New York City Bus System

Operating Hours

Many buses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but be sure to check whether your route offers overnight service.


All city buses accept the MetroCard, OMNY contactless payments, and exact coin change (no pennies or paper money).

Getting Around

Use the MTA’s Trip Planner for a customized route.

New York City Bus System: Navigating Urban Landscapes on Wheels

Embark on City Adventures, Where Every Bus Ride Unveils the Diversity of NYC.



The New York City Bus System is an integral part of the city’s public transportation network, managed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). It operates throughout the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, providing essential connectivity for residents and visitors alike.

Routes and Services

The bus system comprises a vast network of routes covering virtually every corner of the city. Routes are identified by letters (B, M, Q, etc.) or numbers (M15, B41, Q70, etc.), with each route serving specific neighborhoods and destinations.

Stops and Maps

Bus stops are marked with signs indicating the routes that serve them. Additionally, you can find route maps and schedules posted at many bus stops. The MTA’s official website and mobile app also provide comprehensive route information and interactive maps for planning your journey. Additionally, you can download bus maps and service guides for all 5 boroughs before your trip by clicking here.


Paying Your Fare

Fares for bus rides can be paid using a MetroCard, which can be purchased at vending machines located at major bus terminals and subway stations. As of 2023, the standard fare for a single bus ride is $2.90 for local, limited, and Select Bus Service buses and $7.00 for Express Service buses. Alternatively, you can use contactless payment methods such as OMNY by tapping your card or smartphone upon boarding. Learn more about MetroCard and OMNY here.

Boarding the Bus

When boarding the bus, enter through the front door and either swipe your MetroCard or tap your contactless payment method on the fare reader. Be mindful of any passengers exiting the bus before boarding.

Finding Your Route

Refer to posted route maps at bus stops or consult the MTA’s website or app to determine the appropriate bus route for your destination. Pay attention to the route number or letter displayed on the front of the bus.

Onboard Etiquette

Once on board, move quickly to the available seating or standing areas to allow for efficient boarding. If seated, be prepared to offer your seat to elderly, disabled, or pregnant passengers. Keep the aisles clear and avoid blocking the doors.

Exiting the Bus

As the bus approaches your stop, make your way to the nearest exit door. Be mindful of any approaching cyclists or pedestrians as you disembark onto the sidewalk.


  • Peak Hours: Bus routes may experience heavier congestion during peak commuting hours, typically between 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Plan accordingly for potential delays.
  • Safety: Keep personal belongings secure and be aware of your surroundings, especially when traveling during off-peak hours or in less crowded areas.
  • Courtesy: Yield priority seating to those in need and refrain from engaging in loud conversations or playing music without headphones.
  • Assistance: If you require assistance or have questions about bus routes, don’t hesitate to ask the bus driver or fellow passengers. Additionally, customer service representatives are available at major bus terminals and transit centers.
  • Apps and Resources: Utilize mobile apps like Transit, Google Maps, or the MTA’s official app for real-time bus arrival information and route planning assistance.

Navigating the New York City Bus System may seem complex, but with these guidelines and a bit of familiarity, you’ll find it to be a convenient and accessible mode of transportation for exploring the city. Happy travels!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the bus system is generally safe. Follow standard safety guidelines and adhere to instructions posted within buses and at stops.

Bus routes and schedules are available at bus stops, inside buses, and on the official MTA website, providing comprehensive information for easy navigation.