Over 200 supporters joined us in Bay Ridge to show support for a pedestrian and bicycle path on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge! Much thanks to Senator Marty Golden, Councilman Vincent Gentile, the Bay Ridge Merchants of Third Avenue, the Staten Island Athletic Club, the Staten Island Bicycle Association, and the Five Boro Bicycle Club for lending their voices to the cause!
Starting on Sunday, September 6, MTA New York City Transit will add bicycle racks on two Staten Island bus routes, the first time that such equipment has been made available for public use on NYC Transit.
The yearlong Bike & Ride pilot will roll out on the S53 and S93 routes, which run between Staten Island and the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn over the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. The two lines were chosen for their safe access to current and planned bicycle paths, ridership and routes, which serve a major college campus where bicycling is a popular commuting option.
“Bringing the Bike & Ride program to the S53 and S93 will increase the mobility of students who are traveling between home and campus. Before this program, our customers had no direct way to travel with their bicycles on public transportation between Brooklyn and Staten Island. Now customers can take advantage of the city’s bike lanes and greenways without worrying about how to transport their bicycles,” said Darryl C. Irick, President of MTA Bus and Senior Vice President, NYC Transit Department of Buses. “A future expansion will depend on results of this pilot and will most likely focus on routes that cross bridges.”
Full MTA press release is HERE.
The Harbor Ring applauds the MTA’s efforts to introduce bicycle racks on the S53 & s93 bus routes. It is a welcome addition to the city’s growing infrastructure for both current and future cyclists. We are certain Bike & Ride will be a success, just as similar programs have been in cities all over the country that have long had bike racks as standard equipment across their vehicular fleets. However, one bus carrying two bicycles is by no means a solution for our city’s overwhelming transportation deficiencies. We continue our campaign urging the MTA to create separated bicycle and pedestrian pathways across the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge that would offer toll free connectivity between Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Runners and cyclists, commuters and tourists, Staten Islanders and Brooklynites…No matter who you are, you’ve made it clear: you want to be able to walk and ride over the Verrazzano Bridge! Hundreds of the Harbor Ring’s supporters have commented on our petition for a multi-use path on the bridge:
“This is important to me because public transportation off and on Staten Island is limited. I have wondered for a long time why there isn’t already a pedestrian path across the bridge, since most NYC bridges do allow pedestrians. This would certainly make travel to Brooklyn much easier especially when money is tight.” -Vincent, Staten Island
“Alternate access to parks and historic sites in Staten Island besides the roundabout way using the crowded ferry that has a limited schedule.” -Emily, Brooklyn
“I live in Staten Island and it would be way more convenient for me to bike across the bridge to buy food or visit friends and family members.” -David H. Staten Island
“As a native of SI and now a Bay Ridge resident who is carless, this would be a life saver for getting back home, without spending the 1.5+ hour bus trip.” -Andrea, Brooklyn
“I just attempted to walk all five boroughs yesterday, only to find out that pedestrians are not allowed on the Verrazzano Bridge! What a disappointment after 25 grueling miles! Please finish the bridge. Thank you!” -Jason, Liverpool, NY
“For increased happiness and a transportation opportunity that is cheaper and an exercise-induced, healthier option to get to my work on Staten Island. I think it also would allow for increased economic opportunities as well.” -Megan, Brooklyn
Let us know your own reason on Twitter @TheHarborRing: Why do YOU want to walk and ride over the Verrazzano?