The Best Way To Get to Citi Field:
The 7 Train

It’s not impossible to drive your car and park at Citi Field, and there might be some instances where it might be preferable to an MTA elevated train. But in most cases, to get to the home of the Mets, the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way is to use the 7.

The 7 train, part of the elaborate Metropolitan Transit Authority system that runs throughout the five boroughs, is also known as the Flushing Line, or nicknamed the “International Line”, for all of the ethnic neighborhoods of Queens the elevated rail makes its way through.

It runs from Times Square—42nd Street in Manhattan to its terminus in Flushing, with Mets-Willets Point being the second to last stop, just steps from the front door of Citi Field. From Manhattan the ride is about 25 minutes.

It will also be forever associated with Atlanta Braves reliever John Rocker for this 2000 quote:

“Imagine having to take the 7 Train to the ballpark looking like you're riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids.”

One of the funniest jokes in the movie “Coming To America” is when Eddie Murphy declares that when he comes to America to find his bride, he looks at the map and decides that “Queens” would be the perfect place to search for his queen. Queens isn’t what people think about when the glamour of New York City is trumpeted. It’s full of lower middle class folks of all nationalities.

I’ve ridden the 7 to a Mets game from Times Square. And truth be told, it isn’t the most pleasant of train rides. The trains are old and rickety and loud. Open seats are rare during rush hour or after Mets games. Its riders occasionally lack some of the social graces of Manhattan train riders (or, say, John Rocker).

But the 7 isn’t anywhere near as bad as Rocker says. It’s simply a less affluent part of New York City, so not everyone is going to be wearing a suit or cutting deals on a cell phone or drinking a latte. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

And in truth, even a less comfortable train ride that drops you practically at the doorstep of Citi Field is still easier and cheaper than getting there and parking from most starting points. Coming from South Jersey, I would like to never have to use the BQE again.

If you’re riding the express 7 train (which is marked by the lit red diamond rather than the lit green circle) out to Citi for the game, there will be plenty of Mets fans on the train, so normal wariness of your surroundings should be sufficient to stay safe.

After Mets games, MTA runs “Mets Express” 7 trains back to Manhattan (also with the red diamond), skipping about a dozen stops for a speedier ride, and these are also full of ballgame goers.

So forget what a slightly off-kilter millionaire relief pitcher says. Don’t worry about using the 7, at least no more than you would be concerned enough to make yourself aware of your surroundings. It gets you to the game, and that’s all you really need.

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