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Cheap ways to get around the city

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry Credit: Getty

Getting around Gotham can be expensive. The habit of hailing cab gets costly, and there's only so far you can walk if you're lugging a week's worth of groceries to your fifth-floor walkup. Here are a few economical ways to get from A to B while enjoying the city:

Pedal around town. Starting this summer, there will be 10,000 bicycles on 600 racks scattered throughout the city. With a $100 annual membership, you can take unlimited trips of up to 45 minutes. Day passes will also be available for the internally geared three-speed bikes, which tip the scales at 42 pounds.

Forget the train — take a boat to the game.NY Waterway and Delta Air Lines offer a free game-day ferry service to Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. A couple of hours before the first pitch, 147 tickets become available at the South Street Seaport, where the boat disembarks. You’ll have to find your own way home after the game; the ferry is one-way.

Take in the views on your way to the fifth borough. Whether you’re a Staten Islander or you’re a Manhattanite looking for a gorgeous view of the city, taking the Staten Island Ferry (leaves every half-hour from South Ferry’s Whitehall Terminal) is a relaxing 25-minute trip. Sure, there are a lot of tourists snapping pictures, but it’s free and you get a great view of the Statue of Liberty and the downtown skyline.

When you really need a car to get around, drive yourself. The city has several large car-sharing services that let you rent by the hour or day. Zipcar, Hertz and Mint offer cars of all sizes that are available in lots and garages throughout the city. While Zipcar and Mint require you to return the car to the spot where you picked it up, Hertz offers one-way trips.

Shop by ferry. When you’re stocking up on some cheap furniture and dishes (or just want some Swedish meatballs), take the Ikea ferry from Pier 11 near Wall Street to Red Hook. It’s free on the weekends and $5 during the week  — but you get a $5 credit on weekdays if you spend at least $10 at the Red Hook location (1 Beard Street).

Save with an unlimited MetroCard. The subway is still one of the fastest and cheapest ways to get around. But if you have a 30-day unlimited card (for $104), you only get your money’s worth by using it at least 50 times — which means a few more swipes each month than four weeks of commutes require.

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