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North Shore Rail Discussion


checkmatechamp13

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I would like to see the North Shore line get built but it would make a lot more sense for them to increase bus service first. The north shore train would only be able to run as often as the ferry does which would make it no different than what the S40 does right now, except that riders would be guaranteed a connection to/from the ferry with the train. But they can achieve that same effect and save a lot of money also by simply putting more limited service on the North shore routes instead.

 

When the limited buses are running, I can reach the ferry in only 8-10 minutes rather than 20-45+ minutes with the local routes. And the S53 definitely needs limited service from Port Richmond, the S53 makes way too many stops along the way and the buses are SRO at anytime of the day, even 2am and 3am.

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I would like to see the North Shore line get built but it would make a lot more sense for them to increase bus service first. The north shore train would only be able to run as often as the ferry does which would make it no different than what the S40 does right now, except that riders would be guaranteed a connection to/from the ferry with the train. But they can achieve that same effect and save a lot of money also by simply putting more limited service on the North shore routes instead.

 

When the limited buses are running, I can reach the ferry in only 8-10 minutes rather than 20-45+ minutes with the local routes. And the S53 definitely needs limited service from Port Richmond, the S53 makes way too many stops along the way and the buses are SRO at anytime of the day, even 2am and 3am.

 

Interesting that you said 20-45+ to get to the Ferry on the local bus and you live closer to the Ferry than I do... And the MTA said the X16 wasn't useful... An express bus that took about 40 minutes to get Downtown from say Forest and Bement. I'm going to keep following up on this and seeing if we can get a private carrier to come in to replace the X16. For now there is just talk being thrown around, but nothing concrete.

 

I agree with you 100%. Checkmate is basing his experiences solely on numbers and when he uses the local lines and based on that his experiences on the S48 and others have been decent, but I know that lines like the S48 and S53 suffer from overcrowding, especially the S53. As you said it is even crowded at 01:00 in the morning. I have used it a few times and it was pretty full even then.

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Interesting that you said 20-45+ to get to the Ferry on the local bus and you live closer to the Ferry than I do... And the MTA said the X16 wasn't useful... An express bus that took about 40 minutes to get Downtown from say Forest and Bement. I'm going to keep following up on this and seeing if we can get a private carrier to come in to replace the X16. For now there is just talk being thrown around, but nothing concrete.

 

I agree with you 100%. Checkmate is basing his experiences solely on numbers and when he uses the local lines and based on that his experiences on the S48 and others have been decent, but I know that lines like the S48 and S53 suffer from overcrowding, especially the S53. As you said it is even crowded at 01:00 in the morning. I have used it a few times and it was pretty full even then.

 

Not all of my experiences have been perfect. The S46/S96 can be packed coming from Mariners' Harbor in the morning. I've also seen packed S98s at Richmond Avenue, but I never had a need to get on them.

 

But the few times I used the S48 on the weekends, it was pretty crowded. I just don't think it was crowded enough to warrant the 6 minute frequencies required for limited-stop service.

 

BTW, I agree with you about adding Targee Street as a limited stop to the S53.

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Not all of my experiences have been perfect. The S46/S96 can be packed coming from Mariners' Harbor in the morning. I've also seen packed S98s at Richmond Avenue, but I never had a need to get on them.

 

But the few times I used the S48 on the weekends, it was pretty crowded. I just don't think it was crowded enough to warrant the 6 minute frequencies required for limited-stop service.

 

BTW, I agree with you about adding Targee Street as a limited stop to the S53.

 

I don't know... But doesn't every other borough have at least a few lines with limited stop service? I mean we don't have subways here so on that premises alone we should have limited stop service in both directions outside of rush hours on lines with decent ridership. I would put it on the S48, S46, S53, S40, S62, S61 and S44 for starters... The S79 is slated for SBS soon so that's why I left it out.

 

The times when you've had bad luck, how long did it take you from your furthest points to your destination between waiting for the late or MIA bus, traffic, etc.?

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Not all of my experiences have been perfect. The S46/S96 can be packed coming from Mariners' Harbor in the morning. I've also seen packed S98s at Richmond Avenue, but I never had a need to get on them.

 

But the few times I used the S48 on the weekends, it was pretty crowded. I just don't think it was crowded enough to warrant the 6 minute frequencies required for limited-stop service.

