RIDING THE SELECT BUS TO THE BRONX ZOO

New York does have a lot of trains and especially train stations .

There’s also a lot buses on the streets as well.

It seems as though all five of the New York City boroughs have these blue and white buses going down their streets , no matter how wide and small some of them are.

If you happen to be in New York City , and no matter what borough you’re visiting, you just might see some brightly colored yellow and blue buses with the words “I Love New York ” on them.

These buses run all over the five boroughs and are known as “Select”buses.

These select buses made their first appearance in 2008 and they run in certain areas of the city.

Yes, all of them are painted in blue and yellow , even on the inside.

The seats are very comfortable .

Unlike the regular New York City buses , which are blue and white, you don’t pay on the Select buses.

There’s machines at the bus stops for these buses,and they don’t take cash or credit cards, which means you need to have a Metro Card all ready.

You can get a Metro Card at one of the subway stations or if you’re staying at a hostel, the front desk clerk may have them for purchase .

Once you put your Metro Card into the machines, you’re given a receipt , that shows that you paid.

Hold onto this because not only does it show that you paid , you’ll need it to show New York City transit police who will be boarding the bus at ANY stop, that you did actually pay to ride the bus.

You can get on the front door or the back door of the bus since you don’t make a payment when you get on the bus.

How do you know what Select bus to take?

Like the regular bus, the letter in front tells you what borough you’re in.

As I am in Queens, I took Select bus Q44.

I was going to the Bronx Zoo, which I will talk about in an upcoming blog post .

The Select Q44 bus starts in Queens and goes to The Bronx over the Whitestone Bridge , which separates Queens from The Bronx.

The final stop is the Bronx Zoo but along the way not only will you see the Queens Botanical Gardens, which I will also be talking about in a later post, but you’ll get to see the second largest Chinatown in New York City , which is in Flushing, Queens .

There’s also WiFi on the bus as well.

Is your tablet or phone running low on juice and you have no place to plug in your charger?

They also have a place where you can plug in that charger .

These buses are a pleasure to ride and I didn’t seem to mind that even though the ride was long, it was comfortable .

Although, with some of the construction going on and around the Whitestone Bridge , it was kind of bumpy.

So the next time you’re in New York City , take one of the Select buses .

Have fun, enjoy and just remember to hold onto that receipt .

It’s your proof of purchase .

Advertisements

RIDING ON THE J TRAIN FROM QUEENS TO MANHATTAN AND BACK

When I take the subway into Manhattan, the two subway trains that I usually take are the E and F trains.

Today, I took the J subway train, which like the E train leaves from Jamaica Center.

Like the E train, you can connect at JFK Supthin Boulevard to get the Air train to take you to JFK airport if you ride on the J train.

Unlike the E train, the J train goes from Queens to Brooklyn over the Williamsburg Bridge to Manhattan .

This train is fairly clean as not too many people ride it.

(Ok, it’s clean by New York City subway standards.)

The final stop on this train is Broad Street , which is in the Financial District.

If you wanted to do some sightseeing , like Wall Street and the famous Wall Street Bull, this is the stop that you would get off at.

As I was going back home and noticed people walking and biking over the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn , I saw a sign in the distance right as you get into the largest borough of New York .

The sign read,

“WELCOME TO BROOKLYN . YOU NAME IT….. WE GOT IT.”

Brooklyn was once known as “the borough of churches” and it seemed as though all the churches that the train passed were now banks.

Not surprising seeing that before it became a part of New York City , Brooklyn was the financial capital .

As my train pulls back into the station at Jamaica Center, I think of how peaceful my ride into the city was compared to the E and F trains.

Maybe from now on I might just take the J train.

RIDING THE LIGHT RAIL IN PITTSBURGH

It’s not really a subway like you’d find in New York , it’s a light rail like you find in other cities.

Given that the unofficial colors of the city are black and yellow , I expected the two train lines to be the same colors.

