Staten Island bus riders, I have some great news for you. MTA NYC Transit has just announced that the highly successful Select Bus Service will be coming to Staten Island. The service will be making its debut in September on the S79. Here is the lowdown:
In a continuation of the ongoing effort to improve and upgrade bus travel throughout the City, MTA New York City Transit will roll out Select Bus Service (SBS) along the S79 this September. The route, which travels along Hylan Boulevard — the busiest bus corridor on Staten Island — carries 8,900 customers on an average weekday and serves as a major link between the Staten Island Mall and the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn.
SBS is a high-performance bus system incorporating the efficiency features of light-rail transit without the limitations and capital expense of a fixed-rail system. A resounding success along the three corridors where SBS is currently in operation, the introduction of SBS to Staten Island is expected to reduce travel times by 20 percent between the Staten Island Mall and Bay Ridge.
Designated bus lanes, traffic signal priority, fewer stops and easily identifiable low-floor buses will combine to create a substantial improvement in bus travel times. Like the other areas where SBS has been introduced, customers will benefit from improved service reliability and the improvements will also be shared by the users of other routes traveling along the corridor.
“The introduction of SBS to the Island will improve service not only for S79 riders, but also for customers using local and express buses routed along Hylan Boulevard,” said NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast. “We realize that Staten Island is extremely bus dependent and we are working to improve services as much as possible for the Islanders who use our buses daily. SBS will go a long way toward achieving that goal.”
Unlike SBS in the Bronx and Manhattan, however, the S79 will not have off-board fare collection. A study of the route shows that boarding times are relatively short because boarding patterns are highly dispersed.
Along the route, S79 riders can connect with R train at 86th Street, in Brooklyn, the Staten Island Railway at the Eltingville Station and express and local buses at the Eltingville Transit Center.
While the S79 SBS will replace S79 local service, local service will continue to be provided on Richmond Avenue by the S59 and along Hylan Boulevard by the S78.
This is fantastic news for Staten Island especially on its busiest bus corridor. I imagine this will be a welcome addition to riders once they get used to it like they have in other boroughs. Hopefully a successful run will lead to an expansion in the borough.
xoxo Transit Blogger