East End Sunday bus service starts today

07/03/2011 11:19 AM |

TIM GANNON PHOTO | County legislators Jay Schneiderman and Ed Romaine take a ceremonial bus ride on the S92 Sunday morning.

Sunday bus service began this week for riders traveling around the East End.

Suffolk Transit riders on the S92 line, which runs from Orient Point around the island to East Hampton, and on the the 10C line, which runs from East Hampton to Montauk can now ride seven days a week.

“This has been seven years in the making,” said South Fork county Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk), who took a ceremonial bus ride from the Riverhead train station to the county center Sunday morning. He was joined by North Fork legislature Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches) and members of 5 Town Rural Transit, a non-profit organization that has pushed for improved public transportation on the East End.

The Sunday buses are expected to help businesses get customers into their stores while also providing transportation for employees, officials said.

In exchange for the added service, the county increased the fare on just the S92 and 10C lines from $1.50 to $2.
The County Legislature approved the measure by a 16-1 vote March 22, following a survey of bus riders which showed overwhelming support for the idea. County Executive Steve Levy signed the bill into law April 8.

Officials say the Sunday bus service is a pilot program, although the resolution approving it sets no specific date by which it will end.

“The start of regular bus service today means so much to people like me who cannot drive due to a disability, those who can’t afford the cost of personal vehicles and those who simply want to help reduce automotive congestion on the East End,” said Vince Taldone, a member of 5 Town Rural Transit, who is sight impaired.

Mr. Romaine said he hopes to get the Sunday route altered in the future to replace the county center stop with a stop at Tanger Outlet Center, since the county center is closed on Sundays.

“The riders are footing the bill and they have said overwhelmingly they are willing to pay more for Sunday service,” Mr. Schneiderman said.

[email protected]