They aren’t .

They’re the Blue and Red lines.

The transportation department in Pittsburgh is called the Port Authority of Pittsburgh , but for some reason they call it “The T”.

The light rail doesn’t run all night, but here’s the best part if you happen to be in Downtown Pittsburgh and let’s say you want to go to either a Pittsburgh Pirates , Penguins, or Steelers game.

Unless you start at Station Square, you pay nothing .

It’s free.

If you get on at Station Square, you have to dish out $2.75.

The stations are very clearly marked not only with a grey letter T on it, but with the name of the train station.

If you get lost or need some transit info, some one dressed in a yellow jacket will help you .

The trains have only two cars but there seems to be seats for everyone .

They’re clean and there are signs everywhere to tell you what’s allowed and what isn’t .

You get a nice view of the city and the surrounding area as well.

This is a good way to sightsee as well.

You can’t be free no matter how hard you try.

Let’s say you want to play the slots while you’re in town.

The Rivers Casino is in the same neighborhood as Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team.

You get off at the train station, Allegheny, and there’s the casino almost across the street.

Are you going to see the Pirates play at PNC Park or the Penguins at PPG Arena? (of course you are. This is a 30 Plus Teams Tour of Pittsburgh after all.)

The light rail can get you to both places , just get off at the North Shore and Steel Plaza train stations and walk.

The light rail is a good way to get around the city, and in some cases you didn’t have to pay a thing.

A RIDE ON THE SILVER LINE

The Boston  public  transportation  system  is officially  known as the  Massachusetts  Bay Transit  Authority  or MBTA  for short.

Unofficially ,  it’s  known by Bostonians  and people who travel there a lot as “The T”.

So, if you happen to  be in the city of  Boston  or in one of its  many neighborhoods ,  look for the signs with the big black letter “T” on it.

There are four main transit lines in  the city, the Orange  Line, the Green Line, the Blue Line, which takes you to the airport, and the Red Line, which takes you towards Harvard Square . 

Word of warning when you take the T.

There’s  no Uptown  or Downtown ,  like you’d  see in a city like New York.

Instead, you’ll  see “Inbound and Outbound”.

Inbound means coming towards the city of Boston ,  outbound means going away from the city.

You’ll  mostly  see this if you take the Red Line.

If you get confused, look for the friendly transit ambassadors in the red jackets.

They’re  there to take the confusion  out of your trip.

The city also has a commuter  rail called the Purple  Line and a bus and train line known  as  the  Silver Line.

It’s  all about  the  colors when it comes to transportation  in the city.

Just as it says, the Silver Line buses and trains are more light greyish in color, which I guess you could describe as “silver”.

Like the other modes of transit in the city, you will see the big black letter T on the side of the buses and the train.

On my way to catch  my bus at South Station  Bus Terminal ,  because  I  was  staying  so close to Boston  Logan  Airport ,  I took the  Silver Line train to South  Station . 

If you arrive  in Boston  by plane  and you want to  get to the city quickly ,  rather than take the shuttle  bus to the Blue Line airport  station ,  take the Silver Line to South Station where you can catch the Red Line trains.

From there ,  connections to the Green, Red, and Orange Lines are easier to get to than if you took the Blue Line.

For one thing, from the airport ,  the Silver Line is free . 

That’s  right, you pay nothing until you get to the South Station Red Line stop.

The Silver Line makes stops at Terminals C and E, which are the two terminals that most of the flights come leave ftom.

As the train leaves from the airport ,  expect the train to be very crowded . 

The ride is comfortable  and  smooth as it leaves the airport terminal and begins the journey  into the  city.

You’ll  be seeing areas of the city that you wouldn’t  otherwise  see.

If you happen  to  get on the train in the South Boston neighborhood  of  the  city, be ready to pay the normal  fare of $2.75.

It’s   not free anymore, only from the airport . 

