Jersey Shore’s Angelina and other trapped Staten Islanders may be able to break out from their homes and travel the world soon. Right now, Staten Island residents have two ways to leave via public transportation: the Staten Island Ferry and express buses. Rumors of a Staten Island railway have plagued the borough since 1898 when Staten Island was made part of New York City. But as the Port Authority begins to redo the Bayonne Bridge to better accommodate ships, plans for new metro services are starting to emerge. Hopefully this time Albany will see the need to help out the residents with the longest commutes in the country.
Yonah Freemark from TheTransportPolitic explains:
The major possibilities include lanes for bus rapid transit or an expansion of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Line, which will be extending a few blocks south to 8th Street in Bayonne on January 31st. Trains could cross the new bridge, then potentially run south towards the West Shore Expressway, in whose median a 14-mile light rail line has previously been proposed. This would ensure rail transit operations on both sides of the island (the eastern half is already served by the Staten Island Railway).
But the larger problem is that Staten Islanders aren’t a real part of the subway system. In order to truly feel connected to the rest of the city, Staten Island must become linked up to the other boroughs. A light rail extension isn’t the solution here. Taking a train to New Jersey then transferring to the PATH isn’t appealing to anyone, much less people going to work every day. A simple train ride is what Staten Islanders need.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 18, 2011