Ferries & Buses
Charter & Tour Buses
Tour Bus Routes
Bus operators should always plan ahead before traveling in New York City to familiarize themselves with appropriate routes, planned construction work, and traffic conditions. In many instances, tour group leaders and bus operators are likely to decide that a park-and-ride option is the better way to go.
The New York City Traffic Rules require bus operators to create detailed routing plans for their trips in advance, including each point of origin and destination and the streets that they plan to take in between. This document must be in the bus operator's possession at all times.
Bus drivers must travel along New York City truck routes except when local bus routes or other roads are needed to reach their destinations. Drivers must leave the truck routes at the nearest intersection to their destination and return at the nearest possible location. If the tour group has additional destinations in the same general area and there is no designated truck route or bus route that can be taken to the next destination, bus operators may proceed to their next destination without returning to a designated truck route or bus route.
Bus traffic is prohibited on many streets in Lower Manhattan for traffic safety and security reasons. Bus operators must avoid all restricted routes and security zones, and take care to minimize their use of residential streets. A police officer may request to see the routing plan of a bus operating on streets other than truck or bus routes. Please use the map below as a guide to plan your route in Lower Manhattan. Download the Lower Manhattan charter bus map, effective Sept. 2011
Dos and Don'ts for Charter Buses in Lower Manhattan
- Consider Park and Ride or ferry options before driving a bus into Lower Manhattan
- Use the charter bus map to
- Drive on Through and Local bus routes
- Load/unload quickly in designated areas
- Park in designated areas only
- Pay the meter
- 3-hour maximum stay
- Credit card or NYC parking card
- Display meter receipt on dash
- Don't drive on prohibited streets
- Don't load or unload in an unsafe manner (e.g. in travel lanes or crosswalks)
- Don't leave your engine idling
- Don't wait or park at bus stops
- Don't park in unauthorized locations
Construction Work and Traffic Conditions
Visit the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center's construction impact map. DOT publishes traffic advisories and alerts about special events Check traffic cameras placed around the city
Parking, Picking up and Dropping off
Passenger Drop-off and Pick-up
DOT has designated drop-off/pick-up locations near the major attractions in Lower Manhattan, including the Battery Park area, the World Trade Center area, and the South Street Seaport area. Please note that not all locations are available at all times.
Passenger drop-off/pick-up zones are for expeditious drop-off and pick-up only. Buses may not park in these zones for any amount of time. Idling is strictly prohibited when the temperature is above 40° F and permitted for up to 3 minutes only when the temperature is 40° F or below.
Bus operators may not pick up or drop off passengers in a vehicle travel lane or in any zone where "No Stopping Anytime" is posted. Buses must not block access to transit or commuter bus stops. Bus operators must not leave their vehicle while passengers are loading or unloading. Download the Lower Manhattan bus map to find designated loading/unloading locations, effective Sept. 2011
Bus parking in Manhattan is extremely scarce. A small number of authorized spaces are available near the major attractions in Lower Manhattan, including the Battery Park area, the World Trade Center area, the South Street Seaport area, and the Chinatown area. For security reasons, the bus parking near the World Trade Center is available only to buses that have registered their visit with the 9/11 Memorial and obtained a permit from DOT.
Bus parking is strictly prohibited outside of authorized spaces. All spaces in Manhattan are subject to posted meter rates and time limits. Double-parking is not permitted at any time. Buses may not occupy a bus parking space without paying the meter. Idling is never allowed in bus parking spaces. Download the Lower Manhattan charter bus map to find authorized bus parking zones, effective Sept. 2011 Download a list of authorized bus layover locations throughout Manhattan (pdf)
Bus Parking Meters and Parking Rates
Bus parking meters are in effect daily from 7 am to 7 pm, except Sundays. Meters have a 3-hour time limit unless otherwise posted. The general meter rate for buses is $20 per hour, payable at parking meters. There is a flat $50 rate for three hours of parking at the Greenwich, Barclay and West Street parking zones. Parking meters accept credit cards or New York City parking cards. Learn more about using parking meters Learn more about parking cards
Long-Term Bus Parking
Buses cannot park in Lower Manhattan for more than three hours. Bus operators planning to park for longer periods must do so outside of Lower Manhattan. Operators may park at a private off-street lot. Download a list of authorized bus layover locations throughout Manhattan (pdf)
In most instances, the easiest way to bring a tour group into Lower Manhattan is to park outside of the neighborhood and bring the group in on a ferry or the subway. This will avoid the hassle and expense of tolls, traffic and parking.
Tour buses coming from New Jersey can park all day at Liberty State Park for $10 and use nearby ferry service or take a PATH train to Lower Manhattan. Liberty State Park is located just off of New Jersey Turnpike Exit 14B, and is open between 6 AM and 10 PM daily. Buses should park in the ferry parking lot on Audrey Zapp Drive. Learn more about Statue Cruises service between Liberty State Park and Lower Manhattan Learn more about PATH service between Exchange Place and World Trade Center
Buses can park for free at the NY Waterway Ferry Terminal at Port Imperial/Weehawken with purchase of ferry tickets. Service is between Weehawken and Midtown, the World Financial Center terminal, and Wall Street-Pier 11. Learn more about NY Waterway service between Weehawken and Manhattan
Buses can park for free at the NY Waterway Ferry Terminal in Long Island City with purchase of ferry tickets. The ferry trip to Wall Street-Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan takes 25 minutes. Learn more about NY Waterway service between Long Island City and Lower Manhattan
Connections to Midtown
If your New York City itinerary also includes Midtown Manhattan, your group can still take advantage of these park-and-ride opportunities. There are a number of tour-group-friendly options to connect between Midtown and Lower Manhattan. These include NY Waterway, New York Water Taxi and double decker tour buses. You can also take a ferry from Midtown Manhattan back to your park-and-ride location in New Jersey.
Visiting the 9/11 Memorial
DOT strongly encourages tour groups planning trips to the 9/11 Memorial to avoid buses. The 9/11 Memorial has established a number of official transportation partners who have preferred access to passes and who can help you plan your trip. Learn more about the Memorial's official transportation partners Learn more about visiting the 9/11 Memorial, including a map of walking routes from ferry and transit stations
These rules and regulations will be subject to strict enforcement by the New York City Police Department and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Violators are subject to summons and/or tow.
Charter Bus Use Fees
Buses are not permitted to use parkways or the Battery Park Underpass without a special permit. For information on obtaining a permit call DOT's Authorized Parking Unit at 718-433-3314.
Charter Buses must pay fee of $1.50 per trip. Trip stickers are available in books of ten for $15.00. For more information call the Department of Finance Special Program Unit at 212-232-2463.