Welcome to SIPA and New York City!

One reason many students attend SIPA is to explore and take advantage of all of the opportunities available to us in NYC. I grew up in NYC , so I’d like to confidently say I have mastered the NYC public transportation system! In this post, I’ll go over the cost of public transportation in NYC and the trains and buses that are closest to campus.

SIPA is located on 420 W 118th St, New York, NY 10027 in the International Affairs Building (IAB) and is easily accessible through a number of bus and train stations that are only a couple minute walks from campus. Let’s begin by talking about  how to pay for public transportation and the advantages of taking public transportation to SIPA.

New York City’s public transportation system is run by the Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA). MTA will include subways and busses and there are additional options for public transportation such as MetroNorth, which brings you North of NYC and the LIRR, which brings you to Long Island, NY. For our location, we’ll focus mostly on the MTA resources. Recently, the MTA partnered with a company named OMNY to allow travelers to use a number of digital devices to pay the entry fee. With OMNY, individuals can use their contactless cards or a smartphone to pay for their fare.

A one way fare on the NYC subway costs $2.75. Under a new initiative by the NYC subway system, after a rider pays for 12 fares in one week, all other rides are free until the Sunday of that week. Therefore, the more you ride, the more you save! For us as students, this is an awesome incentive to explore all that NYC has to offer. Additionally, there are also options to purchase other plans like a seven day or a monthly unlimited ride MetroCard which can save you money depending on how often you are traveling via subway.

Now that we have talked about cost, you’re probably wondering about what subways and busses are going to be the most convenient for you, so let’s talk about it!


International Affairs Building (IAB) is where SIPA is. You can see how easy it is to get to the 1 train by foot!

Trains that are near SIPA:

  • The 1 train is the main train that takes you to SIPA and Columbia University. It drops students off on 116th Street and Broadway. That is the street where the main campus is located and is a 3 minute walk to SIPA. The 1 train is very centralized to other major areas for additional connections. For example, Times Square which allows you to transfer to a multitude of different subways.
  • Other trains that leave students fairly close to campus are the A, B,C, and D train, which leave students about 13-15 minutes walking from SIPA.
  • MetroNorth has a stop at East 125th street, which is about a 25 minute walk from SIPA.

Buses that are near SIPA:

  • M4 bus runs from Washington Heights to Harlem through Broadway and then connects campus to the east side of Manhattan from the upper east side to Midtown through Madison Avenue. 3 minute walk from the Broadway/W 116st bus stop.
  • M11 bus runs from Harlem to Greenwich Village on Amsterdam Avenue. 1 minute walk from the Amsterdam Ave/ W 118st bus stop.
  • M104 bus runs from Harlem to Midtown on Broadway. 3 walk from the Broadway/W 116st bus stop.
  • M5 bus runs from Washington Heights to Midtown. 6 minute walk to campus from the Riverside Dr/ W 116st bus stop.


Public transportation is a great and affordable way to get to and from campus everyday. As new students, NYC’s public transportation system will help you greatly as you begin to explore and take advantage of all that NYC has to offer. You’ll get the swing of getting around by subway or bus sooner than you think.

Welcome home to NYC! Cannot wait to see you on campus soon.

Fun Fact: The Empire State Building (featured here) lights up blue to recognize the Columbia University graduates in May!