Heart of Brooklyn, NY—As many Manhattan residents face the disheartening challenge of scaling back everyday costs, it’s more welcoming than hot cocoa and an electric blanket in winter to hear the word “free.”

With this in mind, Heart of Brooklyn, an organization promoting visits to the borough’s leading cultural institutions, is introducing a free shuttle this month called The HOB Connection, a weekend hop-on, hop-off service with no strings attached. Pick-ups commence at the Metropolitan Museum and Bryant Park, with stops at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park, and Prospect Park Zoo.

Although the HOB Connection fleet comprises one “regular” bus, the organization is working to acquire a hybrid vehicle by fall 2009. The 32-seat shuttle offers more than a free ride: a tour guide will give an abridged narrative of the history of Brooklyn, and coupon books will soon be available for use at local attractions and restaurants. Happy cultural hobnobbing.

Photo: Courtesy of Heart of Brooklyn

How to get there: Visit heartofbrooklyn.org/connection for a complete shuttle schedule and hours of operation.

(Heart of Brooklyn, 789 Washington Ave., Brooklyn, 718.638.7700, heartofbrooklyn.org)