MTA Press Releases

Press Release
July 16, 2007
MTA NYC Transit Adds Bus Service from Staten Island to Hudson Bergen Light Rail, Advances MTA Commitment to Seamless Regional Transportation

Groundbreaking Partnership with NJ TRANSIT Anticipated to Allow Joint Ticketing; Port Authority to Contribute Vital Funding for Buses.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority today announced that MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) will initiate a new bus service from Staten Island to the Hudson Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) in Bayonne, New Jersey beginning in the fall. The new limited stop route will allow Staten Island residents to quickly reach the growing job market in Bayonne, Jersey City and Hoboken, as well as connect to the PATH train to Manhattan. Hudson County residents will also now have access to jobs in Staten Island.

The MTA and NJ TRANSIT are working toward a groundbreaking agreement that would allow riders of the service to buy a joint monthly ticket for service on both the MTA NYC Transit bus route and the HBLR. The Port Authority will provide a one-time contribution of $2 million to help buy buses that will be used on the service. The agency's commitment will improve traffic flow over the Bayonne Bridge and on state and local roads in the region.

The new route, the S89 Limited, will run 12.5 miles from Hylan Boulevard-Richmond Avenue in Eltingville to the 34th Street HBLR Station in Bayonne, traveling via Richmond Avenue and the Bayonne Bridge. The service will operate on weekdays during the morning and evening peak periods, from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Buses will depart every 15 minutes in the peak direction (toward Bayonne in the morning) and every 30 minutes in the reverse peak direction (to Staten Island in the morning).

The 1,200 expected daily riders on the new route will pay a local fare ($2 base) and will enjoy a free MetroCard transfer to connecting Staten Island local bus routes. Nine buses will be required to operate the service, at an annual operating cost of approximately $1.4 million. The service will be operated with standard MTA buses that normally provide local service.

Quote Sheet

MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot G. Sander: "Improved service to job markets in New Jersey is a top priority for Staten Island residents, and I am thrilled to announce that will be providing this service beginning in the fall. This initiative also advances the MTA's commitment to breaking down boundaries and providing our customers with a seamless regional transportation experience. We are grateful to NJ TRANSIT and the Port Authority for their partnership on this important initiative, and to our Board of Directors for their support on this issue, especially Frank Powers."

MTA NYC Transit President Howard H. Roberts, Jr.: "Helping to connect Staten Island to the New Jersey cities of Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken and beyond taps the potential of a huge new market for NYCT and NJ TRANSIT. This is exciting business."

Port Authority of NY/NJ Executive Director Anthony Shorris: "Our transportation picture is changing, as residents are finding a need for a more diverse matrix of connections across an increasingly interdependent region. That's why the Port Authority is investing human and financial resources -- including a contribution of $2 million -- to help launch this new bus route. It's no secret that Staten Islanders and residents of Bayonne face a challenging commute, and we hope this new initiative will make a real difference in their quality of life for years to come."

New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri: "This initiative is an excellent example of regional cooperation for the benefit of New York and New Jersey residents."

NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Richard Sarles: "This service will benefit the region by improving access to the growing job market along the Hudson waterfront and by giving Hudson County residents a new commuting option for reaching Staten Island," said. "We look forward to welcoming Staten Island residents to the light rail system."

Senator Charles E. Schumer: "This long sought MTA bus route will provide a quicker, less stress-inducing way for Staten Island's beleaguered commuters to get to and from work. We must have new services like this to keep pace with Staten Island's growth and to ease traffic and improve air quality. Governor Spitzer and MTA Executive Director and CEO Sander deserve credit for recognizing and responding to the need for more and better transit options for Staten Island."

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton: "I am very pleased that the MTA has officially agreed to begin this new bus service that will link Staten Island to New Jersey's light-rail system. Staten Islanders live in one of the most congested areas in the country and have the one of the longest commutes in the nation, so anything we can do to help is a positive step. I have been working with local community officials and the MTA to encourage the establishment of this service. This is a great victory for Staten Island and I am very pleased that the efforts of the community to get this bus route in place have paid off. This is definitely a step forward in relieving congestion, frustration and pollution for the community."

Representative Vito Fossella: "I have long supported establishment of this service as a way to improve the daily commute for thousands of Staten Islanders who work in Manhattan, Hoboken or Jersey City. This is great news because it will provide a new mass transit option for residents and make the daily commute more convenient. Indeed, for many commuters, a quick ride on the light rail and then a transfer to the PATH trains will whisk them to Manhattan for a comfortable trip to work or back home. I want to thank Lee Sander, Howard Roberts and Frank Powers for their commitment to this project and for bringing it to fruition."

Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro: "This concept was first put forth by my Office in 1998. It took nine years to become a reality and the reason it has finally seen success is due to the help of two individuals, Senator Schumer and MTA CEO Lee Sander. With their commitment, Staten Island will now benefit from true regional connectivity. I want to thank them for making this bus line a reality."

State Senator Andrew J. Lanza: "This new route represents a step in the right direction in providing the people of Staten Island with the public transportation they need and deserve."

Assembly Member Janele Hyer-Spencer: "I applaud the MTA for adding much needed reliable bus service between Staten Island and Bayonne. This service will not only provide a faster alternative for many Island commuters but also foster closer economic ties between Staten Island and our neighboring city, Bayonne. This is a great day for commuters and local businesses."

Assembly Member Louis Tobacco: "This new bus route is a long-needed improvement to Staten Island's public transportation system that will be well used. I am encouraged by the MTA for listening to concerns raised by Staten Island residents and elected officials and responding with a plan that will work."

Council Member James S. Oddo: "There are many public and civic officials who deserve praise for the tireless efforts to make this service a reality, but one individual in particular -- Lee Sander -- should be commended for being a man of his word in seeing this change reach fruition. Hopefully, this is a harbinger of better days to come between the MTA and Staten Island."

Council Member Michael McMahon: "I feel gratified that the MTA has heeded the call of the local officials after all this time. A bus from Staten Island across the Bayonne Bridge will provide a vital public transportation link for Islanders working in New Jersey as well as an accelerated route for those working in lower Manhattan. I would like to especially thank Governor Spitzer and Senator Schumer for their advocacy and support."

Council Member Vincent Ignizio: "The link to Bayonne signifies a new age in the development of commuter transportation from Staten Island. This is a welcome change for North Shore and South Shore commuters alike, and will hopefully lead to less congestion overall on the Staten Island Expressway. This is a win-win for commuters to Manhattan as well as Jersey City and Hoboken."

Mayor Joseph V. Doria, Jr., City of Bayonne, New Jersey: "We're happy that public transportation from Staten Island is good and is about to get better. The use of buses will decrease traffic and pollution as fewer people will use their own cars to get to Manhattan through Bayonne. I would like to commend the MTA, NJ TRANSIT, and the Port Authority for their cooperation on this improvement in transportation. I would also like to thank Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro for working closely with the City of Bayonne on our common transportation concerns."

Staten Island Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Linda M. Baran: "I would like to thank MTA CEO Elliot Sander for implementing this new service. Mr. Sander listened to our requests seven months ago and promised to evaluate the feasibility of providing this route. He acted quickly, kept his word, and Staten Island owes him a debt of gratitude. I would also like to thank all the elected officials standing here with me today. This was a real team effort and it shows what can be done when everyone is pulling in the same direction."