New York Bus

Many New York buses aren’t too bad, and they’ve certainly improved in the past decade or so. They run 24 hours a day and the routes are easily navigable, going crosstown at all the major street byways – 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 72nd Sts, and all the others that are two-way roads – and uptown and downtown, depending on which avenue they serve. Stops, many with shelters, are every few blocks and all have maps and marked schedules, which are rough guides as to how often you can expect a bus to pass. That said, buses do get overcrowded at rush hour, and slow to a crawl in heavy traffic. So when you’re in a hurry, stay underground.

The cost of a bus ride is the same as the subway, $2.25, though express bus routes cost $5.50 (running during rush hours; best for long journeys from the boroughs). You can pay with a Metrocard or exact change but not dollar bills. Transfers from one line to another bus within two hours are free, as are transfers to or from the subway.

The Hampton Jitney (212-362-8400; www.hamptonjitney.com) runs buses for Long Island beach towns from Manhattan and Brooklyn.

For long-distance bus trips, you’ll leave and depart from the world’s busiest bus station, the Port Authority Bus Terminal (212-564-8484; www.panynj.gov; 41st St at Eighth Ave). Bus companies leaving from here include the following:

Greyhound (800-231-2222; www.greyhound.com) Connects New York with major cities across the country.

New Jersey Transit (800-772-2222; www.njtransit.com) Serves Jersey; its No 319 bus goes 10 or 12 times daily to Atlantic City (one way/round trip $28.50/51).

Peter Pan Trailways (800-343-9999; www.peterpanbus.com) Daily express service to Boston (one way/round trip $30/55), Washington, DC ($37/69) and Philadelphia ($21/40);

ShortLine Bus (800-631-8405, 201-529-3666; www.shortlinebus.com) Goes to northern New Jersey and upstate New York (Rhinebeck for $25.30, Woodbury Common for $16.20).

Budget line Vamoose (877-393-2828; www.vamoosebus.com) sends buses to Arlington, Virginia ($25), near Washington, DC. Buses leave from 255 W 31st St, outside Madison Square Garden.

Chinatown buses

Crazy and cheap, Chinatown buses depart from pushy ‘sidewalk terminals’ at various points around Chinatown to Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and other areas on the East Coast. There are no seat reservations; often on weekends you may have to wait for the next bus, an hour later. Of the many choices around, Fung Wah (212-925-8889; www.fungwahbus.com; 139 Canal St at Bowery) offers hourly departures to Boston ($15) from 7am to 10pm or 11pm, and 2000 New Century (215-627-2666; www.2000coach.com; 88 E Broadway) goes almost half-hourly from 7am to 11pm to Philadelphia ($12) and a bit less often to DC ($20).
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