 

BTW, I agree with you about adding Targee Street as a limited stop to the S53.

 

Staten Island's limited routes are run differently and I'm sure you know that, they're run at least 12 minutes apart and not 6 minutes. And the local routes are every 10 minutes when the limiteds run.

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I don't know... But doesn't every other borough have at least a few lines with limited stop service? I mean we don't have subways here so on that premises alone we should have limited stop service in both directions outside of rush hours on lines with decent ridership. I would put it on the S48, S46, S53, S40, S62, S61 and S44 for starters... The S79 is slated for SBS soon so that's why I left it out.

 

The times when you've had bad luck, how long did it take you from your furthest points to your destination between waiting for the late or MIA bus, traffic, etc.?

 

My daily commute is from home to school, so that is the time I've had the most screw-ups. Some of them are my fault (leaving late and missing the S89 and having to take the S44 or S59, which is roughly 3-5 minutes longer), but some aren't.

 

On a perfect day, I'll run over to the S89, get off at Walker Street, and transfer to the S46/S96, which on a good day should arrive within 2 minutes. The total time is roughly 25 minutes.

 

Sometimes what will happen is that a bus will be late and it will show up crowded and bypass the stop, leaving me to wait for the next one (and often, the back will have no standees, which causes me to get to school even more stressed out than I should be). Those are usually the times when the commute time goes closer to 45 minutes (keep in mind that the trip is only 2.3 miles, so any slower and I might as well walk the whole distance).

 

What used ot happen more often is that the S46/S96 would either pull out as I was getting off the S44/S89, or the light would be against me and it would still leave without me.

 

The past few weeks, what has been happening is that the bus will show up overcrowded, and the bus driver wants to bypass the stop, but can't because people want to get off. If that is the case, I'll get in however I can and move back as far as I can (it amazes me that people were standing in front of the white line, yet I was able to find a seat)

 

What happened today was very strange. I saw the bus, but it had a sign saying "Next Bus Please". However, he let off people and I jumped on (dipping in my Student MetroCard as soon as I got on, so he couldn't kick me off the bus). He said "OK, now move back", with an attitude (he knows that I'll squeeze onto a bus no matter how crowded it is, since I've had him before). Mirculously, even though it was a regular bus (the problems with moving to the back are most prevalent on the hybrids), I couldn't move any further. I didn't even have anything to lean on, so I leaned on my fellow bus riders.

 

But regarding limited-stop service, the fact of the matter is that no route on SI meets the guidelines for limited-stop service.

 

Even if the MTA were to say "They are dependant on local buses for their travel", they would be nowhere near as generous as you are. The only routes that could receive it would be the:

S46

S48

S53

possibly the S61 by converting all S61s into S91s and having the S62 cover the local stops (as I suggested to the board members)

 

Staten Island's limited routes are run differently and I'm sure you know that, they're run at least 12 minutes apart and not 6 minutes. And the local routes are every 10 minutes when the limiteds run.

 

I meant that before the route receives limited-stop service, the route must run every 6 minutes. When they create the limited-stop service, the local and limited run every 12 minutes each (Since most routes on SI that have limiteds meet the ferry, they run every 15 minutes each)

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My daily commute is from home to school, so that is the time I've had the most screw-ups. Some of them are my fault (leaving late and missing the S89 and having to take the S44 or S59, which is roughly 3-5 minutes longer), but some aren't.

 

On a perfect day, I'll run over to the S89, get off at Walker Street, and transfer to the S46/S96, which on a good day should arrive within 2 minutes. The total time is roughly 25 minutes.

 

Sometimes what will happen is that a bus will be late and it will show up crowded and bypass the stop, leaving me to wait for the next one (and often, the back will have no standees, which causes me to get to school even more stressed out than I should be). Those are usually the times when the commute time goes closer to 45 minutes (keep in mind that the trip is only 2.3 miles, so any slower and I might as well walk the whole distance).

 

What used ot happen more often is that the S46/S96 would either pull out as I was getting off the S44/S89, or the light would be against me and it would still leave without me.

