Sunday, March 22, 2015

Getting Around Town

I'm originally from a small town outside of Cleveland, Ohio, and before coming to Fordham, I had never been to NYC.  One of the reasons I chose to attend the Rose Hill campus was because it had the typical college campus feel with lots of green space, yet it was close to Manhattan and all of the amazing opportunities that come with being one of the greatest cities in the world.  Before I arrived at school, I had never taken any form of public transportation, but three years later, I consider myself a pro at navigating the city.  Here is a breakdown of the usual ways Fordham students make their way around.

It's easy to get around and explore the city that's your home
Ram Van- The Ram Vans run between the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses, with vans leaving each campus every half hour.  Each ride can take anywhere from 30 mins to an hour depending on if you're travelling during rush hour or not.  Students taking classes away from their home campus can get free passes, but anyone else can take the Ram Van for $3.50 a ride.  You can even reserve your seat for a van in advance online.  The Ram Vans are driven by students, so if you are looking for a job on campus consider being a driver. 

Ram Van also offers transportation to and from JFK and LGA airports for breaks.  I personally love this service.  I just enter my flight information and Ram Van will schedule me for a van that takes me from Rose Hill right to my terminal and gets me there in plenty of time without any hassle, all for $20.  When I'm coming back, I again provide my flight information and am scheduled for a Super Shuttle van for Fordham students that brings me right back to campus.  This inbound service costs $30.  Of course there are many other ways of getting between campus and the airport (and I've used different ways when I'm travelling and it's not a break for school), but I much prefer the Ram Van service because I know it's very safe and convenient.   

Metro North (Harlem Line)- The Metro North station is literally right next to campus.  It is about a 20 minute ride to Grand Central.  Heading back to campus, you usually hop on a train going to North White Plains, and Fordham is between the second and forth stop the train makes (depending on if the train is local or express).  During peak-hour, a ticket is $8.75, while an off-peak ticket is $6.50.  One of the great things about Metro North is that on the weekends there is a City Ticket, which is only $4.25 and you can use it to travel to or from Grand Central.  
You can see campus from the Metro North station
Subway/Local Bus- Subway and bus fare is $2.75 per ride.  There is a D train stop about a 10 minute walk from campus and a 4 train stop just a little bit further from that.  If you don't feel like walking, you can take one of the local buses that stops outside of campus to the subway stations and transfer to the train for free.  Although it takes a little bit longer, I like to taking the subway because I can transfer between trains for free, meaning I can get to right where I want to go without having to take another form of transportation.  There are subway maps in each of the trains, but I found a handy smartphone app that lets me plug in a starting and ending station and it will tell me which train(s) I need to take.   

From 10pm-6am, Public Safety has vans waiting right outside of the D station on Fordham Road to take students back to campus.  One van doesn't leave until another one shows up, so there is always someone there waiting for students getting off the subway.      

Taxi/Uber/Lyft- Of course there are these stand-by methods of getting around the city, and prices vary depending on where you want to go.  

An iconic NYC taxi in the basement of Forever 21 in Times Square
I have used all of these methods of getting around, and I think that each has its own benefits.  When deciding what I'll use I take into account: the time of day I'm traveling, who I'm traveling with, where I want to go, and how much I feel like spending.  I also think that if you're living in New York you should embrace the "walking culture" (which is why I don't mind taking the Metro North to Grand Central and walking 20 minutes to Penn Station).  With all of these ways of getting around, it is easy to take advantage of Fordham's prime location.  Happy travelling!

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