You can expect the NYC subway to be gritty, complex, and probably running behind schedule all year round. But there are also some characteristics of the subway that are more seasonal. As the seasons change, don’t be caught off guard. Here are NYC subway tips for every season.
- Before you enter an underground subway platform in the summer, mentally prepare yourself to enter the asscrack of hell. The platform will be hot, humid, and smelly, with no air flow. God forbid the train you want is delayed.
- Bring a sweater because the AC inside the train is going to make you think you’re in Antarctica.
- As much as you don’t want to be jammed up against hot, sweaty bodies in the summer, beware of any car that is empty. If you’re getting on the subway mid-route and you encounter an empty car, that is most likely a hot car — a train car where the AC is broken. Only enter it if you don’t mind an impromptu trip to the sauna.
- Between the school kids and the regular commuters, prepare to fight over open seats on your morning commute.
- If you’re on the train when the high schoolers get out of school in the afternoon, good luck. I hope you have noise-cancelling headphones.
- Bundle up! The platforms are freezing, especially the outdoor ones.
- Don’t sit near the doors, because when they open up, you will feel an uncomfortable, cold breeze.
- Be courteous and bring a plastic bag to wrap up your umbrella when it rains. Slipping on a puddle your umbrella created will not be the highlight of anyone’s day. That being said, no one else will think to bring a plastic bag to prevent their umbrella from dripping on the floor, so watch where you step.
- Over the past year, we’ve learned the hard way that our subway system is not equipped to handle the excess water caused by huge rain storms (which will only become the norm thanks to climate change). If you need to access the subway on a day when it’s storming outside, don’t forget your scuba suit because your station will probably be underwater.
Have any other seasonal NYC subway tips? Share them in the comment section and I’ll feature the best ones on the Shiloh in the City instagram.
Before you go, if you like what I do here at Shiloh in the City and want to continue getting to know New York’s history, culture, and things to do with me, sign up for my email list and follow me on social media. Thanks for reading!