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You Can Ride These 5 NYC Bus Routes For Free

You can ride these five NYC bus routes for free now

The program will last at least six months.


A new pilot program offering New Yorkers free bus rides across five different routes, one in each borough, is scheduled to kick off this Sunday and last at least six months.

After the allotted time, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will analyze data and decide whether to extend the project an additional half year or wrap it up. Once the initiative concludes, fares will revert back to what they were.

The selected routes are the M116 in Manhattan, the B60 in Brooklyn, the Q4 in Queens, the Bx18 in the Bronx and the S46/96 in Staten Island. Each bus will be marked as free and, inside of them, OMNY readers will be completely covered. Transfers to other lines or the subway will still be subject to fare.

The MTA was actually forced to kick off the program, which initially included free rides on every single bus route, as part of a financial rescue plan that was part of the state budget. Other cities around the country are doing the same.

Governor Kathy Hochul first mentioned the project this summer, explaining the thought process behind it. “The MTA is the lifeblood of New York City, and I’m proud of the tremendous progress we’ve made in returning ridership to pre-pandemic levels,” the politician said in an official statement. “By establishing these fare-free bus pilot routes, we are expanding access to public transportation across the city and improving transit equity to better serve all New Yorkers.”

The city chose the affected bus lines for a variety of factors, including the fact that they don’t really overlap with other routes, so that analysis of the effect of the program could be more thoroughly, and independently, be carried forward.

As of now, officials have no intention to increase the number of buses on the selected routes or to add any sort of service to assuage the influx of people that will potentially (likely) start making use of the free rides. Is that a recipe for chaos? We’ll know by the end of the weekend.

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