Overlooking a few key subway tips
Some five million people a day take the subway in New York -- a population more than half the states in America. That’s a lot of people! I don’t know you, but I can promise you’re smarter than many of them. So the first step to using the subway: Don’t be intimidated. Just do a bit of homework.
To find the best routes in advance (plus travel time estimates) or check service status for each line, use www.mta.info. Also, download a subway map to your phone in case the Wi-Fi acts up (we have that in underground stations now!) or bring a paper version. This will be invaluable in the event of a hiccup in your travels, as when a train is diverted to a different train line or goes out of service suddenly.
It might go without saying, but the trains run both ways, so make sure you hop on one going in the direction in which you intended. In Manhattan, most Queens- or Bronx-bound trains head generally north, while Brooklyn-bound trains go south.
Also be aware that some trains on the same line go “local” (stop at all stations) while others go “express” (stop at only certain stations, for expediency). Usually, if you get on an express train by accident, and blow by your intended stop, it’s not a problem -- just hop on the local train going in the opposite direction and backtrack.