 

The past few weeks, what has been happening is that the bus will show up overcrowded, and the bus driver wants to bypass the stop, but can't because people want to get off. If that is the case, I'll get in however I can and move back as far as I can (it amazes me that people were standing in front of the white line, yet I was able to find a seat)

 

What happened today was very strange. I saw the bus, but it had a sign saying "Next Bus Please". However, he let off people and I jumped on (dipping in my Student MetroCard as soon as I got on, so he couldn't kick me off the bus). He said "OK, now move back", with an attitude (he knows that I'll squeeze onto a bus no matter how crowded it is, since I've had him before). Mirculously, even though it was a regular bus (the problems with moving to the back are most prevalent on the hybrids), I couldn't move any further. I didn't even have anything to lean on, so I leaned on my fellow bus riders.

 

But regarding limited-stop service, the fact of the matter is that no route on SI meets the guidelines for limited-stop service.

 

Even if the MTA were to say "They are dependant on local buses for their travel", they would be nowhere near as generous as you are. The only routes that could receive it would be the:

S46

S48

S53

possibly the S61 by converting all S61s into S91s and having the S62 cover the local stops (as I suggested to the board members)

 

 

 

I meant that before the route receives limited-stop service, the route must run every 6 minutes. When they create the limited-stop service, the local and limited run every 12 minutes each (Since most routes on SI that have limiteds meet the ferry, they run every 15 minutes each)

 

Just too many good hockey games on at once... :cool:

 

Now regarding limited stop service, quite frankly I was only thinking about the (S46), (S48) and (S53), but I figured I'd throw in a few others because SI North uses the (S40) and I could just picture him foaming at the mouth now for leaving out the (S90)... :)

 

Considering what a disaster you've had getting to school, I would think you would be in favor of limited stop service both ways. Also, Staten Islanders have the longest commute in the nation, so some exceptions to the MTA's "rules" for implementing limited stop service should be made. To get from Mariners' Harbor to the Ferry is a good 30-40 minutes alone, and that's without any problems and doesn't include the ferry or any other connections in Manhattan. I agree w/SI North Shore in that implementing limited stop service would be far cheaper than a light rail or any sort of North Shore rail service, which would be more expensive and would benefit very few Staten Islanders since only those who could afford it would use it.

 

Meanwhile limited stop service would benefit all Islanders. Buses would move better, thus helping those who drive get to their destinations faster and Islanders who don't drive could have a quicker commute in. Islanders who rely on the express bus for any sort of relief from the longer grueling commute could have a cheaper quicker option if they chose to use it.

 

Also, you never answered my question about all other boroughs having some sort of limited stop service running on several lines... If the other boroughs an have why shouldn't we when we have the longest commutes out of the other four boroughs and in the entire country for that matter? Let's exclude the whole numbers game for a second. I just want to see if you're basing your argument solely on that or not...

 

And about the B/O, what an @ss... ;) He knows folks are trying to get to work and school and he wants to be difficult. Most B/Os on Staten Island are cool, but there is this one guy that is just disgusting and I have thinking about reporting him because he is just beyond disgusting. Extremely rude. Anytime anyone asks him any sort of question he comes back with a snappy attitude like he can't be bothered and does sh*t to be the biggest d*ck possible and he has a look on his face like he finds the passengers to be disgusting and beneath him. He's borderline reportable but he walks a fine line... I mean if you're that miserable with the public then why bother? There are other jobs out there if you really hate dealing with the public.

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Just too many good hockey games on at once... :cool:

 

Now regarding limited stop service, quite frankly I was only thinking about the (S46), (S48) and (S53), but I figured I'd throw in a few others because SI North uses the (S40) and I could just picture him foaming at the mouth now for leaving out the (S90)... B)

 

Considering what a disaster you've had getting to school, I would think you would be in favor of limited stop service both ways. Also, Staten Islanders have the longest commute in the nation, so some exceptions to the MTA's "rules" for implementing limited stop service should be made. To get from Mariners' Harbor to the Ferry is a good 30-40 minutes alone, and that's without any problems and doesn't include the ferry or any other connections in Manhattan. I agree w/SI North Shore in that implementing limited stop service would be far cheaper than a light rail or any sort of North Shore rail service, which would be more expensive and would benefit very few Staten Islanders since only those who could afford it would use it.

