“Tick sounds annoying and NY is annoying.” So pronounced a friend of The Rapid Traveler in approving this regular feature’s name, NYtick. Quick tidbits for a city that draws tourists the world over but does little to welcome them. It is especially challenging for American tourists because the tourist experience is significantly different from the typical American city and they often arrive unprepared. Since The Rapid Traveler is in and out of NY’s airports on a weekly basis, and hauls groceries home on the subway on off days, he has built up a number of tips and tools to retain his sanity.
Tourists to New York generally use taxis or the subway to get around. Some switch to the subway mid-trip, fed up with taxi meters that spin faster than wheels. The 1-Day Fun Pass MetroCard was eliminated on Dec 30, 2010, and many guidebooks have not yet had time to update. The MTA proposal said that it was not worth the 0.8% of its trips that it represented, but it was a great tool for tourists and day-trippers to enjoy the city for a day and avoid the hassle of recharging MetroCards.
The Rapid Traveler is not aware of many subway systems in the world that do not offer some form of single-day pass, but the MTA does not see itself as in the tourism promotion business. The shortest duration available now is the $29 7-day pass. Those on a short trip will need to decide if the roughly 13 pay as you go trips it represents is worth it for their trip length. The way NY’s tourist sights are clustered, a totally unscientific guess of about 2-4 trips per day for an average tourist with a reasonable amount of walking seems a decent barometer. And if really trying to stretch the transport dollars, and filled with infinite patience, each charged swipe is good for one subway-to-bus or bus-to-subway transfer within 2 hours (consider that the MTA allows 2 hours for a reason).