Because the PATH and the New York City transportation system are two independent systems operated by different organizations, you must pay a separate fee to get from one to the other. There is no free transfer from the PATH to anything managed by NYC Transit (train or bus).
However, there is a free connection between the two systems at 33rd Street in Manhattan. You can walk from the end of the line at 33rd Street to any stop along the Broadway-Jersey Street Line.
In addition, buses #100, #200, and #300 run from 34th Street/Herald Square to the World Trade Center station on the IND Fulton Street Line. These buses make all stops along the way and connect with the PATH at South Ferry.
Finally, bus #199 runs from Times Square to the World Trade Center station, but it only makes some stops along the way and does not go as far as the others buses mentioned before. It's important to note that these are express buses, so if you want to avoid traffic just take the regular route busses.
The best way to get around Manhattan is with a city map. The PATH has its own map that shows all its stations along with their locations in relation to each other. However, if you want to see all the neighborhoods within the city limits, then you should use the Official New York City Map.
The "PATH" line is a 24-hour subway beneath the Hudson, but it is not part of the New York City Subway; there are no free transfers, and they do not take the Unlimited Metrocard, but you may use the cash value pay-per-ride Metrocard. $2.75/ride. It leaves from the World Trade Center, 33rd Street/6th Avenue, and several Jersey City stops. The PATH train makes all the other lines of the New York City Subway available at these stations: 34th Street/Penn Station, 7th Avenue/Grand Central Terminal, and White Plains Road/Westchester County Airport.
There are also buses that run along the PATH route. They are called Bus Anchors and they cost $2.25 one way or $4 round trip.
You can also take the 9th Avenue Local or the Avenue C local bus services to 33rd Street in Manhattan. The 9th Avenue Local runs between Brooklyn and Port Authority Terminal (PAT), while the Avenue C service goes to Downtown Brooklyn. Both cost $2.75 one way or $5 round trip.
Finally, you can take the x20 bus service which runs along the same route as the 9th Avenue Local but only during peak hours (approximately every 10 minutes). The x20 costs $2 one way or $4 round trip.
Make use of free transfers (Free subway-to-subway transfers only apply when you are required to exit the station to make your connection.) You can receive two trips for one ticket if you take the subway one way and the bus back, but you can't transfer between buses heading in different directions (i.e., Madison and Fifth Avenue buses). Free transfers may not be available all day on some holidays and special days such as Seniors Day, Children's Day, and Disability Rights Day.
If you have a MetroCard with a monthly limit, remember that it applies to each transaction, including free ones. If you go over your limit, you will need to pay extra for any further rides.
Free transfers are given out at kiosks located at most subway stations. They accept cash, debit card, or MetroCard. There is no formal application process but delays may happen during very busy times of year such as the summer months or if there has been an accident on the line you are traveling on. In addition, some free transfer offers may be restricted to certain groups of people such as veterans or students. Check with a station agent to see if any restrictions apply to your area.
You cannot use your gym membership card to obtain a free transit pass. However, many credit unions and organizations can provide discounts on transit passes. Checking with these organizations may help you find other ways to save money while still being able to commute freely.
In general, yes. The subway is the cheapest and most effective method to move about New York City if you know what you're doing. It is typically faster than taking a cab or Uber from one section of town to another. That's because, to speak the obvious, the subway is not affected by traffic signals and congestion in New York City.
However, the subway can be difficult to understand if you don't read signs or listen to instructions from train conductors. Some stations have multiple exits, some lines cross at different levels, and some trains stop at every station while others only stop at major ones. And as any New Yorker will tell you, once you've used the subway, it's hard to imagine ever using public transportation anywhere else. The important thing is that you do understand how things work so you don't get hurt or stuck somewhere you shouldn't be.
The subway has two main types of services: local and express. Local trains run between two specific stations, with stops along the way. Express trains run more directly between two distant points, skipping many stops along the way. There are also special services for students, children, seniors, disabled people, and other groups.
Before you board a subway train, make sure you find a seat away from the doors. If there aren't any available, you might have to stand.