 

Meanwhile limited stop service would benefit all Islanders. Buses would move better, thus helping those who drive get to their destinations faster and Islanders who don't drive could have a quicker commute in. Islanders who rely on the express bus for any sort of relief from the longer grueling commute could have a cheaper quicker option if they chose to use it.

 

Also, you never answered my question about all other boroughs having some sort of limited stop service running on several lines... If the other boroughs an have why shouldn't we when we have the longest commutes out of the other four boroughs and in the entire country for that matter? Let's exclude the whole numbers game for a second. I just want to see if you're basing your argument solely on that or not...

 

And about the B/O, what an @ss... :( He knows folks are trying to get to work and school and he wants to be difficult. Most B/Os on Staten Island are cool, but there is this one guy that is just disgusting and I have thinking about reporting him because he is just beyond disgusting. Extremely rude. Anytime anyone asks him any sort of question he comes back with a snappy attitude like he can't be bothered and does sh*t to be the biggest d*ck possible and he has a look on his face like he finds the passengers to be disgusting and beneath him. He's borderline reportable but he walks a fine line... I mean if you're that miserable with the public then why bother? There are other jobs out there if you really hate dealing with the public.

 

Additional limited-stop service would be useful for the short-term, but lets face it-there is a limit to how many riders you can attract with a bus. In NYC, the subway system gets 5 million riders per day, while the bus system gets 2 million. No matter how much limited-stop service, +SBS+, bus lanes, traffic signal priority, or anything else you throw on these buses, there is a limit to how much you can increase ridership.

 

Think about it this way: The M15 takes 80 minutes to get from Harlem to South Ferry, while the Lexington Avenue Line takes less than 30 minutes. That's why people prefer trains.

 

Since the North Shore Rail Line would be the same fare as the local bus, the argument of "only those who can afford it will use it" is invalid.

 

I'll get back to you with more comments.

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Additional limited-stop service would be useful for the short-term, but lets face it-there is a limit to how many riders you can attract with a bus. In NYC, the subway system gets 5 million riders per day, while the bus system gets 2 million. No matter how much limited-stop service, +SBS+, bus lanes, traffic signal priority, or anything else you throw on these buses, there is a limit to how much you can increase ridership.

 

Think about it this way: The M15 takes 80 minutes to get from Harlem to South Ferry, while the Lexington Avenue Line takes less than 30 minutes. That's why people prefer trains.

 

Since the North Shore Rail Line would be the same fare as the local bus, the argument of "only those who can afford it will use it" is invalid.

 

I'll get back to you with more comments.

 

I personally prefer the bus. The train is quicker (sometimes) but also dirtier and also has delays of its own (signal delays and such). It's not that people prefer the subway. It's just that it is usually faster. Besides, on Staten Island there are still those that will use their car anyway regardless to what is introduced, but my point is why shouldn't we have choices? Most of the other boroughs have limited stop service and the subway and express bus, so why shouldn't we when we have the longest commute? We can't look at things solely on numbers because we're in a unique situation. They could at least run a modified form of limited stop service.

 

The borough is growing population wise and I think these new services would benefit the borough in the long run. It may help to attract businesses here and also help to boost property values which have suffered a lot esp. here on Staten Island with the recession. I'm willing to bet that travel times have increased on Staten Island instead of decreasing and that alone is another reason why limited stop service is needed. Like SIR North said, limited stop service should be added before any sort of Rail link is considered because those without access to it still will be underserved with rapid transit options if they can't afford the express bus.

 

Also, the MTA knows that they can only run so many trains and so they've got to accomodate the influx of passengers by recreating the notion of the bus. They've got to make it faster to attract people away from the subway because we know how long it can take to create new subway lines. This North rail link I would imagine would take at least some years to get up and running, while limited stop service could be implemented relatively quickly in comparison.

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1) I do not see how increased limited stop buses really help those who live CLOSER to the ferry, since the use of limited stop buses really means LESS service and often long wait times for those who lived CLOSER to the ferry.

 

Right now from my home when I take the bus during the rush hours headed to the ferry, the local buses are packed to the gills. Sometimes those buses do not even stop because they are so packed, leaving a "what gives" to the riders who waited a long time for the bus to show up in the first place.

