Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Staten Island Light rail and Subway connections



Having just worked on a study and rezoning proposal for Staten Island, I am still in shock with the lack of transportation options. Just like all public transit is geared towards getting riders into and out of Manhattan, Staten Island is concerned only with getting its riders to and from the ferry terminal. At least now there is a bus connection to light rail in New Jersey, but your only option to get to Manhattan is ferry, bus (via NJ or Brooklyn), or get in your car and drive. From Hunter College to Staten Island's North shore can easily be a two hour trip. Ironically enough, you can get to Philadelphia faster via the Chinatown Bus.

1 comment:

SchmorgelBorgel said...

When I took classes at Hunter and lived in Grasmere, Staten Island, it didn't take 2 hours to get home (unless I missed a boat and/or was returning really late at night). You get on the 6 train at Hunter and transfer to the 4/5 at Grand Central, you should be at Bowling Green within 30 minutes (in theory, during rush hour, at least). You make it to the ferry in time to catch a boat, another 25 minute boat ride, you're in St George, SI within an hour (in theory). For me, I lived at my parents' house in Grasmere, 10 minutes away from the ferry via Staten Island Rapid Transit, so the total commute during rush hour was usually about 90 minutes, including waiting for trains, boats, etc. Other Staten Islanders who live further south from the SIRT (currently called SI Railway, but always SIRT for me) are less fortunate, and many live in neighborhoods where SIRT isn't accessible at all, and buses are the only public transportation option. Grasmere, near the VZ Bridge, also has two local buses passing through (s53 and s79), both terminating at the 'R' train stop at 86th street & 4th avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. (I forgot that the "R" to Bay Ridge and then the s53 bus over the VZ was also usually about a 90-minute commute from Hunter.) Grasmere is more convenient transportation-wise than many other SI nabes, as it's not so far out in Staten Island and you have several options for a Manhattan-bound commute. If you live here and work in the Wall Street area, your rush hour commute should be under an hour. There are also lots of express buses to Manhattan that pass through this neighborhood. I'm currently incarcerated back here in my parents' basement following separation from my wife and exile/deportation from Park Slope, and I frequently ride my bike into work in the East 50s during rush hour--it takes just under 20 minutes for me to pedal from Grasmere to St George ferry terminal-then a 25 minute ferry ride to Lower Manhattan--then 35 minutes via the mostly rutted and potholed eastside bike Greenway to 38th street and then up 1st Ave to E. 55th street and 3d ave. So, that's also just under 90 minutes, including waiting for the ferryboat. 90 minutes seems to be the operative number, although yeah, late nights you can spend 2 hours or more getting from Hunter to SI, waiting for missed connections.