Ellias took the bus while the driver was on a break before witnesses called police to say they saw a young man driving the vehicle. The MTA then used bus-tracking technology to locate the bus parked two blocks from Ellias' home. Authorities arrested Ellias around 2 a.m.
The friend who was with him recorded the crime and posted it on Facebook.
Ellias reportedly told police that he wants to be a bus driver and "was going to return the bus when I was done."
"I'm not surprised he did this," said Santiago Rivera, Ellias' foster father. "He tried stealing a bus before, but the police caught him just in time. He's obsessed with buses. He doesn't learn."
Cory Pearson, a friend of Ellias, described him as a happy but "troubled kid" and noted that Elias has mental health issues.
Ellias has been charged with grand larceny and is being held on $10,000 bail.