Tour Bus Routes
Bus operators should always plan before traveling in New York City. They should 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 best option.
Bring a Route Slip
The New York City Traffic Rules require bus operators to create a detailed route slip for their trips in advance. The route slip must include the points of origin and destination of the trip and the streets that they plan to take in between. This document must be in the bus operator's possession at all times.
Drive on Truck Routes
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.
Charter Bus Use Fees
Buses are not permitted to use parkways or FDR Drive without a Highway Travel Permit.
Charter Buses must pay fee of $1.50 per trip. Trip stickers are available in books of ten for $15.00. For more information, email the Department of Finance Special Program Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do’s and Don'ts for Charter Buses in Lower Manhattan
Bus traffic is prohibited on many streets in Lower Manhattan for traffic safety and security reasons. Many of the streets are very narrow and/or are close to high-security locations such as the New York Stock Exchange and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
Bus operators must avoid all restricted routes and security zones, and minimize their use of residential streets. A police officer may request to see the route slip of a bus operating on streets other than truck or bus routes.
Bus parking is very limited in Lower Manhattan. Review the section below on Parking, Picking Up, and Dropping Off.
- Consider Park-and-Ride or ferry options before driving a bus into Lower Manhattan
- Drive on "Through" and "Local bus" routes
- Load/unload quickly in designated areas
- Park in designated areas only
- Pay the meter
- 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
Parking, Picking Up, and Dropping Off
Passenger Drop-Off and Pick-Up
NYC DOT has designated drop-off and pick-up locations near major attractions in Lower Manhattan, including Battery Park, the World Trade Center area, and the South Street Seaport. Please note that drop-off and pick-up locations are available at specific times. Always follow posted regulations.
- Passenger drop-off and 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 degrees (Fahrenheit) and permitted for up to three minutes when the temperature is 40 degrees or lower
- 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 stay with their vehicle while passengers are loading or unloading
Bus parking is strictly prohibited outside of authorized spaces. All spaces in Manhattan are subject to posted meter rates and time limits. Please note that bus parking in Manhattan is extremely limited.
- 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
Bus Parking Meters and Parking Rates
- Bus parking meters are in effect daily from 7 am to 7 pm, except Sundays
- Meters have a three-hour time limit
- The general meter rate for buses is $20 per hour, payable at parking meters
- Parking meters accept ParkNYC, credit cards, coins and New York City Parking Cards
Long-Term Bus Parking
Buses cannot park in Lower Manhattan for more than three hours. Operators may park at private, off-street lots.
Lower Manhattan and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum
A small number of authorized spaces are available near major attractions in Lower Manhattan, including the areas around Battery Park, World Trade Center, South Street Seaport, and Chinatown.
NYC DOT strongly encourages tour groups planning trips to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum use mass transit instead of charter buses. Bus parking is very limited and many spaces are not close to the Memorial.
For security reasons, bus parking located near the World Trade Center is available only to buses with permits that are transporting groups registered to visit with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. The Museum instructs groups on what documents are needed to register. Once the group is registered, the group’s information will be forwarded to NYC DOT, who will issue the bus parking permit. Please note that bus parking spaces are subject to meter rates. To obtain group tickets send an email to email@example.com or call 212-266-5200.
Alternatives to Bus Parking in Lower Manhattan
The easiest way to bring a tour group into Lower Manhattan is to park outside of the neighborhood and travel to Lower Manhattan 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 a fee and use nearby ferry service or take a PATH train to Lower Manhattan. Liberty State Park is located just off the 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. Statue Cruises service between Liberty State Park and Lower Manhattan PATH service between Exchange Place and World Trade Center
There is free bus parking at the NY Waterway Ferry Terminal at Port Imperial/Weehawken with the purchase of ferry tickets. Service includes Weehawken to Midtown, Brookfield Place Terminal, and Wall Street-Pier 11. NY Waterway service between Port Imperial/Weehawken and 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 several tour-group-friendly options that connect Midtown and Lower Manhattan. These include NYC Ferry, 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.
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 summonses and vehicles may be towed.