While  you might not want to  take public  transportation  to get to Boston  Logan ,  taking the Silver Line is the cheapest  option to getting there, and you won’t  have to worry about traffic.

START  SPREADING  THE  NEWS- NEW YORK ,  NEW YORK  – RIDING  THE  NEW YORK CITY BUS

I had just left 45th street  and  Fifth  Avenue  in the city . 

I  was going  to  the  next stop  on my own  30 Plus  Teams  Tour  of New York  City . 

I  was going to  The Cloisters, all the way  up at 190th street . 

I could  have  taken the  A Train  at 42nd street to get to 190th street ,  but after that I  would  have  had a very long  walk to  get to the museum . 

From growing  up  in the city and knowing the New York  City  bus and subway system  like I know the back of my hand, I  knew exactly  what  bus to take, the M4.

It stops right in front  of  the  museum, so the only walking you have to do is walk in the front door and admire the art from the Middle  Ages . 

A few things to know about the New York  City  bus system  if you happen  to  be  in  New  York  City . 

Like the subways ,  they are part of the  Metropolitan  Transit  Authority ,  the MTA . 

Unlike  the  subway ,  the blue seats on the buses are clean . 

They really  don’t  want  people  eating  or drinking  on the bus.

But this is New York  City ,  people  are  going  to  do it anyway   and nobody  is  going  to  stop them.

You must  have  exact  change  if you don’t  have  a Metro   card.

The drivers carry  no change and the fare boxes don’t  accept  dollar  bills.

Dollar coins yes, but dollar bills  nope.

Have those Metro cards ready when you board the bus.

You can get them at stores or if you happen to  use the subway . 

Same Metro  card works for  the  bus and subway, as well  as  the  PATH  train if you happen  to  be  going  to  New Jersey . 

The New York  City  buses are blue and white.

Some are blue and yellow  and now some of them have WiFi . 

If you happen  to  see a bus  with the  words  “LIMITED  ” on it, the bus isn’t  going to  make every stop, just certain  ones . 

You’ll  see these buses mostly  on morning and afternoon  rush hours.

It’s  the local  buses that you want.

They make all stops.

If you aren’t  sure where exactly  the bus goes to ,  ask the driver before you  get on.

Better yet ,  do your research  BEFORE  you get to New York or in your hotel, hostel ,  or Airbnb  before you go anywhere . 

The bus stops  are clearly  marked with red, white and blue signs  with numbers on them. 

The numbers are marked with letters  according  to  what borough  you’re  in.

Confused?

Let’s  make this simple  for you.

We’ll  use the bus that took me all the way from 47th  street  and Madison  Avenue  up to 190th Street  and Margaret  Corbin  Drive as an example ,  the M4.

The letter M before the  bus number tells you that this route goes in the city, Manhattan . 

If the bus number was Q4, you don’t  want that if you’re  going to  the city.

The Q in front  of  the  number tells you that this is a Queens bus.

If the bus number was either B4, B4  or SI4, you got it.

Your  bus was either in Brooklyn ,  The Bronx  or Staten  Island, so make sure you take the right bus.

Another thing  to  know about the  buses in the city . 

If you’re  going Downtown ,  the bus will be going down Fifth  Avenue ,  where you’ll  get up close  and  personal  with most  of  Central  Park, as well as “The  Museum  Mile”, depending  on  where you  catch  the  bus . 

If you’re  traveling  Uptown ,  the bus will be going  up Madison  Avenue . 

Since I was  traveling  up to  190th Street ,  the M4 bus went up Madison  Avenue . 

As usual ,  it took a long time  due to  the  infamous  New York  City  traffic . 

The ride took almost  an hour and a half . 

The subway  might have  been  more convenient ,  but nothing  beats a ride on the New York  City  bus so that you  can  really  get a glimpse  of  life in “The Big Apple . ”

Along the  way if you take the  M4, you’ll  be  passing  Columbia  University  on 116th Street  and if you continue onto the  Washington  Heights  section  of  the  city, at around  178th Street ,  you’ll  get a glimpse  of  the  George  Washington  Bridge , which separates  New York  City  from New Jersey . 