 

The limited buses fly by, often packed but at least with some space on them. And plenty of "Not In Service" buses roll by. The choice of walking to the ferry - to catch whatever boat or the choice to "wait for the bus to the ferry" which may never come, or when it comes it misses the boat. I really love it when the time schedule for the bus - is that the bus is MEANT to miss the ferry!

 

Plenty of times, when leaving work, it is often easier to just walk home from the ferry the mile or so - simply because the local buses are just too damn crowded - that dealing with the crowds is a hassle.

 

2) Yes, limited stop buses give a kind of "express service" for those who live further away from the ferry - not wrong with that - but continues the implication that LOCAL service is somehow - someway - some-shape or form BAD. Transit fans and folks have often spread that idea.

 

3) Yes, service (bus, limited stop, North Shore rail, etc.) should be improved, and travel about the island should be improved - again nothing wrong with that. Can someone please explain the great usefulness of those improvements if all that they do is get a person to the ferry terminal quicker - and at the ferry that person still has to wait 30 and 60 minutes between boats?

 

4) In all of the talks about congestion pricing and other transit improvements - there can be a very definite reality - most people do not believe any of this stuff - because the day to day - on the ground reality of public transit sucks, and has sucked over the decades. Even Mayor Bloomberg vetoed 30-minute ferry that would have run 24-7-365 as voted on from a the unanimous City Council. Then Mayor Bloomberg talks a good game about improving transit on Staten Island, and it the city. The MTA's service cuts and fare increases also do not help people to really believe that anything good will really change.

 

Just a few thoughts.

Mike

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I personally prefer the bus. The train is quicker (sometimes) but also dirtier and also has delays of its own (signal delays and such). It's not that people prefer the subway. It's just that it is usually faster. Besides, on Staten Island there are still those that will use their car anyway regardless to what is introduced, but my point is why shouldn't we have choices? Most of the other boroughs have limited stop service and the subway and express bus, so why shouldn't we when we have the longest commute? We can't look at things solely on numbers because we're in a unique situation. They could at least run a modified form of limited stop service.

 

The borough is growing population wise and I think these new services would benefit the borough in the long run. It may help to attract businesses here and also help to boost property values which have suffered a lot esp. here on Staten Island with the recession. I'm willing to bet that travel times have increased on Staten Island instead of decreasing and that alone is another reason why limited stop service is needed. Like SIR North said, limited stop service should be added before any sort of Rail link is considered because those without access to it still will be underserved with rapid transit options if they can't afford the express bus.

 

Also, the MTA knows that they can only run so many trains and so they've got to accomodate the influx of passengers by recreating the notion of the bus. They've got to make it faster to attract people away from the subway because we know how long it can take to create new subway lines. This North rail link I would imagine would take at least some years to get up and running, while limited stop service could be implemented relatively quickly in comparison.

That's your personal preference, but, lets face it, the train is much more visible than the bus. If you look in the sections of the newspaper that say "For Rent" or "For Sale", they'll advertise that they’re near a subway or commuter rail line. Very rarely will you see it advertised that it is near bus service, even if it is +SBS+ or something like that. Therefore, even a massive increase of bus service wouldn’t make that large an increase in property values.

What happens 99% of the time is that, when a bus line is replaced by a rail line, the rail line gets much higher ridership than the rail line. A Hudson-Bergen Light Rail extension to SI would see roughly 25,000 riders per day. The S89 sees roughly 1,000. I know you don’t like me using statistics and figures, but when the gap is that great, you just can’t deny that rail service is more attractive then bus service.

If you look at statistics for neighborhoods near a rail line vs. neighborhood not near a rail line, you’ll find that the neighborhoods near a rail line have much higher rates of autoless households. These people are your core ridership. If you compare neighborhoods in the central Bronx to neighborhoods closer to the subway, you’ll see that, even though, demographically, the areas are similar, the percentage of autoless households is higher closer to the subway.

I’ll agree that bus improvements are good in the short term, but as a long term solution, we need to expand our rail system. Trains are faster and are more cost-effective for carrying large numbers of people (a driver and a conductor can control a train with 1,500 people, whereas a bus driver can only handle roughly 80 people at a time)

As far as numbers go, lets face it-additional service costs money. That is why the MTA is so stingy with adding limited-stop service. The only route that has the headways to warrant limited-stop service is the S53.

