A new route will be added to the recently-overhauled Express Bus system between Staten Island and Manhattan, and certain buses will get additional trips, the MTA announced Wednesday evening.
The transit agency said the new bus, the SIM9, will run from Hylan Boulevard and Richmond Ave. to lower Manhattan starting October 7. The bus is expected to travel the same route as the SIM7 and SIM33 once in Manhattan.
On the same day, the SIM4 and SIM4c buses will also be extended to Woodrow Road and Huguenot Ave. for late-night trips, eliminating a switch to a shuttle bus.
Overall, the MTA is adding additional rides on more than 10 Express Bus routes.
But the agency says it is also ending the SIM5x and SIM6x buses, which did not transport many passengers. The MTA says commuters who take those buses can instead catch the SIM5 and SIM6, which serve the same stops.
Last month, the agency implemented a sweeping overhaul of the Express Bus system, redesigning routes to make service faster and more reliable.
But some riders say the result has been just the opposite and have added about 30 minutes to their commutes.
"Overcrowding, people standing on buses, people waiting for buses for extraordinary amounts of time — there seems to be, really, a difference in the amount of frequency and the number of buses," one bus rider said.
The MTA said it was the biggest redesign of a system that had been in place on Staten Island for nearly half a century. The agency reduced the number of routes — originally 26 — and spaced some stops further apart, the first step in what's supposed to be a borough by borough overhaul.
Officials have not confirmed if there would be further tweaks to the Staten Island plan.
Transit officials and Borough President James Oddo vow the overhaul eventually will improve the commute for more Express Bus riders.
"I am very much aware that we have not yet achieved that goal," Oddo said in a statement earlier this week. "We will continue to grind at this until we have it right."
The bus route revamps are just beginning: After Staten Island, the MTA will set about redesigning how buses run in the Bronx.
Visit the MTA's website for more information on the new routes.
How's your commute on the new SIM routes? Connect with using the hashtag #NY1Commute.
FULL DETAILS OF THE SERVICE CHANGES STARTING OCTOBER 7
The new bus, the SIM9:
The SIM9 will start on Hylan Boulevard and Richmond Ave. It travel along Hylan until Midland Av, then take Father Capodanno Boulevard to the Verrazano Bridge. In Manhattan, it will follow the same route as the SIM7 and SIM33. The route will have a similar span of service to the SIM7. Riders are expected to also get a direct ride to West Street and Greenwich Village from Father Capodanno Boulevard, including from the South Beach park-and-ride. The MTA says it will also offer a faster ride to Manhattan for customers along Hylan Boulevard between Richmond and Midland Avenues, and more frequent service to Battery Park City.
Buses receiving additional Manhattan-bound trips:
SIM1, SIM7, SIM15, SIM22, SIM31, SIM32, and SIM34.
Buses receiving additional Staten Island-bound trips:
SIM1, SIM2, SIM4, SIM7, SIM31, SIM33, SIM34, and SIM35
The SIM3c will begin evening rush service at 6:25 p.m.
SIM4 and SIM4c:
The SIM4 and SIM4c will be extended to Woodrow Road and Huguenot Ave., for trips starting in Midtown, from 7:04 p.m. until midnight. The shuttle bus switch to transport passengers south of the Eltingville Transit Center will be eliminated as a result.
The MTA is also adding 8 a.m., 8:50 a.m., and 9:50 a.m. buses that will leave Midtown for people heading to the College of Staten Island.
SIM5x and SIM6x:
Service will end on the SIM5x and SIM6x buses. The MTA says commuters who take those buses can instead catch the SIM5 and SIM6, which serve the same stops.
The SIM7 will get more morning and evening trips, and extend evening service from Broadway-14th St. to 7:30 p.m.
ADDITIONAL TRANSIT READING