MTA Regional Bus Operations
MTA Regional Bus logo.svg
ParentMetropolitan Transportation Authority
FoundedMay 7, 2008[1]
Headquarters2 Broadway, New York, NY 10004-2207
LocaleNew York metropolitan area
Service areaNew York City
Service typeLocal, limited-stop, bus rapid transit, and express bus service
  • 325 total:
    • 234 local routes
    • 71 express routes
    • 20 SBS routes
Daily ridership5.02 million (2016)
Fuel type
Chief executiveAndy Byford

MTA Regional Bus Operations (RBO) is the surface transit division of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). It was created in 2008 to consolidate all bus operations in New York City operated by the MTA. As of February 2018, MTA Regional Bus Operations runs 234 local routes, 71 express routes, and 20 Select Bus Service routes. Its fleet of 5,725 buses is the largest municipal bus fleet in the United States and operates 24/7.

The division comprises two brands: MTA Bus and MTA New York City Bus. While MTA Bus is an amalgamation of former private companies' routes, MTA New York City Bus is composed of public routes that were taken over by the city before 2005. The MTA also operates paratransit services and formerly operated Long Island Bus. As of 2018, MTA Regional Bus Operations' budgetary burden for expenditures was $773 million.

Brands and service area

Regional Bus Operations is currently only used in official documentation, and not publicly as a brand. The current public brands are listed below:

The most common scheme is a straight blue stripe across the sides of the bus against a white base, with no colors on the front or back, and black window trim. From 1977 until late 2007 (and still present on much of the fleet), the livery was a full all-around stripe with a black rear, and until late 2010 (and still present on buses repainted during this time), the scheme was a stripe with a blank rear. Buses operated in Select Bus Service bus rapid transit service are wrapped with a light blue-and-white wrap below the windows. In spring 2016, a new livery was introduced based on navy blue, light blue, and yellow, with a mostly blue front and sides, a light blue and yellow wave, and a yellow back. This new livery will gradually replace the blue stripe on a white base livery.

Currently, many RBO's operational changes have been at the management level, with the creation of a unified command center and consolidation of management for all bus operations, with the aim of reducing redundancies in the agency. Other changes have included eliminating the MTA Bus call center, folding it into that of MTA New York City Transit, and the unification of the fare policy for all of the MTA's services.


The history of the MTA's bus operations generally follows the history of the New York City Transit Authority, also known as MTA New York City Transit (NYCT), which was created on June 15, 1953 by the State of New York to take over operations then operated by the New York City Board of Transportation.[3]:133[4]:302[5] In 1962 the State established the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MaBSTOA) as a subsidiary of NYCT to take over operations then operated by two private companies, Fifth Avenue Coach Lines, Inc. and Surface Transit, Inc.[3]:133[4]:268[5] Both NYCT and MaBSTOA operate service pursuant to a lease agreement with the City of New York.[4]:81[3]:133

MTA New York City Bus

An early livery for the NYC Transit Authority

City involvement with surface transit in the city began in September 1919, when Mayor John Francis Hylan, through the New York City Department of Plant and Structures (DP&S), organized private entrepreneurs to operate "emergency" buses to replace four abandoned storage battery streetcar lines: the Madison Street Line, Spring and Delancey Streets Line, Avenue C Line, and Sixth Avenue Ferry Line.[6] Many routes were soon added, replacing lines such as the Brooklyn and North River Line (trolleys)[7] and Queens Bus Lines (buses),[8] and the DP&S also began operating trolleys in Staten Island to replace the Staten Island Midland Railway's system.[9][10]

Another city acquisition was the Bridge Operating Company, which ran the Williamsburg Bridge Local trolley, acquired in 1921 by the DP&S.[11] Unlike the other lines,[citation needed] this one remained city-operated, and was replaced by the B39 bus route on December 5, 1948, by then transferred to the New York City Board of Transportation.[12]

With the city takeover of the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation's surface subsidiary, the Brooklyn and Queens Transit Corporation, on June 2, 1940,[13] the city gained a large network of trolley and bus lines, covering all of Brooklyn and portions of Queens.[14] On February 23, 1947, the Board of Transportation took over the Staten Island bus network of the Isle Transportation Company.[15] Further acquisitions were made on March 30, 1947, with the North Shore Bus Company in Queens,[16] and September 24, 1948, with the East Side Omnibus Corporation and Comprehensive Omnibus Corporation in Manhattan.[17] The final Brooklyn trolleys were the Church Avenue Line and McDonald Avenue Line, discontinued on October 31, 1956,[18] though the privately operated (by the Queensboro Bridge Railway) Queensboro Bridge Local remained until 1957.[19][20][21]

The early 1970s livery, using a blue base. This bus