A Bridge Too Far? The Staten Island/Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Missed Connection

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - growth, place - north america, mode - bus, mode - bus rapid transit, mode - tram/light rail


transit, Staten Island, New York City, transit policies, light rail, buses, bus rapid transit


Few urban areas are as economically and socially integrated as the New York City borough of Staten Island and the New Jersey communities of Bayonne and Jersey City just across the Hudson River. These strong links are illustrated by travel patterns across a north-south corridor from Staten Island up into Bayonne. Yet transit planning and development policy and implementation have been radically different in the two areas, with slow and, right now, stunted development of transit in Staten Island, New York City, as contrasted with the muscular and systematic approach taken in Bayonne and Jersey City, New Jersey. This paper analyzes the links between the two areas, describes the different transit policies taken in each, assesses the outcomes of these different policies, and offers suggestions for ways in which transit and development links could be improved, in particular an extension of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) into Staten Island. The paper also discusses the interim use of buses as a pre-development phase for light rail (LRT) or bus rapid transit (BRT), focusing on the relatively new S89 route in Staten Island that now links directly to the HBLR and which immediately attracted strong ridership.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Journal of Public Transportation, copyright remains with them.