Staten Island Railway (SIR) is the rapid transit system serving the Staten Island borough of New York City, USA. It is one of six public transport systems in the USA that don’t have any discontinuation in operation.
SIR currently operates through a single 22.5 km long line. There are 22 stations along it. New York City Transit Authority, an undertaking of Metropolitan Transportation Authority is maintaining and operating the system. As per 2015 data, on a typical weekday, more than 28000 passengers travel by SIR trains.
The railway system was introduced in Staten Island as early as in 1836. The trains were put into both, passenger and freight services. SIR system is in use since 1st February 1860s. However, the operations were scaled down to great extent during the mid 20th century on grounds of financial loss.
On 1st July 1971, the operation of the line was transferred to Staten Island Rapid Transit Operating Authority. Multiple upgrades of the system took place including the first time price rise.
Hours of Operation
The system operates 24 hours a day 365 days a year. However, the train schedule differs between weekdays and weekends. Special days in the year e.g. Veterans Day, Columbus Day, Election Day and Martin Luther King’s birthday are taken as weekdays. On the other hand, Thanksgiving Day, New Year’s Day, Christmas, July 4th, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Presidents’ Day are treated as weekends. The headway is 15 minutes most of the time of the day, 30 minutes in the night time.
SIR also includes express service. The schedule is as follows:
- Towards St. George terminal, on weekdays, the service is available between 6:15 AM and 8:15 AM.
- Towards Tottenville, on weekdays, the service is available between 7:01 AM and 8:01 AM and again between 4:01 PM and 7:51 PM.
- Morning express trains have no stop between New Drop and St. George.
- Afternoon express trains have no stop between Great Kills and St. George.
Get the schedule of SIR trains here.
Lines and Stations
SIR line is a north-south line connecting St. George with Tottenville. It serves the eastern part of the borough. From SIR line, passengers can transfer to New York Subway lines free of cost. However, the two systems don’t have any common transfer. Most of the stations offer connections to NYTC buses. From the terminal station St. George, you can take Staten Island ferry service. Improved R44 New York City Subway cars are currently in use.
It takes around 45 minutes to complete a full journey on this line. The current operational stations are: Tottenville, Atlantic, Nassau, Richmond Valley, Annadal, Pleasant Plains, Prince’s Bay , Hugueno, Great Kill, Bay Terrace, Oakwood Height, Eltingvill, New Dor, Grant Cit, Jefferson Avenu, Clifto, Dongan Hill, Grasmer, Stapleto, Old Tow, Tompkinsvill, St. George
A new station, called Arthur Kill, is going to start operation very soon. It will replace two stations, namely, Nassau and Atlantic. The station is built to support 4-car trains. Parking facility for 150 cars is also being created near the station.
The current rolling stock is also undergoing modifications. R211S cars are going to replace the existing vehicles by 2023.
Fare and Ticket
The fare system is unified with New York City Subway and MTA bus network and includes transfers also. Fares are to be paid only at Tompkinsville and St. George stations. If you are riding or getting off at any other station, the journey is free for you.
The fare for a single journey, when paid in cash is $2.50. Alternatively, riders can use MetroCards. You can buy a Pay Per Ride MetroCard and can recharge it at the MetroCard vending machines or at the subway station booths located on the stations. There are also Unlimited Ride MetroCards that allow you an indefinite number of rides for 7 or 30 days. It is even possible to buy preset Metro cards for a pre-determined number of rides.
For senior citizens and disabled persons, MetroCards include a concession. These Reduced Fare MetroCards are personalized using multiple means for identification. You can even link your credit or debit card to the MetroCard and refill easily. These are called the Easy Pay Metro card.
Get further details on fare and ticket system here.
Facilities and Services
MTR offers a wealth of facilities so that you have a hassle-free, enjoyable ride.
- Park and Ride lots are offered by MTR in Huguenot, Prince’s Bay, Dongan Hills, Great Kills and Annadale stations. Besides, you can take advantage of municipal parking areas.
- Customer Assistance Intercoms are fitted in the stations and also on the trains. In an emergency, make use of these to communicate with the SIR staffs. You can also pull the emergency cord to stop the train.
- There are Off-hour Waiting Areas and you need not stand on empty platform late in the night.
- The stations are continuously monitored by CCTV cameras and MTR police.
MTR is very strict regarding the compliance of the travel rules and a violation may result in monetary and non-monetary punishments.
- Smoking and consuming alcohol are prohibited inside the subway.
- Large animals are not allowed within the system except for guide dogs of visually handicapped passengers.
- Bikes are allowed on trains only during the off-peak hours.
- While waiting for the trains, passengers must stay behind the yellow line drawn on the platform edge.
- If you’re claiming a discount on fare price, you must show valid proof of eligibility.
Here are few tips for the newbie SIR riders.
- While getting in or off the trains, take note of the gap between the train and the station platform.
- If anything falls onto the tracks, inform station personnel immediately. Never try to pick it up on your own.
- While on the platform, always put your stroller on break. While using an elevator or escalator, take your baby out of it, fold it and carry your infant in arms.
- Be aware of pickpockets.