Manhattan is New York City's hotspot for culture, commerce and entertainment. Many people in Staten Island commute to Manhattan to work, and others may want to frequent the borough for its many attractions. There are several ways to reach Manhattan from Staten Island, and some may be more convenient than others, depending on where you live.
The Staten Island Railway
Staten Island is the only borough in New York that is not connected to the New York subway system. However, the Staten Island Railway is included on official New York City subway maps, and riders can get a free transfer from the railway to the subway lines.
The railway is not connected directly to the subway; rather it runs from the southwestern tip of the island in Tottenville to the ferry terminal in St. George at the northeastern part of the island. The fare is payable by MetroCard, and the card allows free transfers to the bus or subway system. To get to the railway, there are busses that run to several of the railway stops, such as the S54 bus which originates in Port Richmond and makes a stop at the Great Kills rail station.
Catching the Ferry at St. George
The railway takes passengers to the St. George Ferry terminal, as do several local busses. The ferry provides a direct link from Staten Island to Manhattan, and it is a popular choice among commuters. The ferry is free and the route provides beautiful views of the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan. The trip takes about 25 minutes. Once in Manhattan, MetroCard holders can simply transfer to any bus or the subway.
Commuting by Car
For those who prefer to drive, the Staten Island Expressway traverses the length of the island and connects to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Brooklyn. Once in Brooklyn, drivers can take the Gowanus Expressway, which becomes the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, to Manhattan. This may be a good option for people who live in neighborhoods near the Expressway like New Dorp.
Local and Express Bus Service
There are busses that cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge as well. The S93 will take passengers from the College of Staten Island to a subway entrance in Brooklyn, where they can transfer to the subway or a bus to get to Manhattan. The S79 also takes residents to a Brooklyn subway entrance from the Staten Island Mall.
In addition to the local service, there are a number of express busses that run directly to Manhattan. Most of these busses run only at rush hour; however there are a few that run at other times. The X17 began providing Sunday service in 2012, and the X1 will provide late night service starting in January of 2013.
For residents living near the Bayonne Bridge to New Jersey, the S89 may be an attractive option. It takes passengers across the bridge into New Jersey, and stops at a station for the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail. From a stop along the Light Rail, residents can take a ferry to Manhattan.
Although Staten Island is a departure from the rest of New York City, and for some an escape from the noise and crowds, it is easy to get back to the city, to enjoy all the attractions it has to offer.