A $4 million dollar job is in the studies, being conducted by the MTA. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has proposed a light rail from Staten Island to New Jersey. This will be called the West Shore Light Rail.
The West Shore Light Rail was mentioned in a previous time. The project itself would run 13-miles along Richmond Valley to Elm Park then, in that time, will connect to New Jersey over the Bayonne Bridge.
A light rail, in general, is an electric railway which is able to operate a single to multiple train cars at one time. The system could be located on the ground level, have aerial structures, and even be included on streets. Light rails are normally powered by electric wire over the cart itself.
The West Shore Light Rail idea came from the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) in 2004. However, in 2014, this plan was restarted with a petition to fund the studies to get the project going. The studies were excepted to be completed by the last Friday in June (June 30th, 2017). The cost for this project is an approximate estimate that SIEDC made and is about $5 million dollars.
This will be a reliable way for Staten Islanders to travel. This will also help residents to avoid traffic and stressful commutes. The West Shore Light Rail would be extended through New Jersey Transits Hudson-Bergen Light Rail System over the Bayonne Bridge from the western and southern portions of Staten Island. Once in Bayonne, it would connect to the PATH subway service to bring commuters into Manhattan. However, this is not the definite plan or route since the idea is still in the study phase.
Besides avoiding and/or minimizing traffic, the Light Rail will also benefit in other ways, such as neighborhood's will witness an increase in property value (based on certain nearby statistics), environmental safety, and an additional commuting option for Staten Islanders traveling into New Jersey or Manhattan.
The MTA capital program is putting funds into one of the two studies that are needed to be conducted in order to get this project off the ground, according to the state lawmakers. Assemblyman Michael Cusick believes this project would be a crucial step forward in adjusting and fixing the frustration Staten Islanders face during commutes.