The New York City Regional logistics for visiting teams

Team 2053 is considering going to the The New York City Regional this year. We are a small team of around 25 students with about 6 mentors. We are trying to figure out where to stay and how to get to the venue reliably and safely. We have talked about staying in NJ for cost and taking the Lincoln tunnel but we worry about traffic. We have discussed NJ transit over to Penn Station and then 3->7 to the event. We mentors worry about kids getting lost with this option. Does anyone have any suggestions of how to do this timely and safely?

I can’t speak to attending the NYC Regional itself, but I have done the New York City subway with a school group (a larger JROTC group back in high school, circa 2003). Some things I’d advise:

  1. Make sure everyone has the transit instructions and a working understanding of the system. (That includes making sure they know the trains operate by number or letter, not color…though I think the 1, 2, and 3 trains all stop at both Penn Station and at Times Square where you’d take the S to Grand Central to get to the 7.)
  2. Groups, groups, groups. Get everyone into one car if possible, or if you must do two then keep an adult in both.
  3. Gather after each transfer on the platform, then move.
  4. Strike the fear of (deity) into them if they try to pull a stunt. :wink:

As someone who lives in Westchester…

Don’t drive. You don’t want to deal with getting across the Hudson in a car during rush hour. Just don’t.

Walking is going to take about the same amount of time as the subway route you propose. The Javits Center is about a 15 minute walk from Penn Station, right down 34th St. It’s 4 avenue (long) blocks so it’s a bit of a hike, but I did it while getting to the regional last year and it wasn’t that bad.

If you want to stay in NJ, you could also take the PATH train in to 33rd St and walk/subway from there. It’ll be one Ave. block longer to walk, or you could take the N/Q/R -> 42nd and transfer to the 7. Again, probably about the same amount of time.

There’s not really a great way to get a large group of students between those points, but that’s what I’d recommend.

EDIT: some useful notes about the Penn Station subway…

Penn Station actually has two separate subway stations (one for the 1/2/3 at 7th Ave and one for the A/C/E at 8th Ave). They don’t connect, so make sure you enter at the right side. The stations at Penn also have a non-standard layout where the express and local trains are on different platforms (see here). So if you take the 1, make sure you’re on the side platform, or the middle platform (going the right direction) for the 2/3. It won’t matter which one you take because it’s one stop on both to 42nd, but the 1 will probably be less crowded.

Also, you can pick up the 7 at Times Square/42nd and take that to the newly opened Hudson Yards station at 34th and 11th Ave, right in front of the Javits Center (would have been really nice to have that last year…)

This lines up with what I was thinking. PATH train to 33 then walk or Path to 33 then get to Times Square then 7 to Hudson Yard.

Probably better to walk.

Thanks this is good information.

Another option you may want to consider is the ferry, it takes you from Weehawken, NJ, to right across the street from the Javits Center, where the NYC Regional is held.

That I did not know about. Thanks

You don’t want to drive. No. Traffic into NYC is a LOT worse that what you’d find in Endicott.

Here’s a tip for moving large groups without losing too many*:

Break the team into groups of 4 students. (We use 4 because that’s how many go into a hotel room). The group is everyone in the room.

Pick one student as the ‘leader’. That leader’s responsibility is to keep track of the other three, and be able to verify by eye contact their presence, on a moment’s notice.

Assign 3 or 4 leaders to each Mentor. The mentor’s job is the same, verify by eye contact the presence of the leaders they are assigned.

When it is time for a quick verification that nobody’s been lost, the head coach says the key word (like “Swordfish”, whatever) and, in the time of about 6 seconds…

  1. Each leader verifies their group and puts their thumb up (high)
  2. each mentor verifies their group and puts their thumb up (high)
  3. The head coach verifies all the mentors.

While traveling, 1676 will do this at every place where someone might get lost, perhaps a dozen or more times for walk from the hotel to the venue, such as at every street corner.

Of course, a full roll call happens at critical points - beginning and end at least.

It also helps to mandate that everyone wear the same color shirt, and not black or white but yellow or red or some other obvious color.

25 students and 6 mentors won’t be a problem.

  • I tell the students that the Board of Ed says that 90 is an A, the best grade you can get, so if we end the day with 90% of the students we started with, that’s good enough.

I often went to that area as a commuter, the ferry is fun except for windy / blowy days. I’d recommend that route. OTOH the subway is easy, and it’s a new life skill you can teach on how to do transit in a major metro area.

Nice, now you tell us. All these years it’s been “no child left behind” when I could have gone for the easy A.

Great advice!!

I’m trying to figure out how you would lose 2.5 students to get a 90% passing grade…

Thanks for thinking of us! We always enjoyed the VA event itself, and the attitude of all the teams there. We would have went this year. but…:deadhorse:

At our meeting this afternoon we voted Long Island as our primary regional this year.

We don’t always do two events, we are trying this year and were leaning Pittsburgh over NYC.

We haven’t done any off-season events in a while but did discuss it- so Ill say it’s possible we would do that event - but not tremendously likely either. We will see…[/quote]


Awesome see you guys at the SBPLI regional. Our team #'s are really close so our pits will be close. If you need a workshop or dumping point for any reason our school is about 20 minutes away from Hofstra and we would be happy to help.

For those who posted before I may say that driving isnt really the issue. You can get through the tunnel $@#$@#$@# long as it isnt rush hour in 5 minutes and javits is blocks away from the tunnel. The issue is parking. I had a press pass to Engadget Expand but, I had a training camp at Temple University the next day so I had my mom stop at the convention and then leave later to our hotel in PA. After finally finding parking 5 blocks away she had to pay $40 for 2 hours. I honestly felt so bad. So for everyone who said driving is bad because of traffic then you should also know this fact. The walk from Penn isnt bad at all I do it all the time. You also pass a lot of places to eat over there, and B&H photo which I visit whenever it is open. We do it every year we attend the NYC regional and its fun. Ironically enough assuming you guys are going to take a trip to NYC during your stay I encourage you to check out the Javits Center. Its glass dome is amazing looking and its massive.[/quote]

We are considering doing an off season event. So maybe. It is looking like Pittsburgh over NYC. But it will be our second choice either way. I think we decided on Long Island for our first choice.[/quote]