Agency Logo

Frequently Asked Questions


Below are frequently asked questions from users of MTA Bus Time. If your question hasn't been asked yet, and you don't see the answer on the About or Help pages, contact us with your question.



How can I use this system while I'm out at the bus stop?

MTA Bus Time, currently available for Staten Island, the Bronx, the B63 and B61 in Brooklyn, and M34/M34A in Manhattan, is available via SMS text message on any cell phone, or on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and any other Internet-enabled smartphone via Bus Time for Mobile.

Instructions: To use it via cell phone, just send a text message with your intersection and bus route to 511123, or send the 6-digit bus stop code (located on the bus stop pole schedules) and bus route to 511123. To use it via smartphone, visit http://bustime.mta.info in your phone's browser. You can also try scanning the MTA Bus Time QR code located on the bus stop pole.

Why does the MTA Bus Time system sometimes lag behind where I see the buses on the street?

The MTA Bus Time system gets information from each bus approximately every 30 seconds, so please don't wait until the last second to go to your stop.

Why does this system just give locations of buses (e.g. 2 stops away) rather than time-based information (e.g. 5 minutes away)?

Because of New York City's difficult traffic conditions, predicting the exact time a bus will arrive at a stop is difficult.  MTA Bus Time will have this functionality eventually, but in order to deliver a reliable system as quickly as possible we are starting with what we do know for sure - where the bus is now.

Why did a bus that I saw on the street not show up in the MTA Bus Time system?

The most likely cause of this problem is that the GPS or wireless communications hardware on the bus needs to be repaired (at this time, MTA does not keep a bus out of service if is working other than the Bus Time hardware).  We aim to repair the hardware as quickly as possible, but in order to make the project cost-effective, these repairs may take a day or two.

Of course, the hardware may be working fine and you may have experienced some other bug in the MTA Bus Time system.  In any case, it helps us to hear from you about this type of problem, so please let us know about your experience using the MTA Bus Time system.

Can I bookmark my favorite stop?

Yes.  Simply bookmark the page on which you have found information for your stop.  From either the desktop or mobile sites, just click the stop you are interested in and bookmark as you would any other site. The bookmark saved for this page will bring you back to this stop.

How does MTA Bus Time work?

Please see the MTA Bus Time Technology page.

How can I help improve MTA Bus Time?

To report any issues using MTA Bus Time, Contact Us.

I am not able to access MTA Bus Time via SMS. What does "Message Blocking Active" mean?

Your account with your wireless carrier has certain messages prohibited. You can usually re-enable this via your wireless carrier's website or by calling their customer support.