We’re Speeding Up Staten Island
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The Staten Island Express Bus Redesign Project

Staten Island deserves the best express bus network possible. That’s why we’re working to create a completely reimagined system – with more logical routes, more predictable schedules and more reliable service for all our riders.

Learn more, and share your feedback, at an Open House meeting near you.

How We Got Here

Staten Islanders depend on express bus service. But right now, it isn’t working nearly as well as it might.

A big reason why is that much of the existing bus network was built piece by piece over the course of several decades, mostly between the 1960s and 1980s. As traffic congestion (particularly in Manhattan) has progressively worsened in the years since then, express bus performance has suffered, with riders frequently complaining of poor reliability and long travel times. 
That’s why we undertook a comprehensive review (See MTA Presentation 5-31-17 Final) of how the existing network could be improved to create a far more efficient system for our riders who commute from Staten Island to Manhattan.
We held three public workshops, met with community leaders and elected officials, partnered with NYU Rudin Center and TransitCenter for a data hackathon, and surveyed (See Final Report May 31, 2017) more than 2,000 express bus riders. And for the first time, technological investments made by the MTA allowed us to more clearly evaluate how people are using the buses today, and to predict how a reimagined system could provide better service for everyone in the near future. 

The result? We now know that redesigning the entire Staten Island express bus network will improve frequency, reliability and travel times. This will improve the travel experience and shorten commute times for nearly all riders – in some cases by as much as 40 minutes a day!


What Changes We're Proposing

Recent research has identified the issues that contribute to slow and unreliable express bus trips, and examined the most effective ways to solve each of these problems. The draft proposal for a redesign of Staten Island express bus routes focuses on four major improvements:

  1. Frequency Through Simplicity
    Simplifying the network in Manhattan will result in fewer routes with more frequent service on all of them. This change alone will reduce average commute times significantly.
  2. Streamlined Manhattan Routing
    Today, 96% of riders use express bus stops in Lower Manhattan or Midtown, with only 4% stopping somewhere in between. Dividing the network into routes that go to either Lower Manhattan or Midtown – rather than attempting to do both – will cut the average route mileage used on congested Manhattan streets in half, leading to faster trips for many riders and improved reliability for all.
  3. Less Frequent Stopping
    The new network will also streamline routes by eliminating underused stops that significantly slow down the trip for everyone. Stops will be selected based on ridership and community input, and most riders will continue to use their existing stop – only now improved by shorter, more direct routes to and from work.
  4. Directness and Speed
    More logical, direct routes will be easier for riders to manage, and will give drivers the flexibility to respond to traffic incidents in real time without impacting commuters.


What This Means For You

Once the comprehensive redesign of the Staten Island express bus network is in place, here’s what you can expect to see:

  • The average end-to-end route running time will be reduced by an estimated 20 minutes.
  • Because reducing route length generally improves performance, all riders will experience the benefits of a more reliable system.
  • Nearly all current riders will have average travel times similar to or faster than their trips today.
  • More than 85% of daily riders who currently have a one-seat ride to their destination will continue to have a one-seat ride – the remaining riders will most likely make a free transfer to the subway in Manhattan to more quickly reach their ultimate destination.
  • Many routes will be more easily rerouted on the fly in response to road incidents and delays.
  • The entire express bus network will be easier to understand.



Let Your Voice Be Heard

The MTA is committed to working with the Staten Island community to ensure any redesign of express bus service is the best it can be. Get involved by emailing us, signing up to receive updates and advance notice of open houses and public hearings, and following us on social media.

  1. Email us your questions or comments:
  2. Attend one of our Staten Island Express Bus Redesign Project Open House meetings:

    Wednesday, October 4  |  6–9 pm
    Elk Lodge
    3250 Richmond Avenue
    (adjacent to the Eltingville Transit Center)
    The following bus routes serve the area: X1, 4, X5, X7, X8, X15,
    X17, X21, X31, S55, S56, S59, S89, S74/84 and S79 SBS

    Wednesday, October 11  |  6–9 pm
    Regina McGinn Education Center,
    Staten Island University Hospital
    475 Seaview Avenue (at Mason Avenue)
    The following bus routes serve the area:X1-X9, S78, S79 SBS
    and S51/81 – S52 operates onto the hospital campus
    Please note: The hospital visitors’ lot charges a $6 parking fee

    Thursday, October 12  |  6–9 pm
    All Saint’s Episcopal Church
    2329 Victory Boulevard (at Woolley Avenue)
    The following bus routes serve the area:X10, X11, X12/X42, X14,
    X17, X30, X31, S62/92 and S93

    The open houses are a drop-in format, so members of the public can stop in any time between 6 and 9 pm to view information on the project and speak with representatives from New York City Transit.

  3.  Follow us on social media:



Are you cutting service?
No. There will be the same number of buses on the road after this plan is implemented.

What happens if I work between Lower Manhattan and Midtown?
The 4% of Staten Island express bus riders who travel to destinations between Lower Manhattan and Midtown can transfer for free to the MTA's extensive subway or local bus network to reach their final destinations. Even with the transfer, many of these riders will still see a reduction in overall travel time.

What stops are you eliminating? Will my stop be eliminated?
Eliminated stops will be selected based on ridership, and we're currently soliciting feedback from the community as we fine-tune our plans. Most riders will continue to use the same bus stop they use today. For riders at removed stops, we expect that the maximum added walk time to a new stop will be approximately five minutes.

Why can't you just add more buses?
Our goal is to create a network with more reliable service and dramatically shorter commute times, which reflects our current ridership and where they want to go. By proposing a higher frequency of buses on a smaller number of routes, we are addressing the true problem of overly congested streets, rather than just adding more slow-moving buses to the routes.

When will these changes happen? When will I be able to see my new route?
With the completion of this study, we've moved on to the next phase of the project – collecting feedback to fine-tune our plans. To receive more information as it becomes available, sign up for email updates.

How can I provide feedback?
We're eager to hear your thoughts on this preliminary proposal. You can share them with us by sending us an email, or by attending an upcoming public meeting.

What about weekend and off-peak service?
Like the existing express bus network, a selection of routes (to be determined) will operate off-peak and on weekends.

Are there recommendations for local bus routes?
Recommendations for improvements to local buses will be released separately at a later date.