Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 02:44 PM
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Author: stupid
Date: 02/03/2009, 05:42 pm
I am bringing a bus full of high school students to NYC from Massachusetts. Often we get into the city only to waste time as we traverse down 5th Avenue. I was thinking of having the bus let us off in the Bronx/Pelham Parkway area near a subway station in order to save time. Our first stop is the ferry for Ellis Island so I thought that the 4, 5 line would be good. Any suggestions on what approach to take to lessen the time as we approach the city. Thanks in advance for any replies. We are coming on March 19th.


stupid is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 04:13 PM
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1) It depends on what time you arrive in NYC as to traffic and subway traffic.

2) Going down Fifth ave. is the worst option for getting to the ferries at the foot of Manhattan. I don't know whether buses are allowed on the Henry Hudson or the FDR Drive--highways that run along the east and west sides of the island, but driving down Fifth ave. I KNOW is the worst way to go. Depending on how many students you have, the subway sounds like troublesome idea unless you have a lot of other chaperones. If the drives are not possible, I'd use an avenue like 2nd ave. to head south.
mclaurie is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Consider the 242nd Street/Van Cortlandt Park station for the #1 train, which will take you all the way to the Staten Island Ferry.

You can see the subway map here.
gb944 is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 04:57 PM
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Unfortunately, the fast routes south through the city - FDR and West Side Highway are closed to anything other than cars. But - Fifth Ave is definitely the worst. You will do much better to head down the west side in a bus - Columbis Ave, then down 11th as far as you can - and t may be just as fast as the subway - unless it's rush hour.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 05:05 PM
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I think you would waste MORE time on the subway. The ride from Pelham Parkway on the 5 train (either Williamsbridge Road or White Plains Road) would take at least an hour to reach Bowling Green. I expect your bus could beat that time without the agony of riding the subway.
ellenem is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 05:06 PM
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I got my times at
ellenem is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 05:21 PM
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Thanks to everyone for replying. We are coming from Mass on Rt. 95S hoping to get by Stamford and Darien's rush hour traffic. We are hoping to get to the New Rochelle area by 9-930AM. I have down the bus route down 2nd or 3rd avenue at that time and it took us at least 1 hour just to get to Radio City area. The traffic and the lights are what stops the bus from moving. I realize the subway might be long but at least we would be moving. My husband and I are quite familiar with the subways. I quess my quest is the fastest route (subway) without having to hit the cross bronx expressway. Because we are on a bus, we can't go near the FDR or the Hutchinson River or the Henry Hudson. That leaves only the Cross Bronx to the West Side. Any express trains leave from the Bronz area. Thanks again New Yorkers for your help!
stupid is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 05:32 PM
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Uptown, Third Ave goes north only. I would stay away from 2nd. There's a lot of construction in the 70's for the new subway and there's also a ton of bridge traffic until you pass 59th Street. I agree with nytraveler to go down on the west side. I would not do the subway from the Bronx with a bus load of kids.
Centralparkgirl is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2009, 07:32 PM
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The 5 train I mentioned IS the express and Bowling Green is the closest stop for Ellis Island. The other option, MetroNorth commuter railroad, only goes as far as Grand Central. To reach Ellis Island you'd have to take a subway from Grand Central--the same 5 train (or 4 train) you could have taken from the Bronx.

"At least we'd be moving" is not the best reason to take a "bus full of high school students" on a more than hour-long subway ride. I'm with Centralparkgirl--I would not do the subway from the Bronx with a large group of teenagers.

Maybe you can avoid some traffic by getting an earlier start on your drive.
ellenem is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2009, 06:18 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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I have a completely different take on this issue. Rather than taking the ferry from Battery Park to Ellis Island, drive down to Liberty State Park in New Jersey and take the ferry from there (be absolutely certain you have reservations ahead of time ... and realize how far in advance you must arrive).

On your return to Massachusetts, perhaps you could have the bus meet you someplace in NJ near a PATH station at the end of the day. I know this will add a bit on expense (another one-way fare to NJ from Manhattan), but it may save you a lot of time.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2009, 06:20 AM
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It's not technically allowed, but I don't recall anyone ever checking my tickets when I was reboarding the ferry. You might be able to board the Manhattan-bound ferry for your return trip and save the hassle and cost of having to get back to Manhattan from Liberty State Park, but there is a ferry from there back to Manhattan (it's not cheap, though).

Before you try this, I'd ask to make sure that you don't have to show a ticket.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2009, 07:01 AM
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If you're in such a big rush and think you can handle however many kids on a train, get on the Metro North train in New Rochelle and you'll be at Grand Central station in 30-40 mins.

From there take the subway. Otherwise, I think Doug's idea of boarding the ferry from the New Jersey side is brilliant. And if you want or need to go back to Manhattan, it's perfectly legal to use your return ticket from NJ to NYC.

Here's a subway map fyi
mclaurie is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2009, 07:31 AM
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I totally agree with Doug Stallings. Taking the ferry from New Jersey is much simpler, and much easier for a large group, than dealing with all the tourists in Manhattan. You don't have to wait in line so long, and security goes faster. You can also tie in (maybe) a little history about the old train station there -- it's where most of the immigrants from Ellis Island were sent once they cleared entry.
happy_train is offline  
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