BroBible’s Guide to New York City: Public Transportation

Unless you have a car or you're rich enough to get chauffeured around, public transportation is a major part of life in New York City. If you want to get somewhere that’s not within walking distance, generally you’ve got three options—bus, cab, or subway. All three are horrible, but some are less horrible than others. Let’s take a look at how the three rank in the factors everyone cares about when trying to get from here to there..


1) Subway

2) Bus

3) Cab

If you’re trying to get somewhere as fast as possible, the general thought of most New Yorkers seems to be, “I’m in a hurry, let’s take a cab.” Both the subway and bus run on schedules, so often times you’ll be waiting 1-10 minutes for your ride to even get there. The problem is that most of the time, it takes just as long (if not longer) to hail a cab. “OMG HE HAD HIS FUCKING LIGHT ON WHY DIDN’T HE STOP!?!?!!” If you do manage to track down a cab in less than ten minutes, you'll encounter a driver whose sole purpose is to fuck you over as much as possible and take the least optimal route to your destination. Even if you know exactly where you want to go and try to direct him on one specific route, he’ll use his little cabbie tricks to make sure you hit lights, traffic, pedestrians, other cars, whatever… anything to make you as late and as broke as possible. Buses deal with the same street-related obstacles, but the driver doesn’t have any incentive to drive like a dick, so you’ll get there a little faster.

The fastest method of NYC transportation is almost always the subway. You don’t have to deal  with the other foot and vehicle traffic, the trains are generally on time, and you already know exactly what route you’re going before you board the train. Of course sometimes there is “train traffic” and trains may be running less frequently due to someone suiciding on a completely different train line than yours, but most of the time you can at least ballpark how long your train ride will take. With the other two, all bets are off.

The only exception is when it’s past 2 a.m., there’s no street traffic, and trains are only running once every 20 minutes. Then it’s OK to take a cab.


1) Subway

2) Bus

3) Cab

I'm pretty sure I don’t have to break this one down much. The bus equals the subway when it comes to cost, because you can use your Metrocard for both. A single ride on the subway or bus costs just $2.50 (a few dollars more for an express bus), and a single cab ride costs anywhere from $7 to $7M. Last week I took a cab from the Upper East Side to SoHo and it cost thirty fucking dollars, or the same price it costs for an UNLIMITED WEEKLY pass on the subway. The only time it’s fiscally reasonable to take a cab is if you’re going a fairly short distance with no traffic or if you’re splitting the ride with at least 3 other people.


1) Cab

2) Bus

3) Subway

Really close call between bus and subway for the 2-3 spots here, but I gave bus the nod because at least you can get some fresh air while you’re being crammed genital-to-genital with the 88 smelliest vagrants in Manhattan. It’s not a question of whether the subway or bus will be crowded, but rather whether or not you’re lucky enough to somehow either get a seat or get the luxury of standing next to someone who’s aware of deodorant. Nobody out-hustles me for the door-lean spot on a subway car either. This is the type of mentality you need when dealing with the dry hump orgy that is the NYC subway.

In cabs you can do whatever the hell you want. Lay down and take a nap, watch some TV, go to town on the chick you just met at the bar 8 minutes prior. If it stinks, at least you know the smell is either coming from you or wafting from the driver. 


1) Cab

2) Bus

3) Subway

Not a tough ranking here—the subway is straight foul. It’s got more roaches than Seth Rogan’s ashtray. The most disgusting thing I’ve seen on a subway ranges from a homeless dude jackin’ it while staring directly at me, to rats having sex on a bed of human shit. The most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen in a cab is the girl I voluntarily got in with at 3 a.m.

Also, I feel like a huge pussy putting my sleeves over my hands to hold the subway poles, but I’m also still alive.

Danger (in order of least dangerous to most dangerous)

1) Cab

2) Subway

3) Bus

This really comes down to whether or not you’re more likely to get into a car crash, get shanked, or both. I’ve had some truly terrifying cab rides in my time, from weaving in and out of four lanes of traffic at 75 MPH to slamming on the brakes inches before crashing into a bread truck. Despite these near-misses, I’ve, somehow, never truly felt threatened in a cab. On the subway, there’s nothing quite like a 55-year-old man in pajamas and a red cape charging at you in a locked-doors death trap because you kinda look like his cousin who used to tease him when he was 11.

Having said that, I’m going with bus as the most dangerous, because it’s the only one where both of these things can happen.


1) Subway

2) Cab

3) Bus

The most entertainment the bus can provide is one of those fights that end up on WorldStar, which, while awesome, only happen on your luckiest of days.

This really comes down to subway versus cab. Cabs have three distinct advantages when it comes to entertainment—cell phone service, a TV, and messing with the driver. The TV is only good for one rotation so after 5 minutes it’s shot, and the Jeopardy! clues are always way too easy. But it’s still nice to be able to Instagram while you travel. You can also ask your cab driver who his favorite Ninja Turtle is… and then completely lose your shit when he says he doesn't know what a Ninja Turtle is because he's from Turkmenistan.

But despite the lack of technology and socializing, the subway is king. WorldStar fights happen about twice as often as they do on a bus. Every single morning on the Shuttle train I get treated to a decent version of Sisqo’s “Incomplete” by a 20-year-old kid who’s just “tryin’ to feed his daughter.” There's amNY, the free daily newspaper. Some of the homeless people are downright hilarious as long as they stay 20 feet away.

Finally, I have my own fun subway game called “Fuck 3 Strangers,” where I have to decide which three fellow commuters in my car I’d have sex with if I absolutely had to. The rush-hour 4-5-6 train is way too easy because there are 10 hot girls per car, but other times I’ve had to decide between some truly objectionable females or some handsome dudes. It's a truly life-reflecting moment when you're standing next to a 62-year-old woman and think, “I mean, she's not THAT gross.”

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