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Thursday, September 22, 2016

The cheapest way to get into New York City

Alisha McDarris
NYC from the Brooklyn Bridge

New York City is expensive. Period. The food is expensive, the lodging is expensive, the attractions are expensive. Everything is expensive. So naturally, you'll probably want to save a few bucks everywhere you can. And since even getting into the city is expensive, you'll probably want to start there. So if you're heading to NYC for a visit, here's how to save money on transportation into the city.

Above: A view of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge.

Drive: If you have a carload of people and an iron constitution (not to mention an endless supply of patience), you may opt to brave the traffic (and the angry drivers) and drive into the city. Your first expense will be tolls on bridges and tunnels. At the time of publishing those tolls were hanging around $15 per vehicle each way on popular routes like the Lincoln Tunnel and George Washington Bridge. Then there are road tolls depending on where you're coming from. And after that there's still the problem of parking. The average price for a lot or garage for the day is another $20-$30. Now, you may be able to find free street parking, like on a Sunday (we found a spot on Amsterdam near 100th street), but a spot like that is purely a stroke of luck. Also, be prepared to do a lot of walking to get anywhere interesting.

Train or Bus: On the other hand, taking the train into NYC from surrounding cities may be a more affordable option. From Seacaucus Station just across the river in New Jersey a round trip ticket to Penn Station near Times Square is only $8.00 and you can often find street parking on the blocks surrounding the station. Find a route on Or take a Greyhound bus from White Plains, NY for only $4.50. Then you can hoof it around the city for free! Check out to check out transportation prices from various surrounding cities.

Uber/Lyft: Say goodbye to pricey taxis and hello to local drivers. Parking in neighboring cities and hailing an Uber or Lyft via your smartphone may be an economical choice, especially if there are 4 or 5 people in your party who can split the transportation fee. The upside to this method is that you can get dropped off and picked up wherever you want and not have to worry about missing the last train back to wherever you're sleeping for the night (Jersey City, perhaps?). Do a price check on your app to get a quote.

Know of other sneaky and cheap ways to get into New York City? Share them!

Alisha McDarris / Author & Editor

Alisha is a freelance writer and photographer based in Austin, TX. She loves her tiny house, vegan food and experiencing the community of travel in far away places. She’s also pretty sure she’s addicted to coffee. [Portfolio]


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