Ridership continues to grow and ticket prices come down on the South Fork Commuter Connection, which celebrated a year of service last week.
“This has reduced the number of vehicles on our roadways and in our parking lots,” East Hampton Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said. “We are also reducing carbon emissions.”
Southampton and East Hampton town supervisors and other elected officials gathered March 6 to mark the first 365 days of the new ride service. This program combines increased train service provided by the Long Island Rail Road with coordinated local shuttle bus connecting service supplied by the two towns.
“As we work toward expanding and fortifying the LIRR system, we’re constantly looking for new ways to meet the connectivity needs of the millions of customers we serve each year,” LIRR president Phillip Eng said. “The South Fork Commuter Connection represents how collaborative efforts between the railroad and our partners on the East End can help make ideas like this a reality.”
For $3.25 each way, commuters can take the South Fork Commuter Connection to or from Speonk to Montauk and destinations in-between. With a low one-way fare, and discounts for purchasing weekly and monthly passes, it’s a cost-effective and environmentally-conscious way to leave traffic behind.
“This project is so important to our coastal communities to reduce carbon emissions and assist local businesses to bring employees to and from work,” Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming said.
Assemblyman Fred Thiele said the state will continue offering funding to support the last mile of bus service.
“We expect there will be another $500,000 in this year’s budget that will help the towns provide this vital service to bring people from the trains and to and from their jobs,” Thiele said.
Southampton Town just completed a new parking lot off Ponquogue Avenue, just south of the railroad tracks, to allow more commuters to take advantage of the service as traffic continues to rise toward the summer season.
“The Town of Southampton is ready as ridership continues to grow,” Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said.