MTA Buses, New York City

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  • A Select Bus arrives
    A Select Bus arrives
    by travelfrosch
  • Special ticket machines
    Special ticket machines
    by travelfrosch
  • a MTA Bus
    a MTA Bus
    by machomikemd
  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    By bus in New York

    by toonsarah Written Nov 11, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chris on the bus

    The subway may be the quickest way to get around the city but you don’t see the sights from underground! So it’s fun from time to time to take the bus instead. We got a free map from a subway station ticket booth, which was a big help in planning our journeys. The system is pretty clear – buses run either north/south or cross-town, and indicators on each bus tell you which as well as giving the destination. One thing to be aware of is the number of one-way streets, which means that your return bus will probably be travelling on a parallel street to the one you took for your outward journey, e.g. buses going south on Fifth Avenue will return north up Madison. This is where the map is especially helpful.

    Buses stop about every two or three blocks, although those marked "Limited" make fewer stops (about every ten blocks) – ask the driver if you’re not sure. Stops are located at street corners and have a tall, round sign with a bus emblem and route number. Most stops display route maps and schedules.

    Buses are covered by the Metrocard system (see my subway tip for more about this). Board at the front and drop your card (black stripe on the right and the MetroCard name facing you) into the slot by the driver – it will disappear briefly (a little disconcerting at first!) and pop up again. If you don’t have a card you can pay in cash (currently $2 per ride) but note that this has to be in coins – no dollar bills are accepted and no change given.

    Announcements are made to indicate each stopping point, though we found many of these too muffled to understand, so you’ll want to keep your eyes open – but the grid pattern of the streets (in most districts) makes spotting your stop fairly easy. Press the tape that runs under the windows to request a stop, and exit by the middle door (though we saw many people ignoring this and using the front door, especially when the bus was crowded).

    Do give the buses a try! It my take a little longer to get where you’re going, but you’ll see a lot of the city, and isn’t that what you’re here for?

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  • shutterlust's Profile Photo

    On the Bus

    by shutterlust Written Jun 3, 2006

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The traffic in Manhattan ensures that even fi you leave plenty of time when taking the bus, you will arrive at your destination late. This does not mean that you should never take the bus - it can be a great way to see landmarks and street life while sitting down. An especially good route is the M1 along Fifth and Madison Avenues from 59th Street to the Battery and back.

    CIty buses are blue and white and they stop every two or three blocks at stops marked by white and lbue signs. When the bus arrives, check the lighted sign in front to make sure it's your route. MetroCards are the easiest way to pay for a bus ride. Otherwise, you must have EXACT change - $2.00. Only quarters, dimes and nickels are accepted; no bills. (However, you may be lucky and someone on the bus might be able to break your bills for you). Free transfers are available if you need to change buses to reach your desintation, but you must ask for one when you pay your fare. No paper transfer is necessary when using a MetroCard.

    Most buses "kneel," which means that the front right side of the bus comes down to street level to make ti easy to board. All buses are wheelchair accessible; use the entrance toward the back of the bus, where there is a lift. To request a stop, press the yellow strip between the windows, which will illuminate a "stop requested" sign at the front of the bus. Exit from either the front of rear doors (you have to push the rear doors open). There are about 30 express bus routes operated by the NYC transit. Many of them run between Manhattan and Staten Island during weekday rush hours only. Express bus riders may purchase the $20 MetroCard to obtain 11 rides for the price of 10. Call 718 330 1234 for express-bus schedule information.

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  • cjg1's Profile Photo

    MTA Busses

    by cjg1 Updated May 20, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Feb 17, 2003

    Something I must admit has taken me a while to get used to is the bus system. I always used to take the trains as near as I could get and walk but some cases now I have need to use busses off of the trains. And with a metrocard free transfers from the trains to the bus.

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  • magdalena2007's Profile Photo

    Hop on the bus

    by magdalena2007 Written Oct 16, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bus is another great transportation. Usually there is an extra lane just for the busses, so even if there is traffic, you will not be in it. Sometimes it does get congested, but during the summer, it’s much better than the train system. Ask the bus driver for directions because sometimes these buses make unexpected turns, but most of them just go a straight line, a third avenue buss will go straight up third Avenue and a Lexington bus will go straight down Lexington (with a slight turn onto third, but that’s only one block).

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  • shohman's Profile Photo

    don't pay that $50 cab fare

    by shohman Written Jun 18, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The best tip I got while planning this trip was instead of paying a $50 cab fare to get from the airport to the hotel, take a $2 bus ride on the M60. It takes about an hour and makes several stops downtown. In my case they dropped me 4 blocks from my hotel. Very nice and CHEAP!

