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.
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 .