Mysteries of the Subway
Started conversation Mar 26, 2004
The subway isn't confusing at all, really.
There are signs telling you which direction you're headed, and which trains visit your station. If you look up-they're near the ceiling. They'll tell you when express trains and when locals come.
The shape surrounding the letters and numbers tell you whether the train is express or local. Pay attention to both the letter/number and the shape of your train in the signs. (For example, 'Q' in a circle is local, and 'Q' diamond is an express).
If you want to plan your trip, www.mta.info has everything you'll need, including maps of which trains run where and when.
If you get really lost, look for turnstiles. There's a man in a booth paid to stay there and answer your questions.
Remember, the subway is designed for people who can't speak English by people who can't speak English. EVERYTHING has to be in symbols and extremely simple.
And stay clear of ALL trains during rush hour, and buses too, unless you ENJOY being hit everywhere with handbags, attache cases, backpacks, and various body parts.