< Back Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination? How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city? What side of the road do people drive on? Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city. Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options. In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of? Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation? Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination? Few people living in New York City have cars. Parking is difficult and expensive, and there is a greater risk of car theft and break-in than in most cities. This, in turn, makes insurance rates very high. Cars are very useful and sometimes necessary in the suburban areas. Parking and security are not a problem, as most accommodation comes with space for parking. ↑ Top How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city? An expatriate should get an International Driving License before leaving his or her country of origin. With this, an expat may drive in the US for one year. After this, he or she must obtain a New York license. A New York State Driving License can be obtained at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). To do so, you must first get a social security number, and then visit the DMV Office. There, you will be required to produce three forms of identification, take a written test, take a five-hour driving course and then a road test. Be sure to schedule a large block of time for this; the DMV Office is notorious for long queues and waits. ↑ Top What side of the road do people drive on? Throughout the US, people drive on the right hand side of the road. ↑ Top Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city. Most people working in New York City use the extensive and convenient public transportation system to travel to, from, and within the city. Public transport includes buses, taxis, subways, trains and ferries. ↑ Top Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options. The majority of people living and working in Manhattan will commute to work on the subway or bus, unless they are within walking distance. New York City’s subway system is one of the largest in the world. It is comprehensive and affordable and the Metropolitan transit Authority (MTA) has greatly improved the system over the last ten years. Service is 24 hours and covers all boroughs, except Staten Island. Although subways are crowded at rush hours, they are time-efficient since they avoid traffic. All the subway cars are new or rebuilt and major sections of track have been re-laid. The Transit Police have recorded major drops in subway crime since 1993. The fare is US$2 for any trip. It is advisable to keep value on your Metrocard to avoid standing in queues. Although subways are safe during daylight and rush hours, it is advisable to keep jewellery, handbags and money secure. For newcomers using the subway for the first time, it is best to map out your route in advance. It is important to appear confident and alert. There are maps in every station and in every subway car for reference. The Long Island Railroad services Long Island and parts of Queens from Penn Station. The Metro North services Westchester and Fairfield Counties in New York and Connecticut out of Grand Central Station. New Jersey Transit and the PATH trains service New Jersey out of Penn Station. Buses are a good way to travel and are often less crowded than subways. An apprehensive newcomer may find buses to be less intimidating and frenetic than the subway. The fare is the same as the subway; buses accept Metrocards as well as change. Free transfers to the subway system are available. Private bus companies also offer express bus services to and from Manhattan from all the boroughs, suburbs and airports. For example, Bee-Line Bus has service within the towns in Westchester County and to/from New York City. Taxis have regulated fares and start at US$2. Licensed taxis are yellow and display their license number with the driver's photo. Taxis must use their meters. Tips of US$0.50 to US$1.50 are expected. Unfortunately, some drivers can be a bit aggressive or rude and (occasionally) have English-language difficulties. A passenger may take note of the driver's taxi license number to make complaints. In addition, the Staten Island Ferry runs between Manhattan and Staten Island. There are also ferries from Hoboken and Jersey City, New Jersey to Manhattan. ↑ Top In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of? Become acquainted with local roads and freeways as well as local traffic rules. Always follow these traffic rules and always drive with the flow of traffic. When using public transit, appear alert and confident, and always keep your wits about you. ↑ Top Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation? The New York Transit fare system uses Metrocard, a plastic card that deducts your fare when the card is swiped through the subway turnstile or inserted in the bus fare box. You can also pay with coins or bills on the bus, but have the exact fare ready. Metrocards can be purchased in every train station from automated machines and in some of them at the both. They can be also bought in some newsstands and stores all throughout the city -- just look for the sign. Train, path and ferry tickets can be purchased at their stations. ↑ Top IMPORTANT NOTE: Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.