STATEN ISLAND, NY – All Staten Island bus lines initially took the prefix “R” for the borough of Richmond. The “R” was replaced by “S” when the borough was officially named Staten Island in 1975. Around 1989, the road numbers were changed. here is a list of original bus numbers with the new numbers as well.
The largest streetcar or streetcar companies on Staten Island were the Richmond Light & Railroad Co. and the Staten Island Midland Railway, which operated a few routes.
Staten Island Midland Railway was suspended in the 1920s, and streetcar lines were later managed by the New York City Department of Plant and Structures, which also launched a few trolleybus lines, starting in 1921.
In 1925, the Tompkins Bus Co. came and got a franchise to operate gasoline buses on Staten Island. Buses replaced tram and trolleybus lines, and new bus lines were created serving former unserved areas.
In 1927, the Richmond Light & Railroad Co. was renamed Richmond Railways. In 1933, a subsidiary of Richmond Railways Staten Island Coach Co. began operating buses, replacing the Richmond Railways streetcar lines. The two separate bus systems continued to operate until 1937, when the Staten Island Coach Co. began operating Tompkins Bus Co. routes. Old Tompkins Bus Co. routes were given new route numbers in the 100s.
The Staten Island Coach Co. went bankrupt in 1946. The Isle Transportation Co., a business organized by employees of Staten Island Coach Co., began operating buses on Staten Island. However, the Isle Transportation Co. went bankrupt in 1947 and the city resumed buses on February 23 of the same year. This was the first bus service operated by the city, other than the Williamsburg Bridge line.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) now operates the bus lines on Staten Island.
The St. George Ferry Terminal is where there are connections to the Staten Island Ferry, local trains, and many Staten Island bus lines.
In May 2017, there was a MTA study fact called “Reimagining Express Buses” which found that “the express bus network has evolved through piecemeal changes over several decades” and suggested that “to make substantial improvements, a comprehensive review of the network in it was needed as a whole, focusing on corridors rather than specific routes.
Around this time, we saw dedicated bus lanes appear all over Staten Island.
I love the look of the old, rounded buses from the 1930s. Over the years, the design of the buses has become simpler. The use of buses on Staten Island has been a constant since the end of the trolleys.