As we saw in “Safety in New York City – A Visitors Guide to Staying Safe in NYC“, New York is one of the safest cities in USA these days. As a tourist, you can be safe provided you follow some common sense tips mentioned in that post.
However, the subway system in New York is different, and needs a separate set of tips. Don’t worry, even the subway is safe – including at night – if you keep in mind the following points.
General New York City Subway Safety Tips
- Watch the gap – there is a gap between the train and the platform. And at times, this can be as much as 10″ – so be careful while boarding and exiting a train.
- Be careful with moving platforms – at some subway stations, the gap between the train and the platform is quite huge, so the platform actually extends to close this gap once the train stops. Be very careful when such platform extension is in motion.
- Stay away from closing doors and avoid the temptation to jump in or out of the train at the last moment. There is a ding-dong sound just before the doors close, so you would have a warning.
- Do not get on the train tracks. It is unsafe for multiple reasons. One, there is a real possibility of a collision with an oncoming train. Two, there is a third rail that carries the current that runs the train, and touching it can kill you. Three, the train tracks are outright dirty, and you would be lucky not to spot a mouse there!
- Do not stand near the edge of the platform. Especially during the peak hours, and any running / moving person can push you on the tracks by mistake.
- Keep your wallet and valuables in front pockets – they would a lot safer there.
- Know which why the train is going. Whether the train is going uptown or downtown, the train number would remain the same. So please check which way you need to go, and wait for the train at the appropriate platform.
Safety Tips For Riding The Subway At Night
- While waiting for a train, always stand near the late night waiting area – there should be a sign that says “During off hours trains stop here”. Alternatively, you can wait in view of the MetroCard booth present at many stations – provided it is manned by someone.
- Always try to ride in the conductor’s car (its easy to find this car – the conductor would look out the window of the train when it stops at the station). Alternatively, you can ride in the first car where the train operator sits. If that is not possible, ride in subway cars that already have some people.
- Do not sleep on the train. You would not want to tempt someone to steal from you, would you?