What I would like to see is the S98 running 24/7 as a limited on Forest Avenue, going to Newark Aiport. That is the only way limited-stop service will be expanded-if the MTA expands into new markets (look at Richmond Avenue-it didn’t have limited-stop service until the S89 came along)

 

1) I do not see how increased limited stop buses really help those who live CLOSER to the ferry, since the use of limited stop buses really means LESS service and often long wait times for those who lived CLOSER to the ferry.

 

Right now from my home when I take the bus during the rush hours headed to the ferry, the local buses are packed to the gills. Sometimes those buses do not even stop because they are so packed, leaving a "what gives" to the riders who waited a long time for the bus to show up in the first place.

 

The limited buses fly by, often packed but at least with some space on them. And plenty of "Not In Service" buses roll by. The choice of walking to the ferry - to catch whatever boat or the choice to "wait for the bus to the ferry" which may never come, or when it comes it misses the boat. I really love it when the time schedule for the bus - is that the bus is MEANT to miss the ferry!

 

Plenty of times, when leaving work, it is often easier to just walk home from the ferry the mile or so - simply because the local buses are just too damn crowded - that dealing with the crowds is a hassle.

 

2) Yes, limited stop buses give a kind of "express service" for those who live further away from the ferry - not wrong with that - but continues the implication that LOCAL service is somehow - someway - some-shape or form BAD. Transit fans and folks have often spread that idea.

 

3) Yes, service (bus, limited stop, North Shore rail, etc.) should be improved, and travel about the island should be improved - again nothing wrong with that. Can someone please explain the great usefulness of those improvements if all that they do is get a person to the ferry terminal quicker - and at the ferry that person still has to wait 30 and 60 minutes between boats?

 

4) In all of the talks about congestion pricing and other transit improvements - there can be a very definite reality - most people do not believe any of this stuff - because the day to day - on the ground reality of public transit sucks, and has sucked over the decades. Even Mayor Bloomberg vetoed 30-minute ferry that would have run 24-7-365 as voted on from a the unanimous City Council. Then Mayor Bloomberg talks a good game about improving transit on Staten Island, and it the city. The MTA's service cuts and fare increases also do not help people to really believe that anything good will really change.

 

Just a few thoughts.

Mike

There is an obvious advantage to getting to St. George 10-15 minutes faster (depending on where the person lives). The advantage is that they have 15 minutes of their life to use for other purposes. Also, not everybody is going to St. George to use the ferry. St. George is, in a way, the “downtown” of Staten Island. Also, it is the hub of our bus and rail system, so there are passengers transferring to the more frequent bus services (in the middle of the day, most routes run every 15 minutes while the ferry runs every 30 minutes).

But as far as limited-stop services go, the stops are generally spaced close enough apart so that a person in a hurry can walk to the nearest limited stop to give themselves the option of a local or limited. Limited stops are generally spaced 0.5-1.0 miles apart, so the most you’ll have to walk is half of that-0.25-0.5 miles.

But what I think Via Garibaldi is suggesting is that additional buses be used for the limited-stop service, so the local service would remain at the same frequency. Therefore, the locals should be less crowded than they are today.

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Just for clarification, the bayonne bridge is staying. It is a state landmark, and on the national registry of engineering something or other. They are going to raise it, build new approaches.

 

- A

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That's your personal preference, but, lets face it, the train is much more visible than the bus. If you look in the sections of the newspaper that say "For Rent" or "For Sale", they'll advertise that they’re near a subway or commuter rail line. Very rarely will you see it advertised that it is near bus service, even if it is +SBS+ or something like that. Therefore, even a massive increase of bus service wouldn’t make that large an increase in property values.

What happens 99% of the time is that, when a bus line is replaced by a rail line, the rail line gets much higher ridership than the rail line. A Hudson-Bergen Light Rail extension to SI would see roughly 25,000 riders per day. The S89 sees roughly 1,000. I know you don’t like me using statistics and figures, but when the gap is that great, you just can’t deny that rail service is more attractive then bus service.

If you look at statistics for neighborhoods near a rail line vs. neighborhood not near a rail line, you’ll find that the neighborhoods near a rail line have much higher rates of autoless households. These people are your core ridership. If you compare neighborhoods in the central Bronx to neighborhoods closer to the subway, you’ll see that, even though, demographically, the areas are similar, the percentage of autoless households is higher closer to the subway.

