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Redesigned Staten Island Express Bus Network Sees Faster Trips and Increased Reliability in Two Years Since Launch

MTA Bus Company
Updated August 13, 2020 12:00 p.m.

On Second Anniversary of New SIM Network, Data Shows Improvements Across All Service Metrics


Average Bus Speeds Increased Since August 2018 Implementation


Travel Time Drops Between Manhattan and Staten Island During AM and PM Rush


View Video of Press Conference Here


View Photos of Press Conference Here


Two years after MTA New York City Transit implemented a complete redesign of the Staten Island express bus network, newly released data shows that express bus service between Manhattan and Staten Island has continued to improve across all metrics. 

Improvements in SIM service from the network redesign include:

FASTER BUSES: Average Staten Island express bus speeds were 17.4 mph in February 2020, compared to 15.7 mph under the prior “X network” in 2018.

SHORTER TRAVEL TIMES: Weekday average travel time to Manhattan during the AM rush in January and February 2020 was an average of 58 minutes, compared to 63.7 minutes in 2018 under the prior network. During the PM rush, average travel time to Staten Island was 59.5 minutes in January and February 2020, compared to 61.7 minutes in 2018.

Travel time from the Eltingville Transit Center to 42 St in Midtown Manhattan averaged 4.3 minutes faster in January and February 2020 than compared to in 2018, and 7.2 minutes faster between 42 St and the Eltingville Transit Center. From Eltingville to Battery Place and Greenwich St, customers saw an average 4.2-minute reduction in travel time, and a reduction of 2.4 minutes from Battery Place and Greenwich St to Eltingville.

MORE RELIABLE: In February 2020, 82% of customers finished their trip within five minutes of the scheduled time, up from 63.9% in spring 2018.

SHORTER WAITS: In January and February 2020, SIM customers waited for shorter periods – 1 minute and 8 seconds beyond their schedule wait time – at stops compared to an additional 1 minute and 32 seconds under the prior network in 2018.

HARNESSING NEW TECHNOLOGY: Seat availability information for Staten Island express buses is now available via the MYmta smartphone app.  The innovative feature enables customers to use their smartphones to know how many riders are on an arriving bus, coordinating with features that already track real-time bus locations and arrival times.

Recent and future bus lane and busway improvements and installations being performed by the NYC Department of Transportation as part of the City’s Better Buses Restart plan are also expected to bring further improvements to the Staten Island express bus network, and many other MTA buses.  They include:

  • The recent installation of stationary bus lane cameras on Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, Lexington Avenue, 42 Street and other streets in Manhattan
  • A future additional 4.7 miles of bus lane on HylanBoulevard on Staten Island 
  • A future busway on Fifth Avenue between 34 St and 57 St in Manhattan

“The improvements we’re seeing as a result of the Staten Island express bus redesign would not have been possible without the dedication of our employees, our labor partners, Borough President Oddo and engaged customers,” said Craig Cipriano, President of MTA Bus Company and Senior Vice President of NYC Transit’s Department of Buses. “From the beginning, we worked together to identify issues and figure out the best solutions as the MTA continues to provide the best bus system possible for our customers.”  

“As we approach the two-year anniversary of the SIM Staten Island Express Bus Redesign, our commitment to making each route as efficient as possible for Staten Island commuters remains,” said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. “I continue to be impressed with our partners through this process and our collaborative effort to provide the best SIM express and local bus service. NYC Transit leadership and ATU Local 726 President Danny Cassella, along with their respective teams, have demonstrated an amazing ability to collaborate, make changes on the fly, and do what is right by the Staten Island express bus customer. Today we have a more engaged ridership, a more collaborative working partnership between bosses and operators, and quite frankly, a Borough Hall team that is nearly obsessed with improving the express bus system.” 

“Thanks to the MTA and Borough President James Oddo for helping in the launch of the SIM network,” said ATU Local 726 President Danny Cassella. “After two years of service it has demonstrated that running time and wait time are down significantly.”

“We will continue to work cooperatively with the MTA, Borough President Oddo and Staten Island elected officials on improving the quality of life for bus commuters," said New York City Department of Transportation Staten Island Borough Commissioner Tom Cocola. "Just yesterday, after receiving valuable direct input from commuters, the Borough President and other community leaders, we agreed on new extensions to the Hylan SBS route."

The Staten Island Express Bus Network Redesign was implemented on August 19, 2018 to improve commutes between Staten Island and Manhattan. Utilizing trip performance data, ridership profiles and extensive customer input, NYC Transit concluded that the most effective way to make substantial improvements would be to undertake a comprehensive reorganization of the network.

The redesign streamlined trips with more direct routing that took advantage of transit priority street designs, balanced stop spacing, minimized routes on local streets, and allowed NYC Transit to effectively redistribute resources to areas where they were most needed. The NYC Department of Transportation and NYPD are critical partners in the ongoing improvements to the SIM network.