The South Fork Commuter Connection trains began to roll on Monday, March 4. A coordinated rail and bus system created to operate during peak commuting hours, to provide workers with a public transportation option, the service will operate Mondays through Fridays year round, except for major legal holidays and Fridays during the summer.
Hampton Hopper shuttle buses will meet the morning trains, which originate in Speonk or Westhampton, at stations in East Hampton Town to transport workers to designated stops along routes designed to get commuters to key workplaces or employment centers, and will pick up riders for transport to the train stations in the afternoon.
This pilot program is the result of efforts by Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, who worked with the LIRR and obtained state funding for the “last-mile” shuttles, and its success will be evaluated by the LIRR in deciding whether to make the service a permanent offering.
The South Fork Commuter Connection alternative will not only allow commuters to skirt the traffic and leave their cars at home, providing a smoother way to commute, but allow commuters, by doing so, to help reduce carbon emissions and pollution by getting cars off the road.