NYC Tip: Actually Using the Bus

Screen shot 2010-02-01 at 1.52.07 AMHere at NYU, we all like to pretend that we’ve become real New Yorkers by memorizing the MTA subway map by heart, one of the first rites of passage for anyone living in the city. But here’s another useful way of utilizing your MetroCard: actually using the bus. Yes, the bus — that gigantic vehicle that frequently comes close to running you over.

I know, I know. The MTA is probably one of the most poorly run government agencies in the country, and Crash made you feel ghetto for riding the bus. But think again about managing transportation in these contexts:

  • You’re drunk in the Lower East Side, but you need to get to Union Square soon. The nearest subway, probably a twenty-minute walk away, is slow due to construction. Solution: Take the M14 crosstown from Ave. D directly to Union Square.
  • It’s 20 degrees near the Hudson deep in the West Village, but you live deep in the East Village. You’re also wearing heels. Solution: Take the M8 from Christopher St. all the way to Ave. C.
  • Remember the 2nd Ave. subway that was supposed to happen 75 years ago? It’s still not there. Solution: Take the M15 downtown on 2nd Ave. or the m15 uptown on 1st Ave.
  • Your friend told you to meet her at Stuy-Town, but because you’re on At&t, you thought she said Sky-Town, the hottest new club in Chelsea. Solution: Take the M23 crosstown to 1st ave.
  • You had so much fun exploring Central Park that upon exiting you found yourself in Spanish Harlem. You don’t speak Spanish. Solution: Take the M1,2,3, or 4 downtown (east side) or the M10 downtown (west side).

Of course, there’s many other situations (I can’t say that word seriously after Jersey Shore) you can be in that would best be served by using the bus. Check the MTA bus map for all bus lines.

But beware, this is the MTA, which means bus schedules are subject to change unexpectedly and the drivers look perpetually hungover. Fares are also still $2.25, which means Crash might have been right after all.

But seriously, how the hell are you going to get out of Spanish Harlem?

Photo by Flickr user hikarisuperexpress used under Creative Commons license.


  • Jessica Roy
    February 1, 2010

    YES. I always use the M8 to get to the W. Village. It’s so convenient since the L is the only cross-town train and it’s pretty far uptown.

  • hannah campbell
    February 1, 2010

    the bus is also useful for brooklyn residents, especially if you have friends who live in other parts of brooklyn. b38 represent!

  • Kenneth Hsu
    February 1, 2010


    Agreed. B38 Wattup.

  • Elana cohen
    February 1, 2010

    14th st = pretty far uptown? Hmm.

  • Samantha Rothberg
    February 1, 2010

    Also, you get one free transfer from a subway to bus or vice versa. Makes it really convenient!

  • Jessica Roy
    February 1, 2010

    @Elana I live on 13th, and I meant if you’re trying to get to places like G-Ho on the west side it’s easier to take the M8 than the L. SORRY TO OFFEND.

  • Brianne Sperber
    February 2, 2010

    Jessica, where is the M8 stop you speak of by 13th? Walking to Christopher in the cold blows.

  • Jessica Roy
    February 2, 2010

    @Brianne It’s a couple blocks south on 9th street and A. Here’s the schedule (PDF).

  • Max Kimbrel
    February 2, 2010

    Since moving to Brooklyn, I’ve found that the bus system is pretty much indispensable. Much love for the B46.

  • Gwyn Stansfield
    February 3, 2010

    So true. Another great thing about buses: transfers. I live on 1st ave, but I can take the M23 crosstown to the A,C,E if I need to and then swipe in at no extra cost. I think you get up to 3 transfers within an 1:15 period. This also means that you can take the 6 down to Chinatown but then take the M1 back uptown and it counts as a transfer. Cheat the system!

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