"There are still a number of issues to be worked out, but making public transportation more convenient is essential for the Town's future," shared JoAnne Pahwul, AICP, Assistant Planning Director of the Town of East Hampton. "Shuttle service on the LIRR has the potential to not only lessen traffic, but also to provide a larger bank of employees for our businesses."
The Town of East Hampton has joined forces with State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle
to persuade the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to reintroduce a coordinated rail and bus service that would be comparable to the South Fork Commuter Connection service, which was offered during the reconstruction of Country Road 39.
"Although our goal would be to provide 1/2 hour service, the number of trains will depend on the availability of equipment, scheduling conflicts and other factors determined by the LIRR," Larry Cantwell, Supervisor, Town of East Hampton, noted in a press release.
In the morning, eastbound train(s) would be available from the stations in the western end of the Town of Southampton to East Hampton, possibly even to Montauk. Once passengers had arrived at their destination, buses would be available to transport them to hamlet centers and other employment centers. A similar westbound service would be available in the afternoon.
"Essentially, the train shuttle service would be designed for commuters who work in our Town the ability to park in the western area of Southampton and take the shuttle train to and from East Hampton/Montauk," Cantwell added.
Members of the East Hampton Business Alliance, the East Hampton Chamber of Commerce and the Montauk Chamber of Commerce
were asked to complete a survey that inquired about employees' commute time, days and location to help determine the service's need.
Although the local organizations have already met with Assemblyman Thiele and Senator LaValle and are in the midst of drafting a request to the LIRR based on members' responses, Pahwul believes it would be beneficial for even more local businesses to give their input.
"It would still be useful to receive more surveys from businesses that haven't responded yet," noted Pahwul. "The LIRR will have the final say as to the frequency and times that service can be provided, but these surveys will provide information to support our requests and evaluate the frequency and timing of service offered by the LIRR."
You can receive a copy of the survey by contacting the East Hampton Business Alliance at 631-324-8550, the East Hampton Chamber of Commerce at 631-324-0362, the Montauk Chamber of Commerce at 631-668-2428, or the Planning Department at 631-324-2178.
Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com