My kids have been taking the subway since they were in utero. As a Queens girl who commutes into midtown Manhattan every weekday, I have been navigating all the joys and pitfalls NYC’s transit system has to offer and I intend to pass down my knowledge to the next generation of New Yorkers. At $2.75, a one-way ride is no longer a bargain, but it’s still cheaper (and often faster) than an Uber, and less panic-inducing than getting around via Citibike. And for the first couple of times, a subway ride can be exciting and magical for little kids, speeding underground without seat belts! The journey, for parents, is less "unbridled excitement" and more "OK, let's just get through this together and please don't put that in your mouth."
We don’t have a car, so we go pretty much everywhere via train. Usually the way to our destination is a breeze; The kids are stoked about hitting a big park or zoo. But the way back is typically a whine-fest on a packed express that is inexplicably running local because life. They will spill their water, scream for snacks and make every passenger on the car believe you are the world’s worst parent. You will then have to drag them up three flights of stairs to street level and you will all be either sweating or freezing or maybe both. But you'll take this over raising your kids in the suburbs (eh, maybe).
So besides the usual mass transportation shenanigans involving sick passengers, signal problems, and train traffic up ahead, you can guarantee that every New York mom will experience these things with her kid on the subway: