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Riding Buses in New York City

New York City Buses offer easy access to all areas of Manhattan

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New York City Bus

New York City Bus

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
While buses tend to be slower than subways for traveling around New York City, there are many reasons to use the bus while visiting New York City:
  • They tend to service areas of Manhattan that are not located close to subway lines (especially far East and West areas of Manhattan).
  • They are also a convenient option for traveling Crosstown (between Manhattan's East and West Sides).
  • Buses offer the added advantage of being able to see various areas of Manhattan while you ride.

How Much Does the Bus Cost?

  • Fare is $2.50 and can be paid with a MetroCard or coins (no dollar bills, no pennies).
  • A free transfer to another bus or the subway within 2 hours is available if you paid with a MetroCard.
  • If you pay cash you can ask for a transfer, but it is only good for transferring to another bus (not to the subway) within 2 hours.

Getting On and Off the Bus

  • You must wait for buses at designated bus stops.
  • As you see the bus approaching your stop, you can put your arm out to indicate to the driver that you want to board the bus.
  • Enter the bus through the front doors and pay your fare.
  • Take a seat or move toward the back of the bus to make room for other people boarding the bus.
  • To request a stop: Pull the cord or press the black band near the windows. A "Stop Requested" light will illuminate at the front of the bus.
  • Exit through the doors at the rear of the bus.

Where Do the Buses Run?
The majority of buses in Manhattan run either Uptown/Downtown or Crosstown.

Crosstown Buses

  • Crosstown buses run East and West along major streets(42, 34, 14 etc.) and stop at almost all Avenues.
Uptown/Downtown Buses
  • Uptown and Downtown buses run north or south along most Avenues (1st, 2nd, 3rd, Lexington, etc.) in the direction that traffic flows on that street.
  • Uptown/Downtown buses include both local and express routes.
    • A sign in the front window of the bus will normally indicate if it is express bus - ask the driver if you are unsure.
    • Local buses will stop every 2-3 blocks upon request.
    • Buses running express only stop at specified cross streets.

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