It was August 2, the second day of the new Suffolk Transit schedules for the 10C bus, which connects Montauk to East Hampton, and the 10B, which connects Springs to East Hampton. The passengers waiting for the 10C in Montauk were not pleased by the result.
“I wanted to go to the public hearing,” said Patrick Ford of the night in mid-July the county held a hearing in Montauk on the schedule change, but he was unable to do so because he had important family matters to attend to. “I thought other people would go, but I heard nobody went,” he added.
While signs announced that a new schedule was about to go into effect, the schedule itself was neither posted nor available to riders over the weeks and days leading up to the change. “I couldn’t find it anywhere,” said a woman who gave her name as Dia. She rides the early bus to her job on Newtown Lane in East Hampton Village six days a week. The day before the change went into effect, the only schedule available on the bus was for the 10B. It was dated 2016.
Dia rides the early 10C. Previously, it had left Montauk at 7:05 AM. Now, it leaves at 6:45.
On August 2, scheduled times became irrelevant to 10C riders: the bus had broken down, and was pulled off the road by the Hampton Jitney, the company that operates the buses for Suffolk Transit. A dozen passengers were stranded. “The bus would be full of people if they kept a real schedule,” Ford said.
The 7:15 Hampton Jitney pulled into the stop. The dozen or so stranded passengers asked if they could board the Hampton Jitney, but the driver told them they could not. Dia phoned dispatch for the Hampton Jitney. Dispatch, in turn, contacted the driver and told him to allow the dozen to board. “I’m only stopping in Amagansett and East Hampton,” he said. There would be none of the 10C’s normal stops between those two points. For “Amassa,” who works for a landscaping company located between the two stops, it meant a couple of miles more to walk. “This sucks,” he said.
Neither had another dozen or so passengers of the 10B. They are all workers in Montauk, commuting from Springs. On August 1, they arrived at Newtown Lane, expecting to catch the early 10C back to Montauk. Under the new schedule, the 10C leaves East Hampton before the 10B arrives.
“I take the 10B six days a week, usually,” “Laura,” who lives in Springs and works on Newtown Lane, said August 2. “And I watched all the people that connect from the Springs to Montauk get stranded yesterday. The 10C leaves (now) at 7:14. The 10B arrives at 7:30ish. The next one is at 10:30. There were about 10 or 12 people there yesterday. It is all the workers. For them to say something like, ‘They can take a cab,’ . . . Are you kidding me? It is $70 to Montauk. If we are supposed to have local transportation, it kind of got really messed up.”
“The new schedule finally showed up on the website. I looked for it Sunday and I couldn’t find it. I looked for it the 31st and I couldn’t find it. There was no schedule. They did not have a printed schedule. Some of these people don’t have smart phones or internet access. As a community transit agency, you have to provide a printed schedule for your ridership,” she added.
“I’ve ridden the 10C for the last 10 years. For me, the Jitney should be eliminated. Get somebody else to take it over,” said Ford. He compared the 10C service with that of the Jitney itself, which is filled to capacity on most of its New York to East End runs during the summer season. “The Jitney runs on time. You pay 40 bucks, you have to run on time.” The fare on the 10C and 10B buses is $2.25, with another 25 cents for a transfer.