Citi Bike Photo: James Schwartz/Flickr

Everyone knows that New York City is an expensive place to live and visit. And now, there is talk that the cost for unlimited MetroCards could be going up by 15 percent in the next year. There’s no better time to take on cost-cutting measures when it comes to your transit decisions.

1. Choose Taxis v. Uber Strategically: OpenStreetCab is an app that uses your phone’s location and the address of your destination to determine your cheapest method of transport. It runs that information against taxi mobility data as well as historic and real time fares data. This tells you whether to go with hailing a cab, or to take an UberX car, the company’s cheapest service. Hint: the answer is usually a good ‘ol yellow cab.

2. Use the MetroCard Magic Numbers: If you don’t purchase an unlimited MetroCard, you’re probably familiar with the default MetroCard amounts that the machines offer — coupled with “bonus” amounts. Well, the MTA has been scrutinized for how they dealt with excess change caused by the often strange bonus amounts. Many people ended up throwing away cards with amounts insufficient for a ride. Of course you can combine cards at the counter — but that is time-consuming. Instead, a number of mathematicians have put together manual refill amounts you should select to avoid ending up with leftover change.

3. Enrol in NYC Bike Share through Citi Bike: New York City’s newest public transportation system, Citi Bike, launched in May 2013. Annual membership is just $149 and with that membership, you receive unlimited 45-minute rides. Some organizations, like the NYC Housing Authority and Community Development Credit Unions even qualify for group rates. Another benefit of the bike system is that it doesn’t use any taxpayer money, and is even expected to create income for the city. Bike on!

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