Statement of the New York City Transit Riders Council to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on the Extension of the S55 Bus Route
February 6, 2007
My name is William Henderson, and I am a Staten Island resident and Executive Director of the New York City Transit Riders Council (NYCTRC). The Council was created in 1981 to represent the users of the New York City Transit system and consists of fifteen volunteer members appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of the Mayor, the Public Advocate and the five Borough Presidents.
The NYCTRC welcomes this effort to expand service to meet the increasing demands for mobility on the rapidly growing South Shore of Staten Island. This extension promises to provide the residents of this area with a convenient link to the Staten Island Railway as well as a more direct trip to the Staten Island Mall area. We note that this route does not directly serve the 42 acre Bricktown Centre commercial development and other rapidly growing employment centers on the South Shore, such as those along Page Avenue, and we call upon New York City Transit and the MTA to address emerging transportation needs in those areas. We also note that the S55 bus provides only weekday service and hope that consideration can be given to providing a greater span of service on this route.
The Council believes that this effort should only be a beginning in the analysis and improvement of bus routing on Staten Island. While many of the routes on Staten Island and in other rapidly growing parts of New York City follow long established patterns of service, the nature of demand in the areas served by these routes has changed considerably. Because of both the density of population and activity in these areas and the expense involved in constructing new fixed route transit infrastructure, the bus fleet will figure prominently in the transportation future of these growing areas. It is critical that transit continue to expand and evolve in the lower density growth areas of
the City, not only to serve their residents, but also to connect workers to the expanding employment opportunities found in these areas.