College of Staten Island
 The City University of New York

GIS map of population density on Staten Island, New York, by census tract.

Research Highlights

Staten Island Transportation System
Jonathan Peters, Associate Professor of Finance

Professor Jonathan Peters is a Professor of Finance at CSI, as well as a Research Fellow of the University Transportation Research Center at City College. He is an expert on the Staten Island transportation system and toll collection methods. Professor Peters is also the co-author of a study of the problems and challenges for the Staten Island transportation network for the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. He believes that the two biggest problems on Staten Island are an over dependence on cars, and the massive growth and development on Staten Island. In an attempt to help alleviate these problems, he is working with his colleagues on several projects.

In one of his projects, Prof. Peters is working with data from the Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to analyze the performance of toll plazas. As many people have experienced, toll plazas have the potential to create significant traffic delays due to toll plaza collection methods. Utilizing a computer simulation model developed with Dr. Michael Kress of CSI, Prof. Peters is able to digitally recreate the expected traffic flow and buildup at a given toll plaza, at any time of the day. This study brings us a step closer to understanding traffic congestion, and realizing smoother flow of traffic; in addition to improving air quality due to reduced idling of vehicles.

Some possible ideas to alleviate congestion include the possibility of adding a light rail system on Staten Island 's North Shore. This train would link West Brighton, Port Richmond, and other towns with the Staten Island Ferry and Staten Island Rapid Transit, where passengers could transfer from one to the other. By employing GIS mapping, Prof. Peters was able to estimate the number of riders who would use an extension of NJ's Hudson-Bergen rail from Bayonne to Staten Island 's North Shore.

According to Professor Peters, "5% of the nation's tolls are paid in S.I." and 16 states in the U.S. still collect no tolls. He further proceeded to explain if S.I. were considered its own state, it would rank seventh in the nation for the amount of money that is collected in tolls from drivers who use the Island's bridges.

One student, Dovile Norkeveciute, who was working with Prof. Peters launched a study of MTA bus services on Staten Island . Norkeveciute visited all of the S62 bus stops. As she followed the route she recorded information about each stop. The records include a photo of each stop in addition to ratings on how safe the stop is. Most of the stops were in terrible condition, some didn't have sidewalks, while others were unlit.

Another study which is being conducted by Prof. Alan Benimoff takes the addresses of every student who attends CSI and creates a map. This map shows the clustered areas of CSI students, and can be used to help create better transportation from their homes to the campus. It is hoped that with this information, the MTA can create better routes from students trying to get to class on time.

Prof. Peters is a Research Associate with the College of Staten Island - Staten Island Project and he is an active participant in local public policy analysis. The idea behind the CSI-SIP is that the College can take a stronger role in the public policies of S.I. This program will help people to be more informed with what's going on, and bring in new ideas for improvement and potential investments.

other articles include:
High-Tech Mapping in New York City - Putting Trains Back on Track