M79 (New York City bus)

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79th Street Crosstown Line
A West Side–Riverside Drive-bound M79 SBS bus pulling up to the stop at 5th Avenue.
SystemMTA New York City Bus
OperatorNew York City Transit Authority
GarageMichael J. Quill Depot
VehicleNova Bus LFS articulated
New Flyer Xcelsior XD60
New Flyer Xcelsior XE60
LiverySelect Bus Service
Began service1936
LocaleManhattan, New York, U.S.
Communities servedUpper West Side, Upper East Side, Yorkville
Landmarks servedCentral Park, Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Natural History Museum
StartUpper West Side – Riverside Drive and West 79th Street
Via79th Street, 81st Street
EndYorkville – East End Avenue and East 79th Street
Length2.3 miles (3.7 km)
OperatesAll times.[1]
Annual patronage2,513,796 (2023)[2]
TimetableM79 SBS
← M72  {{{system_nav}}}  M86 SBS →

The M79 Select Bus Service, formerly the 79th Street Crosstown Line, is a bus line in Manhattan, New York City, running mostly along 79th Street on the Upper West and Upper East Sides of Manhattan. The route was previously owned by the private Green Bus Lines, and is now operated by MTA Regional Bus Operations under the New York City Transit brand.

The route was renumbered from the M17 to the M79 in 1987, and was converted into a Select Bus Service route in 2017.

Route description[edit]

An M79 bus prior to the Select Bus Service implementation.

The M79 bus runs crosstown along 79th Street in Upper Manhattan. The route begins at West 79th Street and Riverside Drive in the Upper West Side. It proceeds east along 79th Street to Amsterdam Avenue, where the eastbound bus then follows 79th Street to Amsterdam Avenue and uses Amsterdam Avenue to get to 81st Street, and the westbound bus uses 81st Street to get to Columbus Avenue and then take that down to 79th Street. After Central Park West, the bus then crosses the 79th Street Transverse through the park, stopping about halfway through the transverse. The M79 exits the transverse at East 79th Street and Fifth Avenue, continuing on East 79th Street through the Upper East Side until turning left onto York Avenue and then right again onto 80th Street before arriving to its terminus at 80th Street. The bus then turns right on East End Avenue and then right onto 79th Street to start its westbound route.[1][3][4]

The westbound bus then continues on 79th Street to Fifth Avenue. After this, the bus keeps straight and merges onto the 79th Street Transverse. It then leaves the Transverse on the intersection of Central Park West and 81st Street and continues along 81st Street to Columbus Avenue and then turns left onto it and then turns right onto 79th Street two blocks later. It continues along 79th Street to its westbound terminus at Riverside Drive.[1][3][4]

Unlike other SBS routes and most bus rapid transit lines, the M79 SBS does not have long bus lanes, but rather employs short queue jump lanes, which give buses priority at intersections.[5]

Street traveled
Direction Connections
Riverside Drive
West 79th Street
Westbound terminus, Eastbound station

NYC Bus: M5

West 79th Street

NYC Bus: M104
NYC Subway: "1" train"2" train trains at 79th Street

West 79th Street
Amsterdam Avenue

NYC Bus: M7, M11 (all buses northbound only)

Amsterdam Avenue
West 79th Street
Columbus Avenue
West 81st Street

NYC Bus: M7, M11 (all buses southbound only)

West 80th Street
Columbus Avenue
Central Park West
West 81st Street

NYC Bus: M10
NYC Subway: "A" train"B" train"C" train trains at 81st Street–Museum of Natural History

Belvedere Castle
79th Street Transverse Road
Note: riders boarding at the Central Park Transverse stop will need to obtain their proof of fare payment receipt at the next stop (Central Park West or Fifth Ave depending on direction of travel).
Fifth Avenue
East 79th Street

NYC Bus: M1, M2, M3, M4 (all buses southbound only)

Madison Avenue
East 79th Street

NYC Bus: M1, M2, M3, M4 (all buses northbound only)

Lexington Avenue
East 79th Street

NYC Bus: M98, M101, M102, M103 (all buses southbound only)
NYC Subway: "4" train"6" train"6" express train trains at 77th Street

Third Avenue
East 79th Street

NYC Bus: M98, M101, M102, M103 (all buses northbound only)

Second Avenue
East 79th Street

NYC Bus: M15 Local, M15 SBS (all buses southbound only)

First Avenue
East 79th Street

NYC Bus: M15 Local, M15 SBS (all buses northbound only)

East 79th Street
York Avenue

NYC Bus: M31

York Avenue
East 79th Street
East End Avenue
East 80th Street
Eastbound Terminus
East End Avenue
East 79th Street
Westbound Station

History [edit]

A Yorkville–East End Avenue-bound M79 SBS bus (signed as bound for the West Side)  79th Street and 5th Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan.

Early history[edit]

On November 30, 1921, the New York City Department of Plants and Structures began operating the 79th Street Crosstown M17 bus route. From 1933 to 1936 the bus line was operated by Green Bus Lines.[6] On June 22, 1936, the New York City Omnibus Corporation took over operation of the route.

On September 27, 1987, the M17 was renumbered the M79, and some minor changes were made at the route's western terminal to eliminate having the route turn around on residential streets. The route's terminal was moved from West End Avenue and 81st Street to 79th Street and Riverside Drive. Westbound buses would continue west on 79th Street past Broadway to Riverside Drive to the terminal and then loop around the traffic circle to return in eastbound service. Previously, buses had a terminal loop of Broadway, 81st Street, West End Avenue, and 79th Street.[7]

Select Bus Service[edit]

The M79 was identified as a potential bus rapid transit corridor in 2009, under Phase II of the city's Select Bus Service program,[8] and in a December 2013 study by the Pratt Center for Community Development of Brooklyn.[9][10]

To accommodate the Select Bus Service conversion, 79th Street was to be renovated with plants and trees, and new benches.[11]

The M79 SBS route debuted on May 21, 2017.[12] The M79 SBS is based at the Michael J. Quill Depot.

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b c MTA Regional Bus Operations. "M79 bus schedule" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Subway and bus ridership for 2023". mta.info. April 29, 2024. Retrieved May 2, 2024.
  3. ^ a b "Manhattan Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 2019. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "MTA Bus Time: M79-SBS Yorkville - West Side". mta.info. MTA Bus Time. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  5. ^ "M86 and M79 Select Bus Service Manhattan Community Board 8 | October 5, 2016". Scribd. New York City Department of Transportation. October 5, 2016. Archived from the original on May 30, 2020. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  6. ^ "United Bus System Ready Tomorrow; Opening of 3 New Crosstown Routes to Complete Network of 16 in Manhattan". The New York Times. June 21, 1936. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on April 27, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  7. ^ "We're Changing! M17 Bus Service". Flickr.com. New York City Transit Authority. 1987. Retrieved February 18, 2024.
  8. ^ "79th Street Select Bus Service". nyc.gov. Archived from the original on June 13, 2021. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  9. ^ "Select Bus Service" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation, MTA New York City Transit Authority. November 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  10. ^ "Introduction to BUS RAPID TRANSIT PHASE II" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 4, 2016.
  11. ^ "Transit & Bus Committee Meeting April 2015" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. April 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 19, 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  12. ^ "Select Bus Service Coming to 'City's Slowest' M79 Bus Next Year: Officials". DNAinfo New York. Archived from the original on October 11, 2016. Retrieved June 18, 2021.

External links[edit]