I’ll agree that bus improvements are good in the short term, but as a long term solution, we need to expand our rail system. Trains are faster and are more cost-effective for carrying large numbers of people (a driver and a conductor can control a train with 1,500 people, whereas a bus driver can only handle roughly 80 people at a time)

As far as numbers go, lets face it-additional service costs money. That is why the MTA is so stingy with adding limited-stop service. The only route that has the headways to warrant limited-stop service is the S53.

What I would like to see is the S98 running 24/7 as a limited on Forest Avenue, going to Newark Aiport. That is the only way limited-stop service will be expanded-if the MTA expands into new markets (look at Richmond Avenue-it didn’t have limited-stop service until the S89 came along)

 

 

There is an obvious advantage to getting to St. George 10-15 minutes faster (depending on where the person lives). The advantage is that they have 15 minutes of their life to use for other purposes. Also, not everybody is going to St. George to use the ferry. St. George is, in a way, the “downtown” of Staten Island. Also, it is the hub of our bus and rail system, so there are passengers transferring to the more frequent bus services (in the middle of the day, most routes run every 15 minutes while the ferry runs every 30 minutes).

But as far as limited-stop services go, the stops are generally spaced close enough apart so that a person in a hurry can walk to the nearest limited stop to give themselves the option of a local or limited. Limited stops are generally spaced 0.5-1.0 miles apart, so the most you’ll have to walk is half of that-0.25-0.5 miles.

But what I think Via Garibaldi is suggesting is that additional buses be used for the limited-stop service, so the local service would remain at the same frequency. Therefore, the locals should be less crowded than they are today.

 

I am advocating for increased bus service in general, but also limited stop service which will move more folks in need of quicker service around the island. I'm not saying no to rail service, I'm just saying that even if there is rail service here on the North Shore it will only serve certain neighborhoods so what about the other Staten Islanders who don't have access to that rail service or don't need to use it? That's why limited stop service is needed on Staten Island, with or without the rail service.

 

I decided to leave a bit later this morning and took the S53 to the X2. With all of the stupid stops we had to make it took almost 30 minutes to get to Hylan Blvd. That line needs to have the stops better spaced. Putting stops together like that just encourages people to be lazier. Let them walk a bit for crying out loud. They've got one stop at Victory Blvd then another one as soon as the bus starts gathering a little speed. There are few areas like that on the S53. In fact I say all locals should be spread out at least 3 blocks apart when the blocks are short like that. If they're long blocks like some blocks on Forest Ave maybe every other block.

 

Why in the world do we need a stop every block or every other block?? It's no wonder why local buses are so slow... :mad:

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Why was the North Shore even abandoned in the 1950s?

 

Port Richmond used to be a vibrant neighborhood. Once the Staten Island Mall was built areas like Port Richmond were hit hard with businesses leaving and such further south. I'm not sure if that had anything to do with it but it may have.

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B&O didn't have the money. So to save costs they close the North Shore, and South Shore branches. They were actually extremely close to closing the SIR all together. Luckily the TA bought the SIR before it was too late, and that is the SIR you see today.

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Oh yeah if anyone wants to see a map. This is a map of all the SIR branches in their glory in 1952. As you can see there was passenger service to New Jersey if you wanted to ride the SIR to get there.

SIRT_map.jpg

Also a reactivated North Shore Line can't run past Mariners Harbor, because the Harbor's Road station, and the track along with the structure has been removed for the Howland Hook Marine Terminal expansion back in 2007. The South Beach Branch can never be reactivated, because Robert Moses took a whole section of it to build his bridge, and the approaches, and houses have been built on the ROW too so no.

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B&O had a substantial freight operation on staten island for some years, including car float to brooklyn etc. The lift bridge they left as a legacy is the longest & highest vertical lift span in the world. CSX having absorbed B&O gives them full trackage rights to the north shore line and the line SIRT runs on means that any rolling stock that runs on those tracks must be FRA certified. I have a feeling the next rolling stock to go on the SIRT will be a few pairs of no-panto M8, or perhaps a modified (wider) version of the PA-5. The R160 and the next generation(s) of NTT are really not suited to that kind of service. Also, the PA-5 can (and does) do 60 mph, would cut down travel times.

