NYC Buses

A double-wide New York City running along 14th Street.

A double-wide New York City running along 14th Street.

The bus routes of New York City are extensive, often serving parts of the city that do not have subway service. The buses in Manhattan travel north and south along its avenues, and from east to west along the major cross streets, such as Houston, 14th Street, 23rd Street, 42nd Street, etc. With only two subway lines running across Manhattan, the crosstown routes fill a vital transportation function. Because there is so much traffic in Manhattan, and because buses stop every two to three blocks, they are not the quickest way to travel. Don’t let that stop you from riding one. In addition to being a convenient alternative, buses are a way to wind down, enjoy the view out the window.
Bus stops are can be found at or near street corners every two or three blocks. They are marked by a round blue sign with a bus emblem and route number atop a tall pole, which has a box attached to it displaying a route map and schedule. Maps and schedules can also be found on the MTA’s website. Buses run every 10 to 15 minutes Monday through Friday. Frequency at night, on weekends and on holidays is 20 to 30 minutes.
The NYC bus route displayed above the bus’s windshield.

The NYC bus route displayed above the bus’s windshield.

Bus routes can be disrupted by street closures for parades, U.N. activity, and street fairs. The M60 route travels from Manhattan at Broadway and 106th Street to LaGuardia Airport in 30 minutes for the regular fare.
Look at the bus route, displayed over the front windshield, of the bus you want to board. Several routes often use the same stop. Enter through the front doors, never the rear doors. The fare is payable with a MetroCard or exact change, no bank notes or pennies; and the drive does not carry cash. Insert your MetroCard, yellow side facing you, into the slot of the fare box, or feed coins into the slot.
To signal a stop, press the yellow strips between the windows or the red buttons on the vertical bars. Because passengers will be boarding by the front door, this is important: please exit through the rear door. When the green light above the rear door is lit, the door can be opened by pressing the yellow strip on the doors. Please be patient; it will take a few seconds for the door to open; but the door is easier to open using this method, and it will remain open easily for other passengers to exit.
The information kiosk at a New York City but stop, showing route and timetable.

The information kiosk at a New York City but stop, showing route and timetable.

If you paid your fare with a MetroCard, you can use that MetroCard to transfer from subway to bus, or the other way round, or to a bus traveling in an intersecting direction within two hours for free. If you paid in coins, ask the driver for a transfer, which can be used only for boarding an intersecting buses within two hours.
All NYC buses are accessible for those in wheelchairs. The seating area opposite the rear doors are reserved for wheelchair users. Any passenger using those seats must get up when requested. Seats at the front are reserved for the elderly or those with mobility problems. Baby strollers should be folded before boarding a bus, and remain folded during the ride.
For additional and up-to-date information, including fares and schedules, see the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) website.

ALL PHOTOS AND TEXT © THE AUTHOR 2014–2017

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