Washington Heights Transportation Guide
Even though it’s uptown location might indicate otherwise, there are plenty of transportation options available in Washington Heights. The neighborhood is served extensively by the NYC Subway and the Regional MTA. There are plenty of subway and bus stops around to keep those in upper Manhattan connected to the rest of the city at all times. Read our guide below for the most complete and up to date Washington Heights transportation guide.
Highways and Bridges
photo by by Jim.henderson_flickr
The main highway that serves Washington Heights is the Trans-Manhattan Expressway. It is part of Interstate 95 and stretches for one mile across the eastern end of the neighborhood. The Expressway encompasses the George Washington Bridge and the Alexander Hamilton Bridge from beginning to end. It’s used by more than 250,000 vehicles on a daily basis since it connects New Jersey and the Bronx to the island of Manhattan.
The route begins on the other end of the Hudson River by the Henry Hudson Parkway and US 9 north at West 178th St. It then continues on to West 181st St. before venturing into Harlem River Drive and onto FDR Drive/Amsterdam Ave. The last portion of the expressway cuts through Washington Heights with an exit on H.R. Drive to the Cross Bronx Expressway and across the Alexander Hamilton Bridge.
M2: This route starts at the East Village and ends by 168th St. in Washington Heights. The bus then travels along Central Park West and to Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. After turning right on West 155th St. by following 7th Avenue, the route proceeds to make a series of turns that lead to Edgecombe Avenue. The M2 ends its journey at the intersection between Audubon Avenue and West 168th St.
photo by David Shankbone_Flickr
M3: This route is similar to the one carried out by the M2. However, it travels along Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard from West 110th St. to Manhattan Ave. The bus then proceeds onto Manhattan Avenue before ending its journey in the Fort George area by St. Nicholas Avenue and West 193rd St.
M4: The route for the M4 begins at the Penn Station in Midtown and ends right by The Cloisters Museum in the Fort Tryon Park area. The bus takes 32nd St. and heads eastward before making a turn to 34th St. It then travels westward by following Madison Ave. and Fifth Ave. After reaching Broadway, the M4 makes a left turn onto West 165th St. and then a right turn that leads to Fort Washington Ave. The route concludes by the gate to Fort Tryon Park. However, when The Cloisters opens, the bus makes an additional stop by the museum’s entrance on Margaret Corbin Drive.
M5: The route for this line begins by the South Ferry in Washington Heights and heads north along Church St. and Sixth Ave. The southbound route starts in Midtown by Fifth Avenue. The bus travels along St. Marks Place and then makes a turn on Broadway. It then heads north from Broadway to Columbus Circle and eventually reaches the southern end of Riverside Drive. This route concludes at the George Washington Bridge Bus Station.
M98: This route begins at 68th St. on the Upper East Side. The bus starts to head north by following Third Ave. It then changes gears and heads to the Harlem River Drive by making a turn at East 127th St. The M98 continues its route along the I-95 and takes the Amsterdam Ave. exit. From that point on, the bus heads east by traveling through West 178th St. The route concludes by West 192nd St which is in the Fort Tryon Park area.
M100: This route starts at West 220th St. and Broadway in the neighborhood of Inwood. It then travels along 10th Ave. and Dyckman St. before running along Broadway. The M100 ends its journey at East 125th St. and 1st Ave. in East Harlem. It does so by continuing to travel along Amsterdam Ave. and then making a turn eastwards onto 125th St.
M101: This bus starts its route along 6th St. (close to Cooper Square) in the East Village. It then heads northward by taking Third Avenue from Astor Place all the way to East 125th St. The bus then travels across 125th St. to reach Amsterdam Ave. The M101 continues its journey along Fort George Avenue. The southbound route uses Lexington Ave. and Saint Nicholas Avenue instead before turning east onto West 190th St. as it make its way back down to the East Village.
Bx3: This route starts off at the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal by Broadway. It then heads to West 181st St and makes a turn on University Avenue. The route continues to trek along Sedgwick Avenue before reaching its destination at West 238th St. and Broadway in the area of Riverdale.
Bx6: This route begins at Riverside Dr. West and West 158th St. in Washington Heights. It then proceeds to use 155th St. and 161st St. before turning onto 163rd St. The bus ends its journey at the Hunts Point Cooperative Market by Hunts Point Avenue.
Bx7: This bus starts its route at Saint Nicholas Ave. and West 167th St. It then travels along Broadway and makes a turn onto Riverdale Avenue to arrive to its destination. The Bx7 line ends at Riverdale Ave. and West 263rd St. in Riverdale.
Bx11: This route also begins in Washington Heights. The bus takes off at the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal by West 178th St. It then continues its journey along 170th St. before making a turn for Claremont Parkway. The route ends at West Farms Road and Southern Boulevard (by Simpson Street) in the Longwood area.
Bx13: The route begins at the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal. It then leaves the area of Washington Heights behind by following along West 181st St. The bus continues onto Ogden Ave. before turning east to 149th St. along River Ave. Or, in its alternate route during the morning rush hours, the Bx13 heads towards the Melrose area by taking East 161st St.
Bx35: The route begins at the George Washington Bridge Bus Station in Washington Heights. The bus then proceeds to take the Edward L. Grant Highway before exiting towards East 167th St. In order to reach its destination in Longwood, the Bx35 takes East 168th St. and East 169th St. before arriving at West Farms Road and Southern Boulevard.
Bx36: This route offers local service and begins at the George Washington Bridge Bus Station at West 178th St. The bus travels along Tremont Avenue and onto East 180th St. It then reaches White Plains Road by using East 174th St. The route ends in the Castle Hill neighborhood by Olmsted Ave. and Randall Ave.
The primary subway service in Washington Heights consists of the IND Eighth Avenue Line and the IRT Broadway and Seventh Avenue Line. A and C trains make stops at the 155th St, 163rd St, and 168th St. stations along the Eight Avenue Line. The A train also makes stops at the 175th St, 181st St, and 190th St. stations. On the Broadway and Seventh Avenue Line, the 1 train uses the 157th St, 168th St, 181st St, and 191st St. stations.
When you walk through the entrance for the 1 train at 191st Street you’ll find some amazing Washington Heights Street art!
The entrance at the 190th St. station is of special significance because of its unique style. In fact, it is the only station in the entire city to display Gothic features in its design. This was done in part due to it’s close location to Fort Tryon Park and The Cloisters Museum on Margaret Corbin Circle. The station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005 for its architectural importance. It also counts with the distinction of being one of the deepest entrances in the New York City Subway system when compared to ground level. This is because of the naturally happening hilly terrain that is so characteristic of the Washington Heights area.
photo by BeyondMyKen_Flickr
For more details on Washington Heights transportation, and all of NYC, check out http://www.mta.info.
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Edgar is a a film fanatic, a food lover, and an Upper West Side enthusiast. After working in PR and marketing in Chicago, he is pursuing his dream of becoming a writer. He loves photography and on his spare time you can find him hiking or biking the great outdoors (while also snapping some pretty awesome Instagram pics!).