On a clear day ,  the view of  the  bridge is breathtaking . 

If you’re  going to  The Cloisters  like I was, get off at the very last stop.

Riding  the  bus doesn’t  only work for going to  the  Cloisters ,  but check with the front desk clerk if there’s  a bus stop close by and just take a ride to the last stop on the bus, no matter  what  direction  it’s  going in.

This is a great way to sightsee if you’re  in the city  and all it costs is the price of a Metro  card ,  $2.75.

Take the bus instead  of  the  subway . 

It may take a long time   but enjoy that long ride on the New York  City  buses and take in the scenery . 

START  SPREADING  THE  NEWS  –  NEW  YORK ,  NEW  YORK  –  A RIDE ON  THE PATH TRAIN

if you  happen  to  be visiting  New  York  City ,  you want to get adventurous  and visit places not that far away.

People  have  told you  to visit  New Jersey ,  right across  the  river.

Shopping  is cheaper  than  New York  City ,  and depending  on  where in New Jersey  you are, it’s  just a day trip.

Here’s  a little  surprise  for you.

The Statue  of  Liberty  is actually  in New Jersey ,  not New York ,  but don’t  tell New Yorkers  that . 

They won’t  believe you.

You don’t  have  a  car, and you don’t  want to  go down  to  Port  Authority  Bus Terminal  to  catch a New Jersey  transit  bus . 

You also don’t want  to  go anywhere  near Penn Station  and take one of  those New Jersey  transit trains.

Penn Station  falls into every stereotype  that you’ve  ever heard about New York  City . 

It’s  big, it’s  dirty ,  it’s  loud, and it’s  as crowded as Hell with people  knocking you down trying to catch the train or subway.

But you want to  go to New Jersey . 

You have to.

This is a 30  Plus  Teams  Tour ,  after all . 

It was too expensive  for  the  four of  you to see a hockey  game  at Madison  Square  Garden ,  so you’re  going to see New Jersey ‘ s team, the New Jersey  Devils ,  play at the Prudential  Center in Newark . 

One problem ,  though.

You have no car and a taxi is very expensive from where your hotel is.

So what do you do ? 

Simple.

You brought a New York  City  Metro  Card to use when taking the subway.

You brought a reloadable  one which you can use on the other subway  line that takes you to New Jersey . 

It runs seven days a week ,  and 24 hours a day.

It’s  called  the  PATH Train.

PATH stands for Port Authority  Trans Hudson . 

In case you didn’t  know ,  it’s  the Hudson  River  that separates  New York  from New Jersey . 

It’s  the train that  a lot of people  from New Jersey  take to their jobs in New York  City . 

The PATH train has two major terminals  in New York  City ,  The World Trade  Center  and 33rd. Street . 

If you’re  going to a game at the Prudential  Center, which you are, you can take the train at either the World  Trade Center  or 33rd Street ,  depending  on  where in the city you are.

Keep in mind though if you take the train at the 33rd Street  tetminal, the last stop is Journal Square in Jersey City ,  which is  a major terminal  in New Jersey . 

You have to get off and wait for  the  train to continues on to the city of Harrison ,  New Jersey  and Newark . 

The PATH  train  is very clean as they allow no eating or drinking  on it, plus it’s  not as noisy as the New York  City  subway . 

It does get crowded, so don’t  be  surprised  if during rush hour, you’re  standing . 

This train is an alternative  to  the  regular subway  if you happen  to  be  going to  or near 23rd, 14th, 9th, or Christopher  Streets  in New York  City . 

Another piece  of  advice when you take  the PATH . 

Act like you’ve  been  on it before and know where you’re  going . 

There are information  booths at every PATH  station ,  and better yet, have your information  before you leave your hotel, hostel or Airbnb . 

