The Ride puts a whole new spin on the classic New York City bus tour, and is an exciting sightseeing option for those visitors hoping to experience some of New York City’s most famous landmarks in a unique fashion. As you ride along in a state-of-the-art bus, two engaging guides keep you entertained and laughing the entire time. Meanwhile, you’ll pass many of Midtown Manhattan’s iconic attractions and—spoiler alert!—behold several surprise live street performances sure to delight and amaze.
History of The Ride, NYC
The Ride is so distinctive in no small part because of its remarkable fleet of buses. Each one of these innovative vehicles is as large as legally allowed on the streets of New York City, which is why The Ride’s buses can accommodate stadium-style seating throughout. These seats are oriented to the side of the bus, too, which grants passengers unparalleled sightlines of the people and places of The Big Apple.
What’s you see on The Ride, NYC
The Ride is a 75-minute journey through approximately four miles of iconic Midtown Manhattan. Along the way, you’ll cruise past such beloved New York City destinations as Times Square, Grand Central Station, Carnegie Hall, Central Park, Columbus Circle, and Bryant Park, just to name a few. All the while, your two guides will keep you entertained and informed as you learn, laugh, and snap as many pictures as you possibly can.
Unlike many other city bus tours, once you’ve boarded The Ride you won’t be able to disembark at any point during the experience. Instead, your special bus will not only keep you on the edge of your seat with its many interactive features, but it will pause multiple times to permit you to observe electrifying street performances as they unfold before you.
Given its popularity, spots on The Ride tend to book up pretty fast, so you’ll really want to plan your trip well in advance in order to secure reservations at a time that’s ideal for you and your schedule. On a typical schedule, The Ride runs seven days a week. Mondays through Fridays, The Ride typically departs seven or eight times a day between 3:00pm and 7:45pm.
On Saturdays, The Ride is often offered 10 times a day, beginning around 12:30pm and ending at 7:45pm. An average Sunday will see The Ride leaving six times between 12:30pm and 3:45pm. A Holiday Edition of The Ride begins in the middle of November and runs through January. This special version of The Ride has its own idiosyncratic hours of operation you’ll need to research if you’re interested.
Tips for touring with The Ride, NYC Bus Experience
- The Ride is included on several money saving tourist passes including the New York Pass, Go NY All-Inclusive Pass and NY Explorer Pass.
- Families visiting New York City with small children in tow will be advised to note that The Ride is not recommended for kids under the age of six years old.
- Likewise, potential guests who are prone to motion sickness, sensitive to strobe lights, suffer from a heart condition, or have a history of back and neck pain are forewarned. The Ride stops and starts a great deal, its floor shakes and tilts, and there are plenty of loud noises and flashing lights throughout the experience. If any of these features sound concerning to you in the least, you might want to take your tour needs elsewhere.
- Advance reservations are required, and you’ll receive your tickets via e-mail. If you miss your tour or want to change your reservation, you’ll be charged an extra $20 fee (unless you’ve purchased a “Flex Ticket,” which retails for $10 above The Ride’s standard price).
- The Ride is not wheelchair accessible, and there are no bathrooms located onboard. You’ll want to be certain to use the restroom prior to your outing.
- All tour participants are expected to arrive 15 minutes before their reservation’s scheduled departure time. The official meeting place for The Ride is 259 West 42nd Street, which is near 8th Avenue. If you’re keeping an eye out for landmarks, it’s near a Five Guys.