Suffolk County, NY (June 30, 2016) – Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced the County is the recipient of $300,000 in federal grants from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) for the use of the plane-to-train connectivity study between the Ronkonkoma Long Island Rail Road Station and Long Island MacArthur Airport. The Suffolk County Legislature approved the appropriation of the funds at the general meeting held on June 21.
“This is another step toward spurring economic development in the Ronkonkoma Hub which will create thousands of new jobs in Suffolk County and provide a more convenient public transportation option to our residents,” said Suffolk County Steve Bellone. “For years, our region has been complacent with the lack of infrastructure and public transit options to key destinations. Long Island MacArthur Airport is an easy and convenient airport for residents to access, and with a plane-to-train connection to the rail road, you can be in New York City in under an hour.”
Suffolk County was awarded the federal grant funding from the United Planning Work Program, which was developed by the NYMTC. The County’s Department of Economic Development and Planning will help to administer the study, which will analyze the best ways to increase connectivity between the Ronkonkoma Station and Macarthur Airport. The study will evaluate land use opportunities, economic development and benefits associated with train-to-plane public transit connections. In addition, alternative options will be developed in regards to costs, construction time, environmental impacts and efficiency of use.
The total cost of the connectivity study is estimated at $375,000. The Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning will provide matching funds of $75,000 for the study, which was already included in the County’s 2016 Operating Budget.
The study complements Suffolk County’s Innovation Zone initiative that was introduced by County Executive Bellone in 2015. The I-Zone plans to connect existing and planned transit-oriented downtowns – such as the Ronkonkoma Hub – to the region’s world-class research institutions and amenities in order to create a quality of life ecosystem to attract the next generation of business leaders.
The study will also complement previous and ongoing grant-funded studies conducted by the Department of Economic Development and Planning to spur economic development, including the Bus Rapid Transit Feasibility study, the Nicolls Road Alternatives Analysis and the Nicolls Road BRT Preliminary Engineering, Design and Environmental impact study.
For more information on the funding and the Innovation Zone plan, visit www.suffolkcountyny.gov and www.facebook.com/stevebellone.