STATEN ISLAND, NY — Getting a bicycle over to Brooklyn is about to get a lot easier.
On Wednesday, the MTA released a new strategic action plan, Extending Transit’s Reach, a comprehensive blueprint to promote cycling, micromobility and pedestrian access at the agency’s bridges, stations and bus stops.
“It’s time for the MTA to fully embrace bicycle, pedestrian and micromobility access as we plan and expand New York’s transit system,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “Extending Transit’s reach provides a framework to better integrate MTA subway, bus, and commuter rail service with the ways that New Yorkers are increasingly using to get around.”
As part of the plan, the MTA will install front-mounted bike racks on three Select Bus Service routes that cross the agency’s bridges, including the S79 SBS, which travels from the Staten Island Mall in New Springville to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, via the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
Other routes to receive bike racks will include the Q44 SBSwhich operates between West Farms Square in the Bronx and Jamaica, Queens, via the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, and the M60 SBSwhich operates between the Upper West Side of Manhattan and LaGuardia Airport via 125th Street and the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge.
The bike racks will be mounted on the front of the bus, providing room for two bicycles, free of charge, on a first-come, first-served basis.
The S79 SBS will be the third Staten Island-Brooklyn MTA bus route to receive bike racks.
As part of a 2015 Bike & Ride pilot programbike racks were mounted on buses along the S53 and S93 routes, which travel from Port Richmond to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn via the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
“We applaud the MTA for expanding access to bikes and micromobility devices on public transit and at bridges” said Danny Harris, executive director of Transportation Alternatives. “By better combining public transit and bikes, the MTA can expand access to opportunity for more New Yorkers, while reducing reliance on cars.”
S79 BUS-MOUNTED CAMERAS
Bike racks aren’t the only things that the MTA is mounting on S79 buses.
As of Dec. 30, the new automated enforcement cameras installed on Staten Island’s S79 SBS buses have issued tickets to drivers illegally using city bus lanes or blocking bus stops.
The cameras capture license plate information, photos and videos, along with location and timestamp information, which are sent to the Department of Transportation for review and processing, with fines being issued by the Department of Finance.
Fines start at $50, escalating by an additional $50 with each subsequent offense, up to a maximum of $250 per violation.
Violations are only issued during bus lane operating hours, which in the case of Hylan Boulevard means from 6 to 9 am eastbound, and from 3 to 7 pm westbound.
On Richmond Avenue, bus lanes are in effect at all times, meaning drivers can be ticketed at any time of day.
The S79 cameras were activated on Oct. 31, but had only been issuing warnings during an initial 60-day grace period to alert drivers of the new program before any fines were assessed.
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