Have fun in New Jersey  and enjoy your ride on the PATH  Train . 

LAS VEGAS BABY ! – LAS VEGAS , NEVADA – YES , YOU CAN TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION HERE .

FB_IMG_1500915299505FB_IMG_1500915279017

 

 

So  you  want  to  save  some  money  when  you  finally  go  on  that  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Las  Vegas ?

You  could  take  an  Uber  or  a  taxi  on  the  Las  Vegas  Strip  or  down  to  the  Fremont  Street  Experience ,  but  why  not  do  what  the  locals  and  the  thousands  of  other  visitors  do  when  they  come  to  town ?

They  take  the  bus .

There’s  also  a  monorail  here ,  but  not  many  people  take  it  as  it’s  out  of  the  way  and  it  only  goes  from  MGM  Grand  to  the  SLS  Hotel .

Now ,  if  you  happen  to  be  going  to  an  event  at  the  Las  Vegas  Convention  Center ,  the  monorail  will  work  fine  for  you .

But  let’s  get  back  to  public  transportation  in  the  city .

There  are  two  buses  that  visitors  to  Las  Vegas  use  a  lot  while  in  town .

One  route  is  called  ”  The  Deuce  ” ,  which  is  a double  decker  bus  and  makes  stops  at  all  the  casinos  on  the  Las  Vegas  Strip  from  Mandalay  Bay  all  the  way  down  to  the  El  Cortez  Hotel  and  Casino ,  which  is  located  Downtown .

El  Cortez  was  the  first  casino  that  mobster  Bugsy  Siegel  owned .

Also  downtown  is  the  National  Museum  of  Organized  Crime  and  Law  Enforcement ,  better  known  as  the  ”  Mob  Museum  ” .

The  Deuce  bus  runs  past  the  museum  also .

The  Deuce  bus  runs  24  hours ,  seven  days  a  week .

If  you  don’t  want  to  take  the  Deuce ,  which  can  get  crowded  and  is  quite  slow ,  take  the  other  bus  that  runs  all  the  way  from  the  South  Strip  Transit  Center  all  the  way  up  to  the  Las  Vegas  North  Premium  Outlet ,  which  is  located  close  to  Downtown  Las  Vegas .

It’s  called  the  Strip  Downtown  Express  or  the  SDX  for  short .

This  bus  does  run  every  day ,  but  only  from  9am  until  Midnight  and  it  doesn’t  stop  at  all  the  casinos  on  the  Strip ,  but  in  some  cases ,  it  does  share  bus  stops  with  the  Deuce .

If  you’re  going  to  be  visiting  Las  Vegas  longer  than  a  day ,  I  would  advise  spending  $  20  for  a  three  day  pass ,  which  you  can  use  on both  buses ,  but  not  the  Monorail .

Both  buses  only  take  exact  change  and  you  can  pay  on  both  buses  or  at  the  machines  that  are  located  at  each  bus  stop  before  you  get  on .

At  the  machines  besides  bills  and  coins ,  you  can  also  pay  with  your  debit  or  credit  card .

Have  your  fare  card  handy  and  out  when  you  ride  the  SDX .

Las  Vegas  transit  policemen  and  policewomen  will  be  on  the  bus  along  with  you  to  make  sure  that  you  have  your  fare  card  handy .

You  might  be  asked  to  show  it just to make  sure  that  the  card  hasn’t  expired .

Trust  me ,  you  don’t  want  to  act  the  fool  on  your  own  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Sin  City  if  you  have  your  fare  card  and  for  some  reason  only  known  to  you ,  you  refuse  to  show  it when  asked  to .

These  officers  carry  not  only  handcuffs  but  loaded  guns  too ,  and  they  AREN’T  afraid  to  use  either  of  them .

Don’t  even  think  about  it ,  just have your  fare  card  handy  and  enjoy  Las  Vegas .