Subway System in Harlem
Bus System in Harlem
Express Trains in Harlem
If you are in Harlem, and would like to journey to the far reaches downtown, taking an express train is usually your best option. In West Harlem, the express trains include the A train and the D train. Neither of these trains service the Upper West side (local trains B & C do)–but that’s what makes them the ‘super express’ trains in Manhattan! Neither the A or D trains make stops between 125th & 59th–the largest non-stop express train run on the island. In East Harlem, we have the 4 & 5 express trains. These make great commuter trains–as they both make tops at the Metro North Railroad at Harlem-125th, and
4 & 5 Trains
These run on the same track between East 125th & Downtown making stops at East 86th, 59th and 51st streets, Grand Central, Union Square, Brooklyn Bridge / City Hall, Little Italy, and the Finacnial District before heading into Brooklyn and parting ways in East Flatbush.
Between 59th street & its final stops (near JFK Airport), the A train serves Midtown West (including Times Square & Penn Station), Chelsea, and SoHo, and the Financial District before continuing on to Downtown Brooklyn & areas near JFK. You CAN feasibly take all public trains from Harlem to JFK Airport. I’ve done it!
Between 59th Street & it’s final stops (near Coney Island), the D train serves Midtown Manhattan (including Bryant Park & Rockefeller Center), Herald Square, Washington Square, NoHo, and Little Italy (where you can walk to the Lower East Side).
Local Trains in Harlem
There are basically four main train arteries of local train service in Harlem.
Here they are, listed from West to East:
Services the far West Side including Hamilton Heights, Manhattanville, and Morningside Heights.
B & C Trains
Servicing Sugar Hill & West Harlem
2 & 3 Trains
Servicing mostly West Harlem along 6th Avenue (Lenox Avenue / Malcolm X Boulevard)
Servicing East Harlem
Harlem Bus Routes
The bus system in Harlem is second to none. Take a look at the map above. The buses run up and down, east and west. Usually you can find a small grocery store–or bodega–strategically located near bus stops, which are available for you to shop for a soda, coffe or small snack instead of waiting outside for the bus!
Bus schedules for a particular line are posted at all corresponding bus stops, and buses generally run right on schedule. (Usually every 6-12 minutes during normal hours. There is service–although limited–during the night hours as well.