Ending the Subway/Uber Debate Once and for all!

So you’ve made plans to come to Mystery Room NYC. But before you come to play, you want to hit up every neighborhood: Chinatown, to Brooklyn, Washington Heights, to Central Park, to Chelsea, to FiDi. Everything here seems so close and yet so far. Do you catch a cab? Do you walk?

One of the most popular ways to get around, and arguably the most convenient way, is by subway. Subway ridership had a reported 1,762,565,419 ridership in 2015. This has steadily increased since 2010. The NYC subway system can be a gift. It’s cheap, it’s fast, and it hits all major neighborhoods (granted, a lot more Manhattan neighborhoods than that of other boroughs). But these blessings come with caveats: the MTA fare (currently $2.75) has risen steadily over the years, and is set to go up by 4% by 2017. Trains are delayed constantly, and not all neighborhoods can be reached without following a convoluted path filled with connections and transfers. In the summer, it seems as though hot air is pumped into the subway stations. In the winter, you could swear dementors have sucked all the warmth out of the place. Still, millions of people tough it out each year, because taking the subway means you’re paying a fraction of the cost of a cab and moving at quadruple the speed of the average New Yorker. So 400 mph. Not bad.

To avoid the hassle of working out our winding subway maps, and random people who decide it is a good idea to unleash crickets upon the general public, some might opt to go the yellow cab or Uber/Lyft route. Yellow cabs can be seen everywhere. They are responsible for a reported 400,000 rides a day, steadily decreasing with the rising popularity of car service apps such as Uber and Lyft. The convenience of these apps rests in the guarantee of a ride, with some background knowledge of your driver by way of star ratings. Yellow cabs are prevalent, but not always available. This is a more expensive option than the subway, the base fare alone is $2.50 and $2.55 for cabs and UberX, respectively. And don’t ever underestimate New York traffic. The streets are riddled with incompetent drivers, who could make the commute more hellish than the heat of the bustling underground. On top of that, pedestrians cross whenever they feel that cars won’t hit them (pretty much any time they want to cross)

Which leaves us with our good old trusty trotters. Ultimately, the only way you could ever truly be in control, is to stomp your way around. Within 20 blocks (almost 1 mile), the walk remains pleasant, allowing you to control the speed and timing of your commute and arrival. The average New Yorker walks at a pace of 50 mph. Forget waiting for trains or traffic lights; the daring can weave through slow moving traffic and crowds in style. And best of all, you’re getting around for free.

There is no right or wrong way to move around the city. Sometimes you can afford to move leisurely, so you’ll take the risk of waiting for a train. Sometimes you can afford to tip a driver, so you’ll choose the more immediate Uber option. Regardless, understanding that navigating the concrete jungle CAN be an easy task if you choose wisely is the first step to conquering your NYC adventure.

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