi Bike

Only for the truly hearty in January temperatures, Citi Bike has docks throughout the city south of 59th Street. As of publication, a 24-hour pass with unlimited 30-minute trips is $9.95, and a seven-day pass is $25 (both plus tax and a security deposit). Bikes must be picked up and returned to designated bike docks.

Transit Apps

There are plenty of free and paid-for apps for your Apple or Android phone available to help you move around the city. Icons delineate which are MTA-licensed or produced. Your conference hotel will be able to assist you with travel around the city.