GRANT CITY — A program that fits bike racks to the front of buses should be expanded in Staten Island, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said.
Malliotakis asked the city to put the racks on the S51, S79 and S78 buses to make it safer and easier for cyclists to get to the St. George Ferry Terminal and across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Brooklyn.
"This is a good alternative for people to be able to put their bike on a bus and be able to get off at a stop and continue riding," said Malliotakis.
"This is providing a safe and reliable way for you to get your bike into Brooklyn or to the Staten Island Ferry and take it into Manhattan."
Malliotakis wrote a letter to the MTA last week, along with the Riders Alliance and Transportation Alternatives, to make a pilot program permanent and expand it to other lines that will help riders visit "bicycle destinations" in the borough like the New Springville Greenway.
"There's a lack of a bike infrastructure," said Greg Mihailovich, Staten Island organizer for Transportation Alternatives.
"Having options where people can get their bikes around Staten Island is definitely something we need."
Last year, the MTA started a pilot "Bike and Ride Program" to add the racks to the S53 and S93 buses — which run from Staten Island to Bay Ridge — that were mounted on the front of buses and had room for two bikes.
Bicycles other than foldable ones are prohibited inside regular MTA bus lines and the agency started the year-long pilot in August 2015 to test out the racks.
"We are currently analyzing data from the pilot," Kevin Ortiz, spokesman for the MTA, said in a statement.
It cost the MTA $42,000 to install the 38 racks on the S53 and S93 last year, the agency previously said.
Since they were put in place, they have been popular among commuters with drivers estimating about 200 people use them on the S53 only each month, Malliotakis said.