Passengers on local buses will be riding for free, as part of the MTA’s effort to safeguard riders and bus drivers from the outbreak of coronavirus.
Starting Monday, bus riders on local and Select Bus Service routes must enter and exit through rear doors.
Officially, the $2.75 fare is in effect. But practically, riders will be unable to dip their MetroCards or toss in their coins into the farebox next to the driver.
Riders on Select Bus Service routes, however, still must pay at curbside fareboxes that give riders a receipt that gets checked periodically.
"Rear-door boarding will help ensure a safe social distance," Sarah Feinberg, interim NYC Transit president overseeing subways and buses, said in a statement. "The safety of our employees and customers is priority one."
The new policy was hashed out between the MTA and the two unions representing bus drivers across the city.
Riders who are disabled or use wheelchairs can still board at the front of buses as normal.
Express bus riders will also board as normal, but the first three rows will be off limits, to protect drivers.
"This is the right move," said Tony Utano, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100. "It will better protect our bus operators, give them some peace of mind, and demonstrate that their concerns have been heard."