What’s grey, white and black, weighs approximately 14,000 pounds and moves close to 800,000 people a year from place to place? No, it’s not a Continental CommutAir Beechcraft 1900 regional airplane or 7 African elephants. Haven’t figured it out yet? OK, here are some more local hints: it arrives every ten minutes. It is there in inclement weather. It gets you to the best shopping and eating in Lower Manhattan. And it will connect you with any downtown MTA train or bus connections.
Still don’t know?
It’s the Downtown Connection Free Shuttle Bus Service…oh, and for those that do not know about this service please take note of that four letter word “free” in the above sentence.
Having started at the Downtown Alliance in the transportation division in 2004, I was never aware of what Downtown was all about until I rode on the Connection bus. As director of the bus service, my focus was providing a great service, content drivers and most importantly, happy passengers. Little did I know that good eats, shopping and mass transit were around every corner and at every stop along the 5.5 mile route the Connection travels every day of the year (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day).
For close to five years, the Downtown Connection has been transporting Lower Manhattan’s business, resident and tourist populations to a variety of destinations…and I think I already mentioned that it’s free. Taking you to eateries like Harry’s Café off Water Street, or Inatesso PizzaBar Casano at the edge of Battery Park City off West Street; there are close to 100 mouth-watering places to eat along the bus route. With the addition of the service’s new loop, there are additional stops like Whole Foods Market, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Borders.
By year’s end we’re likely to serve our 4 millionth passenger, yet many folks in Lower Manhattan don’t even know this service exists. The best way to get information about this free service is to go here and check it out. I mean, it’s nice that you eat your lunch in the deli inside your building. Or you work by South Street Seaport and you think you’re in the heart of all things “eat, drink and shop.” But that’s not true. It may also never cross your mind to shop during your lunch hour at that “halfway around the continent” location called Warren Street. Be adventurous! Get out of your offices and explore what Lower Manhattan has to offer.
If you can travel more than the three or four blocks it usually takes you to get to work, more often than not, you’ll see our signature “NN” sign at one of our many bus stop locations. Don’t be afraid…get on the bus! Explore! Eat! Shop! Remember, all work and no play…well you know the rest.
Did I mention that it’s FREE?!