6 Subway Map Tools To Navigate Your Way Through NYC

Ellie Harrison 31-08-2009

subway3I love living in New York City. Its constant action and celebrity sightings make it a great place to live – or visit. The best thing about NYC is its subway and bus system. Built in the early 1900s, the subway system gets New Yorkers and visitors to the places they need to go quickly and efficiently.


Buses add an additional layer of transportation goodness that allows one to see buildings and parks without walking long distances on crowded sidewalks or deal with the oppressive heat of NYC summers.

Here are 6 great tools with NYC subway maps to help you navigate your way around NYC using the web and free applications.

nyc subway mapHave a Windows Mobile phone? Try Metro, a personal favorite of mine. The interface is easy to use, the results are accurate, and you can get directions for over 300 cities, including New York City.

The NYC version offers directions to and from over 700 stations, tourist attractions and every subway line. It is also available in multiple languages, which makes it a great choice for international travelers.

HopStop is a great free website with accurate and comprehensive directions throughout the New York region. Need to use the subways but want to minimize the walking time to your destination? Then HopStop is for you.


It offers the ability to select whether you want more street walking over transfers, subway only, bus and subway directions, no regional rail and more. The features HopStop’s search algorithms offer make it worth visiting the site.

You can also get a free HopStop app for your iPhone, use HopStop via SMS or access the HopStop website from your Blackberry or PDA [No longer available].

nyc subway map

MTA Mobile is a text-only version of the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s website, which gives you access to NYC subway maps, service notices and schedules from your smartphone or web-enabled device. All you have to do to access the site is go to MTA.Info from a mobile device. The site will automatically format itself for your device.


Trips123 looks a lot like HopStop on the surface, but it has some cool features that HopStop lacks – such as live traffic updates.

I also like the Planned Events page, which makes it easy to find out about directions and service diversions for scheduled events at the Meadowlands, Yankee Stadium and other destinations within the region. Their links section is really second to none, with links to every transit provider in the region, so you can stay up to date with schedules and service offerings.

Are you curious to know what traffic is like on a Saturday afternoon on 5th Avenue and 23rd Street? Pull up Trips123’s live traffic cameras and check out the speeding taxis, walking pedestrians and buses as they get to their destinations!

nyc subway map directions


Only for the iPod, Nano and iPods that feature video, Zsubway is a free set of photos of the entire NYC subway system map. You can easily upload the photos to your iPod using iTunes and use them where ever you go. I like Zsubway because it isn’t as obvious that I’m lost as if I was using a paper map, and I can use it underground, where cell phone signals don’t work. Sorted by line, you can quickly find your way using this handy map system.

nyc subway map directions

Using the familiar interface of Google Maps, Google Transit makes it easy to find transit directions in NYC. Type in your origination and destination addresses and press ‘Get Directions‘. You’ll get 3 proposed sets of directions, along with a Google map, so you can use Google Streetview to make sure you know what the subway station and your destination will look like. The map is easy to print and read if you are accustomed to Google Maps for driving directions.

nyc subway map directions


Any suggestions? Let’s hear it in the comments!

Related topics: Google Maps, Travel, Windows Mobile.

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  1. Debbie
    September 2, 2009 at 4:32 am

    I swore by - it's clear and easy to use.

    For trip planning, I just used the MTA's trip planner. HopStop assumes you walk at 5 inches an hour.

  2. Bruce K
    September 1, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Metro has been available for the Palm for many years and is now available for the iPhone. It's great.

  3. Saida
    August 31, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Forgot Exit Strategy. Let's you know which car is closet to the exit if any NYC station.

    • Ellie Harrison
      August 31, 2009 at 8:07 pm

      Good addition. Does it also have maps, too?