Ballard's Access Guide Masthead







Get Around NYC via Bus and Subway 

NYC bus and train maps are available at subway stations throughout NYC (if they have not removed the fare booth), at Public Libraries, as well as online. Also, visitor centers and most hotels carry these.

Links to Bus & Subway Map pdf files that you can download

NYC Subway Map
Manhattan Bus Map
Bronx Bus Map
Brooklyn Bus Map
Queens Bus Map
Staten Island Bus Map

Most subway stations that no longer have a fare booth will have a machine so you can purchase a Metrocard.

Since the creation of the Metrocard, you can transfer from a bus to a bus (just about any one), and from a train to a bus and from a bus to a train, all on one fare (if it is within a 2 hour time frame). So if you take the 34th street cross-town bus to 3rd avenue and have to get up to 42nd Street and 3rd Ave, you can take the local uptown bus at 34th St/3rd Ave. . So, you get 2 rides on one fare within the 2 hour time frame.

Select Bus Service (SBS)
SBS is supposed to be an express bus. There are special units on the sidewalks where you purchase a paper receipt so you can board. There are 2 units; one to use with your Metrocard and the other unit is for paying with US coins; no pennies. The Select Bus is a very long, articulated bus, with many entrances. You do not have to board in the front entrance, unless you are using a wheelchair or walker. Hold onto your paper receipt, because if someone from the MTA checks and you do not have one, its $fine time$ with a summons. I think the fine is $50.00.

Click here for current and planned SBS routes.

If you lose your Metrocard, you could be out $5.00, or whatever fare sum is left on your card. Some people get as much as $80.00 on their Metrocard. But if you got a receipt when you bought your Metrocard, and kept it, you can go to the MTA's customer service center at 3 Stone St., in lower Manhattan(Mon - Fri, 9-5, except holidays) to get a card or get reimbursed. Of course, it'll cost you money to get down there & back. If it was a $10.00 card with $6.00 fare left on it, it won't be worth your time--then you may as well mail the defunct card or receipt in and hope the MTA is timely about reimbursing you.
Click here for info on problems with your Metrocard

FYI: When you swipe your Metrocard at a subway turnstile, sometimes it doesn't register and a beep/ message will come up reading, "swipe card again at this turnstile". If you don't, and you swipe at another turnstile, you will lose another fare. So you need to swipe at the card at the same turnstile until it says go; then go.

The unlimited rides Metrocard. good for an entire month of unlimited rides. The claus is that when you ride on one line, let's say the #1 train, you have to wait 18 minutes prior to getting back on that line. The unlimited fares card expires in 30 days even if you do not use it. So if you only plan to travel into NYC on weekends, buying a regular Metrocard will suit your needs better.

Click here to compare Metrocards types

Oh, yes, be careful as there are some scalpers using their unlimited ride card, who let you ride for a dollar while swiping their card at a turnstile in a subway. This is illegal. You could get fined for going along with illegal activities. Also do not sell your cardboard bus transfer, this is illegal as well.

Let's say you are making one trip to the East Village and then back to the Port Authority Bus Terminal, that will cost you $5.00-(2.50 each way per person) You'll need a metro card in the subway and exact change; $2.50 in US coins (no pennies) each way for bus fare. I find carrying 20 quarters with me is easiest. If you are an elderly person or a someone with a disability, there may be a discount fare for you. This info is on my home page, but click here for more information.

If you pay with exact change on a bus, you are only entitled to one cardboard transfer (per person) and it is good for 2 hours from the time you get the transfer, from bus to bus. You need to ask the bus driver for transfer/s after you've paid, as she/he will not automatically give you one.

You cannot use the cardboard transfer to ride a subway train. Nor do you get a cardboard transfer when you pay in the subway for a train ride, but you do get a transfer on your metrocard (if you're not already using the transfer on your metrocard). In other words, you cannot get a tranfer on a transfer. Remember, if you got your cardboard transfer upon boarding the bus and the ride took 1 hour, you only have 1 hour left to use that transfer on a different bus.

Click here for more info on lost Metrocards

Click here for defunct Metrocard refunds

Click here for lost or stolen 7 day express bus pass



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