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MTA Press Releases

Press Release
July 25, 2018
IMMEDIATE
MTA Advances Initiative to Bring Bus Rapid Transit System to North Shore of Staten Island

BRT to Provide Faster Travel Between St. George Ferry Terminal and West Shore Plaza for More Than 12,000 Residents 

24-Month Study to Generate Final Environmental Impact Statement on Project

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board voted today to move forward with the development of a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system to provide faster travel along Staten Island’s North Shore to and from the St. George Ferry Terminal for more than 12,000 people.

“We are committed to ensuring all Staten Islanders see immediate improvements to their transit service that is commensurate with the growth and population changes the borough has experienced over the past decade,” said NYC Transit President Andy Byford.

“Next month we are making the first sweeping change on Staten Island by completely redesigning the express bus network, and we’re wasting no time in ensuring the North Shore BRT receives the same level of commitment,” said Darryl Irick, President of MTA Bus Company and Senior Vice President of NYC Transit Department of Buses.  “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the community to bringing this project to fruition.”

A BRT system was chosen among various alternatives after extensive community outreach and analysis by planners and experts.  An environmental study will now be prepared for the BRT system, which will serve as a crucial transit option in an area that has previously lacked efficient alternatives. This project is progressing alongside the complete redesign of Staten Island’s express bus network, which is launching on Aug. 19.  All of these improvements are part of the NYC Transit Bus Plan, which is a major pillar of the Fast Forward Plan to modernize all aspects of NYC Transit.

The MTA Board voted today to approve a $4.8 million contract for VHB/STV North Shore Joint Venture to first provide an update to the Staten Island North Shore Alternatives Analysis, and then draft the engineering documentation required for the environmental study. Because new development adjacent to the St. George Ferry Terminal precludes the original design for a bus terminal and bus turnaround, both must be relocated. VHB/STV will examine creative new engineering solutions to implement the turnaround. This phase of the project is expected to take 24 months to complete and will begin later this year.

ABOUT THE NORTH SHORE BUS RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM

The BRT came out of the Staten Island North Shore Alternatives Analysis, which was sponsored by MTA New York City Transit and funded by the Staten Island Borough President’s Office. The study examined public transit alternatives for Staten Island's North Shore. NYC Transit, working closely with the public, selected the North Shore BRT system after an extensive analysis of the possible environmental impacts, engineering feasibility, ridership potential and costs of the alternatives, which included light rail, heavy rail and water taxi service. The BRT, along with being the most cost-effective option, allows buses already serving the North Shore neighborhoods to move quickly from the area to the St. George Ferry Terminal. This BRT system is projected to serve over 12,000 customers a day during the morning rush hour.  The system would take advantage of Select Bus Service features such as off-board fare collection and all door boarding, with the added advantage of its own exclusive right-of-way.

As part of its commitment to community engagement, NYC Transit hosted three open houses for the Alternatives Analysis, inviting local community members, elected officials, Community Board representatives and advocates to participate in a dialogue with the project team. 

Borough President Oddo said: "We all know we need to find a way to help Staten Islanders move across our borough more efficiently, and this long awaited project offers hope. We need to do all we can, as diligently as we can, to transform that ‘hope’ into practical, implementable actions that improve the commute and lives of Staten Islanders." 

U.S. Representative Daniel M. Donovan, Jr. said: “This is a great step forward for a project I’ve long supported. I’m continuing to work in Washington to secure federal funds, and it’s great to see the EIS moving forward as those efforts advance.”

Senator Andrew Lanza said: "The North Shore BRT is a common sense approach to the transportation needs of more than 12,000 daily Staten Island commuters along that corridor. I look forward to working with the MTA to ensure an expeditious update to the Alternative Analysis and to see this vital project advance into the next stage of planning. Let's make the North Shore BRT vision a reality."

Senator Diane Savino said: "For many Staten Islanders public transportation can be a struggle to find. The North Shore BRT will be a welcome addition to help those on the island get around more efficiently. I look forward to seeing its completion and continuing to find better transportation options ideas like this to improve our infrastructure in New York."

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said: "Our transportation system has not kept pace with population growth and economic development over the last few decades. Today's announcement brings us one step closer to bringing bus rapid transit to the North Shore, which is vital to ease traffic congestion and get commuters out of their cars and onto public transportation."

Assemblyman Ron Castorina said: “Any increase in transit options for Staten Islanders is a “win” in my view.  Thanks to Borough President Oddo’s insight and funding, the development of the BRT system is underway.  This crucial transit option will benefit all Staten Islanders and help in reducing commuter time throughout our borough. I am confident that the MTA will adhere to a strict time table for this project, so that we can appreciate this benefit sooner than later.”

City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo said: "For a borough that has so few public transportation options and is increasingly congested with vehicular traffic, the fact that the North Shore Bus Rapid Transit plan is moving forward is good news. This project would not only directly provide better service for residents of the North Shore, it could provide a vital transportation link to the booming West Shore business district, and would have a positive effect on commuters in the Mid-Island and South Shore by improving the overall speed and efficiency of Staten Island's public transit system."

Councilmember Debi Rose said: “The western part of my district is a transportation desert that separates residents from the economic opportunities this region has to offer. By moving forward with a rapid transit system, we take the necessary first, concrete step toward an efficient transportation link across the North Shore. As I have said time and time again, a rapid transit connection along the North Shore is a necessity here, not an amenity, and I will continue to work for additional funding to make this project a reality."