“ Normal buses cost $1.50. Subway tokens/metrocards can be used. Express buses cost $4.00. „
Having the luck to win a trip to New York City that included air and lodging I knew that I would be responsible to find my own transportation around the city. I was worried that if I spent all my money on a card for the subway would it work for the buses as well or would I have to pay another charge just to get to the places that the subway did not go. I was thrilled when I read that my metro card could also be used to ride the bus. For me that was a great added bonus to the city's Metro Card. The Metro Card is a yellow card with blue writing across the front that says Metro Card on the back of the card is a magnetic stripe that holds all the info about the card. This is a great thing as long as your card's magnetic strip continues to work. Thankfully ours never failed while we were there.
As it would turn out we were very centrally located to every thing that we wanted to visit and everything we wanted to see was easily accessible from the subway. The only thing that we would need the bus for
was to save ourselves the money that a cab would cost for a ride to the airport. The cost of the cab from the airport with tip and all other expenses included was at $60.00 dollars so needless to say I was not willing to part with that kind of cash when I had a perfectly acceptable alternate way to get to the airport.
The morning that we were leaving we left the hotel and walked a short distance to the subway station and caught the train to the stop that was as close as we could get to where our bus route was to pick up. All in all that took about an hour but during that ride we were serenaded by a group of nice gentlemen doing barber shop type songs with no music to back them up they all had great voices and it made the ride go by that much faster.
As we walked up the stairs to the street level we were happy to see that there were signs showing us what way to go and my cousin had it programmed into his phone telling us what way to go so between the signs and a smart phone telling us where to go we were able to find our way. Don't get me wrong we would have done it just fine with out the phone but my cousin is a little bit addicted to his technology and uses it at every chance he has.
I would have to say that we waited for about 10 minutes before our bus came around as we waited for every one to exit I pulled my Metro card out to have it ready so as not to hold up the line as I got on the bus I was not sure how to insert my card and the driver a very nice man had to show me how to do it. He was not angry or aggravated I could just tell that he wanted to save me the embarrassment that was showing all over my face as I held up the line. I finally had my card figured out and was sure to grab a seat right next to the driver so that I could ask him if I had any questions.
I was so happy to hear the driver announce every stop if there was no one there to get on and no one pulled the string to stop he would just keep on going. It seemed that we picked the route up at the very beginning and were lucky enough to be able to ride the bus through some very historic neighborhoods and to see some very famous places.
As we rode the bus down this road that seemed to go on forever I realized that we were going right through the middle of Harlem. I was thrilled to have this chance as I was sure that would I never at any other time find my self going through the middle of Harlem. As we got more into it I was blown away to see the Apollo Theater as every one knows what the Apollo is and how famous it is. I wanted to stop and get off the bus and run and see what it really looked like but was pretty sure that being the time it was that it would not be open so I went with my better judgment and stayed on the bus.
It was at this time that I just really sunk into the seat and really did not look around as the only thing I wanted was to get home to my family as I had left them behind to go on this trip. I had my phone and was texting both my daughter and my husband telling them that I was on my way to the airport. I really only wanted to hear my daughters voice so rather than site see at this point I called her and we spoke for the rest of my bus ride. I can say that it was a comfortable ride and at no time was I ever worried about my safety how ever it was broad daylight and I was only going to the airport.
We arrived at the airport and this is where it got tricky the bus stopped at every terminal and you had to make sure that you were paying attention to what he said so that you did not miss your terminal we were flying out United Airlines and as luck would have it our terminal was all the way at the end it was the last stop before the bus exited the airport. We got off with our luggage in tow and made our way into the airport.
After visiting several large city's and using their public transportation I have seen some pretty gross stuff but I can say that the buses in New York City are probably the cleanest and nicest buses I have ever been on. Something any city could be proud of especially one as big as New York.
I have to say that only using the bus this one time it was a great experience and I really did get to see things that I may not have gotten to see other wise. Being a real people watcher this was an ideal experience for me to just sit back and people watch. I think for me the best part was that not only was I on this bus with other tourists but I was riding this bus with locals as well. It was truly an experience that I will never forget and can't wait to get back and do it all over again.
The ones we have locally are a very new development here in Cardiff. At present, they operate on only 3 routes within the city. They have been on our roads for less than 3 wks at the time of writing.
Fairly standard bus seating. There are a lot more special needs seats especially at the front and in fact, you have to go a fairly long way down the bus to reach the first 'normal' seat (if thats the right word!)
Unlike a lot of buses, Bendy Buses have some seats that face backwards.
ON BOARD FEATURES...
CCTV for passenger safety. Two tv screens which are meant to show BBC NEWS 24 for passenger enjoyment. I have never yet seen the TV on but they tend to show live CCTV from all angles around the bus.
The overall feel of the bus is tacky, cheap and nasty. Tap the wall boards and they feel so hollow. Presumably a very low grade of plastic was used in the coach building. Rumour has it that one bus burnt to a cinder in London in under FOUR minutes (empty of passengers I believe thankfully) and I wonder whether the standard of coach building was the cause.
Still they are HERE and we are STUCK with them.
I understand they will be rolled out over the whole network
if they are a success.
I figured buses were the best way to travel round New York since you can still see everything. They are fairly reliable and very clean and best of all air conditioned which is a real luxury in the summer when the mercury is pushing 100 degrees. Tickets cost $1.50 or you can ride all day with a metro card bought from any subway station. The buses follow the street layout of New York so they either run North to South or East to West. Your ticket is valid for wherever you are heading so you can go North as far as you like then West or East to your destination on a different bus. However, you have to carry the correct change to buy a ticket because it is done by an automated machine and the drivers don't carry any change so make sure you have a pocket full of quarters!