The Ride NYC

79 USD


3.1/5 Pros

  • Interesting concept
  • Overall entertaining
  • City Passes accepted Cons

  • Too expansive
  • Actors partially hidden behind cars etc.
  • Too many reflections at nighttime
  • NOT a sightseeing tour

The Ride NYC is a very fancy combination of exploring New York City – at least regarding their marketing. They combine a tour through the city with entertainment and stops presenting local and global artists. I was just too curious about it – and as the trip was included in my Go City Unlimited Pass, I just had to take a ride at late March 2024. Here is my review.


The Ride NYC – Location & Admission

The Ride NYC departs at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue. There is a Five Guys nearby, which feels to turn into the unofficial toilet before or after going on the bus ride. You can very conveniently reach this point. One of the exits of the subways A, C and E at 42 St – Port Authority Bus Terminal is more or less right at the departure point. Times Sq-42 St (subways, 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, W) is just a short ride away. Times Square attractions like Madame Tussauds New York are in close distance as well. The bus is coming back to the same point after the tour.

There are several time slots throughout the day. I would absolutely advise to book a seat beforehand online. Regardless of the time of the trip, the adult admission (6 years and over) is 79 USD, including tax. I would definitely recommend to go for a front row seat, which is 10 USD more. Another 10 USD turns a front row seat into a flex booking. You also get a shout-out in that case – I could not find what it exactly means, though.


The Ride NYC – The Bus

The Ride is using buses explicitly built for that purpose. In contrast to coaches you have been traveling before, all seats are facing to the left in the direction of travel, in three rows, similar to theater seating. Sitting at the lower row (see above) requires an additional upgrade. Especially if you want to take pictures of the tour, I highly recommend going for that, as there are quite a lot of reflections on the glass, some caused by the screens and flashing lights in the bus. Overall, the seats are comfortable, but the seat pitch is rather narrow so that it might be bothering if you are tall or oversized in any other way. The driver’s area is divided from the passenger area by a curtain, so that you cannot look into the direction of travel, even if you turn your head.

At both ends of the passenger area, there are tour hosts. They lead how through the drive or the show – depending how you want to call it. There is no toilet on the bus. No food or drinks other than bottled water are accepted.


The Ride NYC – The Tour

The Ride NYC is given to last approximately 75 minutes. Our tour was in the range of that. However, you have to state that after 15 minutes, our bus just more or less went around the corner and stopped for introduction, some valuable information and more or less entertaining jokes. I opted for 19:30 evening trip, which I don’t recommend to do. The reflections are even more disturbing when the bus is illuminated in the inside and it is rather dark outside. The Ride NYC does not work at all as a sightseeing tour. It is rather a show in a rolling environment. Here and there, the bus is stopping and people, which initially feel to be random people on the street, turn out to be show acts. The concept is really cool, even though I question myself whether the locals enjoy that a black bus is blocking one lane of their streets for the sake of tourist entertainment.

Another reason why The Ride NYC does not work well as a sightseeing tour is the area it is covering. The Northernmost point we reached was the Southern end of Central Park. In the South, we might have made it to 35th Street something. However, what finally the trip is about are the show acts. The by far most entertaining one was a impro rapper who was running along with the bus, making jokes about randomly passing by people close to Times Square. I also liked a performance at Bryant Park, by a lady who initially looked like a street cleaner.


Viewing Issues in Some Cases

Another interesting act was a dancing and artistic act by a person dressed up as a UPS driver. However, this performance was also limited as there was a truck right where the actor is doing his performance. Instead of moving more to the back, where people could have seen him, the view on him was majorly blocked by the car. By the way, the actors do have microphones which transmit into the buses – this worked surprisingly well. The final act was a saxophonist and a singer. I liked the instrumental play, but when they performed a Whitney Houston song, they were simply poor. Maybe I am too balanced after having seen Zoe Birkett recently in the Bodyguard musical.


The Ride – My View

I was not overwhelmingly fond of The Ride NYC. The concept is funny, but the trip just does not reach its potential. Some acts were at most average. The hosts pushed a bit too much. You do get five show acts with a performance of some three minutes each, but the price is simply too high. My idea of that this will be a good nighttime entertainment was unfortunately beaten by limitations like the strong reflections. Bad luck, as there indeed was some good information and some good entertainment.


Travel Postings – New York

Here are all my Travel postings related to New York (city):


Sightseeing Tours

Boat, bus, walks or other ways – here are my postings about guided sightseeing tours:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *