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11 Tips For Riding The NYC Subway Like A Pro From Real New Yorkers

New Yorkers know a thing or two about how to get around their city. Here are some serious life hacks for riding the subway like they do and how New Yorkers Keep New York Safe™.

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1. Fill up your MetroCard before you need it.

Spare yourself the humiliation of holding up the line at the turnstile by making sure you have your MetroCard out and ready to go loaded with at least one full fare.
John St John / CC BY 2.0 / Via bit.ly

Spare yourself the humiliation of holding up the line at the turnstile by making sure you have your MetroCard out and ready to go loaded with at least one full fare.

2. Don't be dumb with your smartphone.

This is another good tip to keep things moving! When you're moving through stations, don't clog paths and staircases by shuffling along with your face in your phone.
m01229 / CC BY 2.0 / Via bit.ly

This is another good tip to keep things moving! When you're moving through stations, don't clog paths and staircases by shuffling along with your face in your phone.

3. Know your route.

Whether you’re going to work or out with friends, knowing what to expect from your public transit ride helps you recognize when something seems out of place.
Thinkstock

Whether you’re going to work or out with friends, knowing what to expect from your public transit ride helps you recognize when something seems out of place.

4. Don't eat stinky foods.

The subway is not a dining car.
Sarah_Ackerman / CC BY 2.0 / Via bit.ly

The subway is not a dining car.

5. Have some pride and clean up after yourself.

New Yorkers don’t mess around with trash. They know that properly getting rid of litter doesn’t just keep the subways clean, but it also helps prevent track fires and train delays. Helping the subway run smoothly means they can get on with their busy lives.
Thinkstock

New Yorkers don’t mess around with trash. They know that properly getting rid of litter doesn’t just keep the subways clean, but it also helps prevent track fires and train delays. Helping the subway run smoothly means they can get on with their busy lives.

6. Be aware of your surroundings.

Because public transit is such a huge part of the New Yorker lifestyle, riders respect that no detail is too small when it comes to keeping their city safe.
Eldad Carin / Getty Images

Because public transit is such a huge part of the New Yorker lifestyle, riders respect that no detail is too small when it comes to keeping their city safe.

7. Watch your volume.

It's important to be able to hear what's happening when you ride the subway, so please keep your voices down, don't blast music on your Bluetooth speaker, and, if you wear headphones, be sure you can still hear train announcements or anything else you might need to.
Yaffa Phillips / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Via bit.ly

It's important to be able to hear what's happening when you ride the subway, so please keep your voices down, don't blast music on your Bluetooth speaker, and, if you wear headphones, be sure you can still hear train announcements or anything else you might need to.

8. Be a good neighbor.

This can be anything from sharing the pole and letting passengers exit the train before boarding it, to reporting suspicious behavior or packages. New Yorkers may be notorious for keeping to themselves, but, at the end of the day, they know that keeping the subway safe is everybody’s responsibility.
perke / CC BY 2.0 / Via bit.ly

This can be anything from sharing the pole and letting passengers exit the train before boarding it, to reporting suspicious behavior or packages. New Yorkers may be notorious for keeping to themselves, but, at the end of the day, they know that keeping the subway safe is everybody’s responsibility.

9. Stay woke.

It's really important to stay alert when riding the subway, for your safety, and the safety of everyone riding the train. For this reason alone, it should be a no-brainer: Don't sleep on the subway.
bettyx1138 / CC BY 2.0 / Via bit.ly

It's really important to stay alert when riding the subway, for your safety, and the safety of everyone riding the train. For this reason alone, it should be a no-brainer: Don't sleep on the subway.

10. Don't stand too close to the tracks.

The subway rules are there for our protection and to ensure the best train service. We can all avoid accidents by observing subway safety rules.
Carlo Cabanilla / CC BY-SA 2.0

The subway rules are there for our protection and to ensure the best train service. We can all avoid accidents by observing subway safety rules.

11. Know when to speak up.

If New Yorkers see something suspicious going down, they tell someone about it. They know that reporting overflowing trash bins, broken lights, or any possible security threats is how the subway stays safe for everyone to ride.
Takahiro Nagao / CC BY 2.0 / Via bit.ly

If New Yorkers see something suspicious going down, they tell someone about it. They know that reporting overflowing trash bins, broken lights, or any possible security threats is how the subway stays safe for everyone to ride.

It seems like the best way to ride the NYC subway like a New Yorker is to treat the city and the people living in it with respect. So, basically, be a decent human being, and If You See Something, Say Something™.

Brought to you by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Funding provided by grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.