Select Bus Service Coming to Staten Island

This means faster and more reliable bus service for commuters between the Staten Island Mall and Bay Ridge, Brooklyn -; the closest subway access which thousands of Staten Islanders rely upon every day. This new route, which launches on Sunday, September 2, marks the fourth Select Bus Service line following its establishment on Fordham Road in the Bronx in 2008; on First and Second Avenues in Manhattan in 2010; and on 34 th Street in Manhattan last November. These services have each reduced bus travel times by approximately 20 percent and increased ridership by about 10 percent.

Staten Island SBS image

The new service on the S79 streamlines the number of stops from 80 to just 22 along the 16-mile route, which runs from the Staten Island Mall on Richmond Avenue and crosses the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to 86 th Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Other major stops include the Eltingville Transit Center and Staten Island Railway station and New Dorp Lane and Clove Road on Hylan Boulevard. About 4,000 of the S79's current passengers travel to or from the route's two endpoints alone, and local service to bypassed stops will be retained on the S59 and S78 lines. The service will also provide free transfers to commuters using the R train in Bay Ridge.

Unlike other Select Bus Routes corridors, the S79 Select Bus Service line will not employ off-board fare collection, as boarding times were determined not to be a primary cause for bus delays. Local and express bus routes along Hylan Boulevard served 32,000 riders last year, amounting to one quarter of the borough's 123,000 bus riders. This new service is expected to reduce travel times along the S79 route by more than 18 percent -; from about 80 minutes to 65 minutes -; and up to a 16 percent decrease -; 13 minutes -; in travel times for other buses along the S79 line. Additional bus routes along the corridor will also benefit from the dedicated bus lanes and improved signal timing implemented for this project.

New left-turn lanes have also been added to the route, as have five new pedestrian refuge islands, seven new bus shelters, as well as improved concrete bus areas to prevent wear on street pavement and sidewalks to make getting to and from the bus stop safer and more convenient. Four miles of red bus lanes were painted and over a mile of the Hylan Boulevard has been resurfaced from curb to curb, benefiting bus passengers and drivers alike.

All express and local bus lines may use the new dedicated lanes, speeding up service for thousands of additional bus riders in Staten Island. Private vehicles may enter the lane only to make right turns or to quickly pick up and drop off passengers, with the goal of reducing lane-changing that currently slows traffic along Hylan Boulevard. Emergency vehicles, school buses and sanitation vehicles also are permitted to use the bus lanes. Except for a few short portions of the route that will remain restricted to buses at all times, all vehicles can use the bus lanes during non-weekday rush hour times.

In 2007, the Department of Transportation installed Traffic Signal Priority on Staten Island's Victory Boulevard, which extends green lights or shortens red lights for approaching buses. Next spring, Transit Signal Priority will also be installed along the S79 line, ensuring buses stop at fewer traffic lights and further enhancing bus service in the borough.

For more information on SBS on the S79, click here.