Found this article over at Streets Blog. Having done a good amount of work this past year in SI's north shore this is great news. If ridership continues to rise maybe, just maybe, SI will get some of the improvements that are long overdue.
Rising fuel prices, improvements to the 14-mile line, a $5 toll on Verrazano Bridge for borough residents, and traffic congestion have all led to a nearly 20% increase in riders over the last two years -- the largest gain in the MTA system, according to Staten Island Rail (SIR) chief John Gaul
While the 20% increase is the largest in the system over the last two years, the number of riders is small. In February 2008, the most recent statistics available, an average of 16,000 weekday riders a day took the railway, up from 14,000 in February 2007. Subway weekday ridership, meanwhile, has increased about 4% over the last year.