 

- A

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Transits fans seem to always bring up the FRA certification issue as it relates to the Staten Island Railway - when in fact there is no FRA issues at all. This fact has been confirmed multiple times - but keeps coming up in discussions like some kind of ghost. It's like some kind of Pavlovian response call - someone says "SIR" - then someone else says - "FRA", - practically like a knee jerk reaction!

 

Basically it is simple - once the Staten Island Railway (or Railroad) lost/removed its connection to the national railroad grid, - it did not need, is not under the jurisdiction of, does not have to follow the FRA regulations - this has been the case since 1988.

 

The SIR has been embargoed for the better part of two decades, and has been out of FRA regulatory scrutiny for years. The SIR has been out of the freight business for decades!

 

For some reason transit fans seem to keep bringing this subject up - when it does not apply to the SIR, does not affect the SIR, does not stop the SIR from carrying out what they need to do. Why is this a difficult concept to get through?

 

Even Wikipedia has a problem with this:

 

FRA oversight

 

Unlike the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA), SIRTOA is subject to rules of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) but operates under a waiver which permits it to exempt itself from certain rules of equipment and operation usually required by the FRA.[3][16] This FRA status complicates any plan for combined freight and passenger operation.

 

The SIR shares a similar status with the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) system, which is also an FRA railroad running on a somewhat different waiver.[17]

 

--- Why?

 

Since neither the SIR or the PATH is going to be carrying any freIght operations and there are NO combined freight and passenger operations - there are NO COMPLICATIONS. THERE ARE NO PLANS FOR THE NEXT CENTURY TO CARRY FREIGHT OR OPERATE FREIGHT on these passenger transit lines or on the TRACKS that passenger trains run on! Is that really a difficult concept to grasp?

 

I'm done!

Mike

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I'm all for the north shore line (hence the name lol), but the S90 makes all the same stops and it's just as fast! Richmond Terrace barely has any traffic lights.

 

The AM rush S90 buses and all the other limited buses are timed to meet the ferry within the time that the doors open. In all the years that I've used the buses on Staten Island, I never have a problem with the limited buses. They're on-time and predictable, fast as hell, and you're at ferry with just enough time to grab a bagel & a coffee and off to the city or wherever.

 

Now the S40 on the other hand is a different animal altogether. Is it going to show up or is not? Will I catch the ferry or will I see it leave? Will I make work, school, an appointment on-time or will I have to arrive late yet again? I waited 45 minutes when the buses are supposed to be running every 15 minutes, should I take a cab or not? Will the bus pass me by when it shows up and I have to wait another 15 minutes? That's why local bus service isn't well-liked on Staten Island!

 

Even if they reduced service on the local route "slightly", it would be nice to have a limited bus that times with every ferry (which means 30-minute headways).The north shore train would do the exact same thing but cost a lot more money for the MTA!

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The North Shore Rail Line wouldn't be as expensive as you think: It is a capital project, which means that the MTA can apply for federal funding. As far as operating costs go, a train can carry much more people than a bus, which means that, if it has sufficient ridership, it is much more cost-effective than a bus.

 

The North Shore Line would get about 11,000 riders per day. Lets assume that this is as a result of running at the same frequency as the current SIR (trains are timed to meet the ferry, and run at roughly the same frequency as the SIR). Lets also assume that a train operator and bus operator are paid roughly the same wage (if there are any transit employees out there, feel free to post the actual wages).

 

This means that, running at a lower frequency as the local buses in the area (remember, they are currently supposed to run every 15 minutes off-peak, and have limited-stop service during peak hours, which means they still run twice as frequently as the train), the North Shore Line can get twice the ridership of the nearest local bus line (S40/S90), and the labor cost is actually less because the MTA only has to pay 1 T/O and 1 conductor to transport a whole train full of people, as opposed to paying a bus driver to transport a bus full of people.

 

If the frequency is 15 minutes all day, the ridership will probably be closer to 15,000 (ridership estimates for the line are 11,000-15,000, so I’m assuming that those 4,000 people will be attracted or discouraged based on the frequency). That is more than the ridership of the current S40/S90 and S46/S96 combined. Again, the cost per-person is much lower than a bus.

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