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Better Buses Restart: New York City Announces Extension of Hylan Boulevard Bus Lanes to Provide Faster, More Reliable Service for Staten Islanders

October 27, 2020

Another ‘Better Buses Restart’ project completed this year already improving bus speeds and inter-borough connections for 33,000 daily riders

To date, 9.1 miles of bus priority projects completed in 2020

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today announced the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) has completed its extension of the Hylan Boulevard bus lanes, providing faster, more reliable bus service for 33,000 Staten Islanders every day and improving inter-borough connections between Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. This reallocated street space to buses permanently maintains and builds upon the faster bus speeds experienced during the COVID crisis, with speeds up 71% during the afternoon rush over the pre-COVID period. The bus lane is one of four ‘Better Buses Restart’ projects, totaling 9.1 miles, completed so far this year.

DOT installed 4.7 miles of new curbside bus lane, extending the northbound lane from Nelson Avenue to Lincoln Avenue, and the southbound bus lane from Lincoln Avenue to Guyon Avenue. The Hylan Boulevard corridor serves the S79 Select Bus Service, the S57 and S78 local routes, and eight express bus routes.

“Staten Island needs faster and more reliable buses, and these bus lane extensions mean easier commutes for tens of thousands of riders every day,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Rebuilding a fairer and better city means doubling down on public transportation, I look forward to continuing to improve car-free options in every borough.”

“Throughout this pandemic it’s become even more apparent how much of a critical role buses play in New York City and the extension of bus lanes on Hylan Boulevard benefits tens of thousands of Staten Islanders,” said Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin. “Every borough will continue to see further innovations and investments in public transportation, as that continues to remain the future of mobility for this City.”

“Buses have played a vital role during the COVID-19 crisis, keeping our frontline workers moving during the shutdown, and now helping more and more New Yorkers get around the five boroughs during recovery,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We thank Mayor de Blasio for making the Hylan Boulevard project a key component of the Better Buses Restart, so we could move quickly to extend the bus lanes to cover what Staten Islanders know is the busiest part of the corridor.”

Average northbound bus speeds are now at 11.8 mph during the AM rush, a 28% increase over the pre-COVID-era speed of 9.2 mph, while southbound buses are now averaging 14.9 mph during the PM rush, up 71% from pre-COVID-era speeds of 8.7 mph for southbound buses during the PM rush.

DOT continues to deliver on the mayor’s record-setting Better Buses Restart plan, which aims to increase bus speeds and reliability along major corridors in all five boroughs. The agency has also continued implementing bus priority projects throughout the city, including the Jay Street Busway Pilot and Malcolm X Blvd in Brooklyn, 149th Street in the Bronx, and the 14th Street bus lane extension in Manhattan.

Hylan Boulevard Project Details:

  • Northbound bus lane: Nelson Avenue to Lincoln Avenue Hours in effect: 6 AM – 9 AM, M-F
  • Southbound bus lane: Lincoln Avenue to Guyon Avenue Hours in effect: 3 PM – 7 PM, M-F
  • Emergency vehicles are permitted to access the bus lane, and vehicles may use the bus lane to make a right turn

NYC DOT created a Community Advisory Board (CAB) made up of bus riders, community members, and elected officials, who met to discuss and advise on the project. DOT will continue to provide feedback to the CAB in the coming months. All presentations to the CAB are available at

NYC DOT will monitor traffic and bus speeds to study the impacts of the new bus lanes and continue to provide public updates on progress.

“Dedicated bus lanes on Staten Island such as these are needed to speed up what is already one of the lengthiest commutes in the country, and to get people out of their cars government has to incentivize people to take mass transit. I hope to see the improved bus speeds experienced during the pandemic by our SIM Express Bus commuters, particularly along this Hylan Boulevard corridor, maintained as a result to this Better Buses Restart project,” said Borough President Jimmy Oddo.

“Thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s Better Buses Restart program, commuting just got easier for Staten Island bus riders,” said Liam Blank, Policy & Communications Manager for Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “Bus lanes are an effective tool for a more equitable economic recovery, helping to move many commuters who are getting back to work following the COVID-19 pandemic. We commend the city for continuing to follow through on its commitment to fix and modernize the bus network.”

"The road to New York City's recovery from COVID-19 is one that includes bus lanes. The extension of the Hylan Boulevard bus lanes on Staten Island will bring an enormous improvement in bus service for over 30 thousand bus riders spanning three boroughs, and importantly, will ease the commutes for many of our city's essential workers. The Straphangers Campaign commends Mayor de Blasio and the NYC Department of Transportation for moving forward with this critical 'Better Buses Restart' project so that more New Yorkers can move forward towards recovery,” said Jaqi Cohen, Campaign Director, Straphangers Campaign.

“I am proud to be a part of such an important committee that impacts the lives of many of my fellow Staten Islanders," said Filippa Grisafi, a Great Kills resident and commuter advocate. “I am confident in the fact that the DOT is receptive to suggestions and ideas for improvements. Some of my concerns have already been addressed and my recommended suggestions have already been implemented, while several others are under review for consideration. I am certain that our collaboration will eventually improve the commutes for all of my fellow islanders. I look forward to continuing our successful partnership.”

"Thanks to the new Hylan Boulevard bus lanes, 33,000 Staten Island riders will now have faster, more reliable commutes," said Riders Alliance Senior Organizer Jolyse Race. "City bus riders are overwhelmingly low-income New Yorkers of color and better bus service is a matter of basic equity. With these bus lanes, City Hall and the Department of Transportation get us that much closer to the end of the Tale of Two Cities."

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