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How to save money on New York transit fares

Updated Oct 13, 2021
See your options for subways, buses, and trains.

Subway and bus fares

  • Check whether you qualify for the Fair Fares program, a 50% discount on subway and eligible bus fares for low-income New Yorkers
  • Use your free transfers. Rides include a free transfer between the subway and local buses and between local buses.
  • Refill the card you have instead of paying the $1 fee for a new card.
  • Remember that kids under 44 inches tall can often ride subways and buses for free. See our fares page for specifics.

Unlimited card versus pay-per-ride

For a 30-day period:

These cost $127. If you take the bus or subway more than 46 times in a month, an unlimited card would save you money.

If you commute twice a day on weekdays and ride the bus or train a few times on weekends, consider a 30-day unlimited card.


For a 7-day period:

At $33, a 7-day unlimited card saves you if you use it more than 12 times in that seven days. If you’re taking the train or bus more than twice a day, this might be the way to go.

This card is a good option for people visiting New York for more than a day or two.

Railroad fares

  • For commuting: Try a weekly or monthly unlimited pass.
  • For occasional travel: Ride during off-peak hours if you can. Consider an off-peak 10 trip ticket for an additional 15% discount - you can share it with friends, even if traveling together.
  • For travel between Atlantic Terminal and parts of Brooklyn and Queens: See if an Atlantic Ticket is an option for your trip.
  • For travel within the city on weekends: A CityTicket gives you a discounted fare on trips that start and end in New York City on the weekend.
  • If you’re eligible, use reduced fares for children and families, senior citizens, and people with disabilities.