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Press Release
August 18, 2018
IMMEDIATE
MTA NYC Transit Set for Aug. 19 Launch of Brand New Staten Island Express Bus Network
President Byford, Senior Transit Leadership to Closely Monitor Launch at Key Locations

MTA New York City Transit is set for the launch for the newly redesigned Staten Island express bus network on Sunday, Aug. 19, with Transit President Andy Byford, senior Transit officials and a significant amount of customer ambassadors at key locations across Staten Island and Manhattan to monitor and help ensure a smooth rollout.

“For years, customers on Staten Island have endured express bus rides that were not at all express, and we heard them loud and clear,” said President Byford. “With their help and the support of Borough President James Oddo and our labor partner, ATU Local 726, we are now able to give those customers what they deserve – faster, shorter routes and more service at all hours of the week. We are extremely grateful to the Borough President and Local 726 for helping us make this redesign possible.”

From the first day of the new service through Labor Day week, NYC Transit will be keeping a close eye on the service region by dispatching a specialized team of senior operations and customer service managers to a Situation Room at the Bus Command Center that will also include representatives from NYPD to ensure a smooth and successful implementation, particularly after Labor Day when traffic and ridership return to fall levels.  The Situation Room will also be in close contact with NYC Department of Transportation and New Jersey Department of Transportation officials.

Customer ambassadors have been out at key locations on Staten Island and in Manhattan since Aug. 6.  Dispatchers will be closely monitoring bus movement via GPS tracking, and bus operators have been instructed to be extra vigilant in reporting any issues such as crowding or traffic congestion, particularly on the express bus routes that use the Lincoln Tunnel and may be affected by NJDOT construction in the area. Customers are encouraged to sign up on https://mymtaalerts.com/ for email or text alerts for updates on possible detours or service advisories, or check @NYCTBus on Twitter and the new MTA website at https://new.mta.info.  Customers may plan trips ahead of time using the MTA’s “Plan a Trip” tool on the new website.

President Byford and Darryl Irick, President of MTA Bus Company and Senior Vice President of NYC Transit’s Department of Buses, will be on site at key locations in Staten Island and Manhattan on Sunday and Monday to monitor the service in person and solicit feedback from customers and personnel. Additional bus dispatchers and customer service ambassadors will staff various express bus stops on Staten Island and Manhattan and answer any questions or take feedback from Sunday until the week after Labor Day, and longer if necessary.

“We’re excited to get on the ground and get our buses on these new routes, because we have worked hard to make sure we get this first bus network redesign done right,” said President Irick. “Now that this moment is here, all of us are committed to its success, and will be all hands on deck for as long as needed.”

The Staten Island express bus network redesign was the result of a three-year study of the 50-year-old network to find ways to improve long and unreliable commutes between the borough and Manhattan. Customers contributed extensively with feedback on the proposed redesign through three workshops in 2015, six open houses in 2017 and 2018, a public hearing in May 2018, and customer surveys conducted on buses, at bus stops and online via the MTA website. In 2016, NYC Transit, TransitCenter, NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation and Borough President Oddo hosted a “Staten Island Bus Hackathon” during which approximately 150 programmers, planners and transit advocates provided input.  Various other partners also collaborated on the redesign throughout the process, including community boards, elected officials, transit advocates, partner agencies such as NYCDOT, bus operators, and ATU Local 726, the bus operators’ union.

NYC Transit is continuing to solicit feedback and make tweaks to the redesigned network, most recently after an August 13 Twitter chat with President Byford and the network planners.  Among the most recent tweaks made in response to public feedback is the addition of extra morning service to the College of Staten Island.  NYC Transit plans to review all customer feedback after the launch and make further tweaks in January 2019 as part of Transit’s routine quarterly service adjustments.

The redesigned network speeds commutes for Staten Island express bus customers by simplifying circuitous routes, updating stop locations and moving routes from known areas of street congestion. Customers will benefit from increased service, both with extended rush hours and additional trips during off-peak hours and weekends, and streamlined commutes that serve the same geographic areas of Staten Island as the current network but with greater efficiency. The vast majority of customers will continue to use the same express bus stop that they currently use. Nearly 36,000 people use Staten Island express buses each weekday.

Customers seeking more information on new routes or the new network can visit the MTA’s microsite at http://mta.info/SIExpressBus, speak to any customer ambassador staffed at bus stops during rush hours throughout Staten and Manhattan, or at specially branded mobile information centers on Staten Island during off-peak hours. Customer ambassadors and the mobile information centers have new maps and route schedules for distribution.  Future dates and locations of the mobile information centers – which will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – are listed below, and any additional dates or locations will be posted online:

 

Eltingville Transit Center:

  • Monday, August 20
  • Wednesday, August 22
  • Tuesday, August 28
  • Thursday, August 30

 

College of Staten Island Campus:

  • Thursday, August 23
  • Monday, August 27

 

Staten Island Mall, on Marsh Avenue at Richmond Hill Road:

  • Tuesday, August 21
  • Wednesday, August 29