A plan to run shuttle trains on the Long Island Rail Road to increase the employment pool for East End companies strapped to find workers, and ease congestion on the roads, is scheduled to go into effect early next year. East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc and board member Sylvia Overby, while attending an event in Springs last week, spoke about the plan.
“They will run two additional trains in the morning and two in the afternoon,” Van Scoyoc said. In the morning, the trains will head east out of Speonk. One will terminate in Amagansett, and the other in Montauk. The train will be stored east of the Amagansett train will be stored east of the train station, allowing regular service between the city and Montauk to continue throughout the day. In the evening, the trains will head back to Speonk.
“This came about with the help of Senator Ken LaValle, Assemblyman Fred Thiele, and County Legislator Bridget Fleming, along with the town supervisors’ offices in East Hampton and Southampton, all working together,” Van Scoyoc said.
“We all know that finding employees that live in the community is not easy. We want to make sure that we get good employees that come from other parts of Long Island,” Overby said.
“The towns will be responsible for the last mile of service, to provide public transportation for connections to [the workplace] from the train station,” Van Scoyoc said. While they did not get into specifics about that final mile, the supervisor pointed to the success of the Hopper bus in Montauk, which he believes can be a model for the town’s other hamlets.
“A couple of years ago, with the help of some state funding, I initiated the downtown Montauk Hopper loop that has been very successful. We are going to try and duplicate similar service for the various hamlets and their train stations,” he said.
He added that, as a major employer in the town, the town itself is seeking alternate forms of transportation for its workers, “saving them time and money, and broadening our reach for the employment pool. It is so expensive for people to live here.”