Bay Ridge

Brooklyn-Staten Island Subway: An idea that never got off the ground

January 22, 2019 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Deep under Owl’s Head Park in Bay Ridge lies the beginning of a never-finished subway tunnel between Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Starting in the 1910s, the idea of a subway tunnel between Bay Ridge and the Staten Island Railway’s now-defunct North Shore Line was popular, according to The New York Times. Even Mayor John Hylan, who served in the 1920s and was usually hostile to mass transit, was in favor of the tunnel. Indeed, he wanted it to serve both subway trains and freight trains.

Ground was broken in 1924, but cost overruns and the financial problems of Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit, the company that would have built the tunnel, doomed the project, the Times said. It was canceled in 1925.

In the 1950s and ’60s, there was some interest in adding subway tracks to the planned Verrazzano Bridge. But thanks to Robert Moses, the anti-mass transit head of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, that was never put into effect.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Recently, Staten Island Borough President James Oddo told the Times in an email that a Staten Island subway extension “has no chance of happening.”


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  1. Nelson G

    Don’t you think its about time Staten Island gets a Subway extension Mr. BP? Come on, everyone in Staten Island wishes there was another easier way to travel to and from that forgotten island. I’m sure traffic would ease up a little with a subway extension… I say instead of a GoFundMe for a WALL the people from SI should all start one for the subway extension.

  2. david vartanoff

    Hylan was NOT anti mass transit. He was anti the private sector ‘traction interests’ as they were called at the time. Hylan was the one who got the IND started which in the parts actually built mostly served areas already reached by the existing companies. Sadly, the fabled “Second System” has remained a dream so Staten Island still is isolated, the SAS is 1 1/2 miles, multiple other proposed routes have never even been begun. And, let us not forget that Robert Moses’ design for the VN bridge deliberately excluded subway trackage which could have been installed linking the 4th Ave Express tracks to the SIR.