NEW YORK—Bus riders on Staten Island will have a little less stress starting Sunday when select bus service officially starts along Hylan Boulevard, one of the busiest bus lines on the island.
“Today, riding from one end of this S79 route to the other is a frustratingly slow 80-stop trip that takes 80 minutes to complete,” Mayor Bloomberg said from Staten Island on Thursday.
Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn said 37 percent of the passengers go end to end along the 16-mile route. “Imagine riding on an elevator that stopped 80 times before it got to your floor,” Sadik-Kahn said.
The new express line will be reduced to 22 stops and 65 minutes.
“By streamlining the number of stops to 22 we are bringing a red carpet to the borough’s busiest bus corridor,” Sadik-Kahn said.
MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota said, “Putting SBS [Select Bus Service] is going to save 15 to 20 minutes off of every trip. I got news for you. It might not sound like a lot, but saving 15 to 20 min is an extra 15 to 20 minutes you can spend with your family at home.”
Mayor Bloomberg said the buses will be equipped with transit priority signal systems, a wireless technology that will give buses a green light as they approach an intersection. The technology has been in place for five years on Victory Boulevard in Staten Island, shortening the length of red lights and extending green lights when buses approach.
“This new service will help shorten commuting times, even if you don’t ride the S79 buses,” Bloomberg said.
Implementing the new bus route cost $5 million dollars, but at no cost to the city, instead being funded by a federal administration grant.
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