For Immediate Release
March 2, 2022
New Draft Plan Would Significantly Increase Access for County Residents
County Launches Online Survey Seeking Community Input and Feedback
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today unveiled a proposed redesign plan for the Suffolk County Transit bus system. The proposed plan was produced as part of the County’s ongoing Reimagine Transit Initiative, which is intended to rethink the entire network of Suffolk County Transit bus routes to ensure that the County is making the best use of its resources and aligning its investments with community goals and priorities.
The goal of the initiative is to restructure transit services to offer a more effective transit system that is in tune with the emerging technologies and trends, and identify opportunities for the use of new tools, like on-demand transit services.
“Today’s plan reflects one of the most impactful investments we can make as a County to improve economic opportunities for residents of Suffolk by providing a high-quality transit system that expands access to opportunity, and in turn, increases the economic competitiveness of our region,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “Through the Reimagine Transit initiative, we are working to create a transportation network that is far more useful for residents, workers, and visitors.”
The proposed redesign plan features a significant increase in the number of higher-frequency, more direct routes, reflecting an increased focus on providing service in the places and on the routes with the highest demand. Building off of the success of the Suffolk Transit On-Demand pilot in the Town of Southampton, the proposed plan also includes two on-demand microtransit zones to provide continued efficient service on the East End.
Under the improved frequency of service and timed connections featured in the proposed Network Redesign Plan, the average County resident will be able to reach 48% more employment centers and opportunities within 60 minutes via transit when compared to the current Suffolk County Transit network. In addition, low-income residents will have access to 59% more employment, residents without cars will have access to 53% more employment, and communities of color will have access to 67% more employment
The proposed Network Plan is a culmination of a comprehensive planning and public input process that included numerous public and advisory committee meetings, public surveys, and the launch of the Reimagine Transit webpage. The plan seeks to reverse declining ridership on Suffolk Transit over the past decade and reflects a public desire for a more ridership-oriented mass transit service that will provide improved reliability, enhanced frequencies, extended operating hours, full network service on weekends, more direct routes, and timed connections to ensure shorter wait periods between transfers.
These timed transfers will occur at Brentwood, Bay Shore, Central Islip, Smith Haven Mall, Patchogue and Riverhead. Schedules will also be refreshed to reflect current travel times for more reliable trip planning.
In addition to unveiling this Plan, the County has launched an online interactive tool allowing residents to explore the new Network, along with a survey to elicit feedback on the proposed Plan. Residents can click here to view the survey.
Reimagine Transit was launched as an initiative to rethink the entire network of Suffolk County Transit bus routes. The goal of the initiative, which began in September of 2020 and is funded through a New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) $175,000 grant, is to restructure transit services to offer a more effective transit system that is in tune with the emerging technologies and trends, and to identify opportunities for the use of new tools, like on-demand transit services to support the fixed route network that serves as the spine of the system.
The Reimagine Transit initiative offers Suffolk residents the chance to reconsider how its transit system is meeting the county’s mobility needs. As cities and counties across the country have done in recent years, in the face of declining ridership and a shifting economic landscape, it is more important than ever to ensure that the County’s resources are being put to use most efficiently to meet the County’s ridership and transit coverage goals. Expected to conclude in the summer of 2022, the initiative will result in an implementation and roll-out plan to redesign Suffolk’s surface transit network.
The initiative builds on Connect Long Island, the County Executive’s signature regional transportation and development vision plan, and the Suffolk County Mobility Study, which evaluated and sought solutions to the County’s transit challenges.
In 2015, County Executive Bellone first launched his Connect Long Island Initiative, a regional transportation and development plan that promotes long-term economic growth in Suffolk County through a model of increased access and mobility by alternative modes of transportation. The plan supports investments in regional mass transit systems, such as the Long Island Rail Road, the implementation of new transit modes, the creation of transit-oriented developments and the connection of these transit-oriented developments and downtown areas to major research and educational institutions.