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  • New York City Tour by public transport

    by ibnebattuta Updated Feb 16, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    New York City's many sightseeing sites are all accessible to MTA buses and the subway. The best way to see the sights is by bus. There is a web site that lets you tour Manhattan's sights as if you were on a pre-packaged tour but using public buses. It gives you all the bus routes to go from one sight to another, information about the sights, detailed information about the bus routes and even information about Subway routes and stations. This is a very affordable way to visit and tour New York City and this web site makes it really simple. Check it out!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits
    • Budget Travel

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  • nygaston's Profile Photo

    BUS in NYC

    by nygaston Written Apr 30, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    NYC by BUS

    BUS in BIG CITIES: I prefer the bus because I can visit and discover beauty in the city. I cannot see the city by subway.

    it's a good way to travel if you have time to visit.

    You have just to get a good map of the buses then know the numer of the differents buses for your path, and some practice.

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  • travelfrosch's Profile Photo

    MTA Select Bus Service

    by travelfrosch Updated May 30, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A Select Bus arrives
    1 more image

    In an effort to improve public transit, MTA has introduced a "select bus service," or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). This system is envisioned to use a dedicated bus lane to speed travel, and to use limited stops approximately the same distance apart as subway stations would be. Current routes include along 34th Street, 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan, the Hylan Boulevard line from Bay Ridge Brooklyn to Staten Island, and Fordham Road in the Bronx. Future planned routes include Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, Webster Avenue in the Bronx, and service connecting 125th Street in Manhattan to LaGuardia Airport.

    Fare is the same as for a Subway or local bus, however you must use a special blue ticket machine to receive a special receipt. Payment can be made either with coins or a Metrocard. Unlimited Ride Metrocards still need to be inserted into a machine to receive a free receipt. While this is supposed to speed boarding, my observation was that buses waited for a minute or more as straggling passengers struggled to figure out how to get the special receipt. Time will tell.

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  • Chris_Dahlia's Profile Photo

    MTA

    by Chris_Dahlia Updated Aug 24, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    MTA
    MTA subways, buses, and railroads move 2.1 billion New Yorkers a year, about one in every three users of mass transit in the United States and two-thirds of the nation's rail riders.

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    MTA Buses

    by machomikemd Updated Nov 17, 2010

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    a MTA Bus
    4 more images

    MTA Bys Service coveres all the 5 boroughs of New York City. Buses are labeled with a number and a prefix identifying the primary borough (B for Brooklyn, Bx for the Bronx, M for Manhattan, Q for Queens, and S for Staten Island). Express buses use the letter "x" rather than a borough label. Lettered suffixes can be used to designate branches or variants. MTA Bus Company routes also follow this scheme, and MTA Long Island Bus uses "N" for Nassau County. "W" or "BL" and "S" are commonly used by the non-MTA Bee-Line Bus System (Westchester County) and Suffolk Transit (Suffolk County). Between 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM "Request-a-Stop" service is available. The Bus Operator may discharge passengers at a location along the route that is not a bus stop, as long as it is considered safe. If the location is not "safe", the bus operator will discharge passengers at the nearest safe location. The MTA bus system is meant to complement the MTA's rail lines like the New York City Subway, Staten Island Rapid Transit, Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North Railroad. The MTA also owns the MTA Bus Company, which operates routes in the Bronx, southwestern Westchester, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and western Nassau County and the Metropolitan Suburban Bus Authority (Long Island Bus), which operates in eastern Queens, Nassau County, and western Suffolk County.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

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  • boolateh's Profile Photo

    Very efficient!

    by boolateh Written May 22, 2007

    If you are staying outside New York City, like in New Jersey, taking the bus is super. The express is just 30 minutes away, and the regular from 50-60 minutes. And the drivers are courteous. So are the regular passengers.

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  • garridogal's Profile Photo

    A wonderful alternative

    by garridogal Written Aug 11, 2007
    Am I hot or is it the tree?
    2 more images

    When it's hot - I mean REALLY hot - you may think nothing could surpass the heat on the streets of NYC. Well you'd be wrong. The temps in their subway stations will make the outside seem like the shores of the Caribbean at sunset with a cool breeze. You get the picture, right?

    So, if you can, take a bus instead! There's no need to descend into the bowels of Hell, you can look out the window, and....you never know what kind of freaks you'll meet at the stop!

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Road Trip

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  • johnsakura's Profile Photo

    Bus System

    by johnsakura Updated Jun 29, 2005
    buses nyc

    Buses in New York are pretty good. $2 for a ticket. the best way to get around subway and buses is to buy or a one day fun-pass metrocard or a 7 day metrocard pass. this is the best as you can use the public transportation system as many times as you wish.

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  • acemj's Profile Photo

    Buses

    by acemj Written Sep 2, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Public buses are also a good alternative to the high cost of taxis. Check out the website for all you need to know.

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