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.
Go to a Bus Stop
Our blue-and-white buses operate to more than 14,000 bus stops throughout the five boroughs. You are usually no more than a few blocks from one of those stops. Bus stops are located at street corners and have a yellow painted curb and a sign that displays a bus emblem and route number. Some stops have shelters with large ads.
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.
Ask for a Transfer, If You Need One
You can transfer for free between most buses with intersecting routes. Request a transfer ticket from your driver after you pay your fare. A list of each valid transfer point for your route is on the front of the transfer. When you catch your connecting bus, give the transfer to your driver. Transfers are allowed only to continue your trip in a single direction and are only valid for one hour. They cannot be used for your return trip on the same bus line.
Crosstown buses run East and West along major streets(42, 34, 14 etc.) and stop at almost all Avenues.
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.