Lies about NYC: Only old people take the bus

17 Aug

Avoid the the approximately 256 percent humidity that is a subway platform in August, and take the bus! Depending on where you’re coming from, it even may be faster than the subway. Master another of New York City’s daunting methods of public transportation with these basics:

• Crosstown buses: Are great because avenues are wider than streets. In Midtown, for example, they run in both directions across major thoroughfares, which include 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th Street.
• Confusing but true:
Uptown/downtown buses are not usually named for the streets on which they run. For example, the M2 goes down Fifth Avenue. Hell if I know why it’s not called the M5.
• Bus schedules:
Truth be told, there really aren’t any. This is because buses, unlike the subway, can only load one person at a time, have only one entrance, are favored by wheelchair users, and the local buses stop more frequently. Thus, they’re just slower.
• Download a map
here, but know that it’s a total disaster and hard to read.
• If you’re switching lines, you get a free transfer if you do it within two hours of when you first swiped.
• When in doubt, just stick your head in and ask the driver if they stop at (X place you’re going), or ask someone who’s getting on. They may sneer, or they may be nice — either way, it’ll keep you from getting on the wrong bus.

The best thing about the bus?
Being above ground helps you get your bearings and teaches you the neighborhoods. I love riding the M102 or M103 up Third Avenue, all the way to the park. It’s a $2.25 tour of the Upper East Side and all the fancy shops, not to mention the great people watching, both on and off the bus.

Previously: The Secrets of Subway Mastery


2 Responses to “Lies about NYC: Only old people take the bus”

  1. Qi 08/19 at 9:33 am #

    Hi Sarah,

    It’s so true about the bus being faster than the train at times. Usually I stick with the train, but when I do have time, its nice to just sit on the bus and enjoy the ride. People watching is always a bonus. You never know what you will see in NYC.


  1. Former NewNewYorker of the Week: Joel Lyons | NewNewYorkers - 04/26

    […] so far has been: Becoming the go-to person when folks have questions about the subway. Next goal: mastering the bus system. I’ve been thrilled to meet: My co-coordinator and friends from the NYC chapter of Media […]

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