The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) board voted 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 Co., and sr. VP, 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 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.
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. The 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.