Transit Network Concepts

A transit network can be designed to focus resources towards achieving different goals. For Suffolk County to make best use of its transit resources, the Suffolk County Transit bus network redesign should align with the community’s priorities.

In order to identify the community’s priorities, the project team has designed two contrasting network concepts to illustrate the trade offs between the concepts of High Coverage and High Ridership. This section describes the concepts in detail.

How should we redesign the Suffolk County Transit Bus Network?

It depends on our goal.

If our goal is to reach as many places across Suffolk County as possible (Coverage), then we should spread out the bus service. The trade off? Very few bus routes can offer frequent service (most routes run every 60 minutes), and fewer people find the bus system useful because they cannot travel when they need to. However, with an expanded network geography, there is some transit service near people who otherwise lack access to other modes of public transportation.

If our goal is to get lots of people to ride the buses (Ridership), then we should run frequent service primarily where people live and work. Providing useful service in dense and busy places also has environmental benefits as more people opt for transit over personal vehicles. The downside? Bus service may be reduced or even eliminated in areas with low population density.

These two concepts – High Coverage and High Ridership - allocate transit resources in contrasting ways. When resources are limited, you cannot have high frequency service that goes everywhere. The two concepts summarized below show how the County’s bus network could look like depending on which concept is prioritized by the community.

These concepts are not proposals. We will design the draft plan later this year based on your input.

Coverage Concept

When we expand the geographic reach of our transit service, we get:

  • More people are near transit, but fewer people are near frequent transit
  • A minimal level of transit service available to riders more areas
  • Less useful service, so fewer people ride transit
  • Longer wait times

Ridership Concept

When we concentrate our transit service in the busiest places, we get:

  • More people riding transit because service is more convenient
  • Fewer people near transit, but more people near frequent transit
  • Shorter wait times
  • Less traffic and air pollution
  • Access to more jobs and economic opportunities

You can explore the Concepts in more detail using the links above. You can also learn more about the Existing Network here.

Coverage Concept

The Coverage Concept is designed to maximize transit coverage by spreading transit resources over a larger area. Because service is spread out, it cannot be as frequent.

The first map shows the Coverage Concept network in the County, while the second map focuses on the Western part. You can click on the maps to open them in a new tab to view them in more detail. Lines are colored according to bus wait time at midday on weekdays:

Note that this is not a proposal, but a concept. We want to know your preference.

a map displaying the different routes for the coverage concept network

Features

Outcomes

For a more detailed description of the Coverage Concept you can read our Choices and Concepts Report.

Ridership Concept

The Ridership Concept is designed to maximize transit ridership by concentrating resources in the densest and busiest areas of the County to provide higher frequency service.

The first map shows the Ridership Concept network in the entire County, while the second map focuses on the Western part. You can click on the maps to open them in a new tab to view them in more detail. Lines are colored by how frequently buses arrive on them during the middle of the day on weekdays:

Note that this is not a proposal, but a concept. We want to know your preference.

a map displaying the different routes for the ridership concept network

Features

Outcomes

For a more detailed description of the Ridership Concept you can read our Choices and Concepts Report.

Existing Network

The two maps here are of the existing bus network in Suffolk County. The first map shows the network across the entire County, while the second map zooms in on the Western part to show more detail.

Lines are colored by how frequently buses arrive on them during the middle of the day on weekdays:

a map displaying the current existing network of public transportation

People are more likely to use frequent service (dark blue lines) because a bus is usually coming soon. They also run for longer on nights and weekends, which makes it easier for people to use the bus for all sorts of activities. Currently, only three routes: S1, S40, and S54 offer frequent service during the middle of the day.

Frequent routes need more resources to run, and within a limited budget, it is not possible to run frequent routes everywhere. Because the County is so large, its resources are spread thin. Most SCT routes are hourly or less frequent, shown in light blue or tan.

For a more detailed description of the Existing Network you can read our Choices and Concepts Report.

Contact

H. Lee Dennison Building
100 Veterans Memorial Highway
11th Floor
Hauppauge, NY 11788-0099

Economic Development and Planning

(631) 853-4800

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