LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD (LIRR)
The Long Island Rail Road is the nation's largest commuter rail by ridership, shuttling an average of 337,800 passengers every weekday between Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan.
The LIRR is in the midst of several major improvement and expansion projects, which include:
- Double Track – 12.6 miles of additional LIRR track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma that will ease congestion and promote both traditional and reverse commuting.
- Third Track – an additional track from Floral Park to Hicksville will reduce delays due to service issues, promote a reverse commute and spur economic activity.
- Electrification – extending electrification of three LIRR lines further east for faster, more reliable, uninterrupted peak and off-peak travel.
SUFFOLK COUNTY TRANSIT (SCT)
The Suffolk County Department of Public Works (DPW) operates Suffolk County Transit (SCT) with a network of 45 bus routes, including 2 routes operating during summer only, providing mobility and connectivity to a population of 1.5 million residents spread across an area of 912 square miles. In 2017 SCT operated over 15.8 million miles, serving 4.28 million passengers on its fixed route transit and about 700,000 thousand passengers on Suffolk County Accessible Transportation (SCAT). Designed to increase mobility in Suffolk County, SCAT has been providing safe, reliable, curb-to-curb service to individuals with disabilities since 1994.
SCT Trip Planning & Ticketing
Thanks to recent technology-related improvements to our system, including the addition of 70 new buses to the fleet and on-going installation of Automated Vehicle Locator (AVL) on standard and paratransit buses, it is now easier than ever to use Suffolk County Transit.
Riders can plan their trip via the TransLoc Rider app or the web-based trip planner, the text version of the app or the on the Moovit app or web-based trip planner. These apps allow customers to locate their bus on a map in real-time, providing information public transit users want and need in order to get around using Suffolk County Transit. The software includes next bus arrival predictions and can alert customers when their selected bus is near, allowing them to head to their stop when it’s most convenient for them. A text version of TransLoc is also available.
This customer-friendly technology has been customized to meet our local needs, and we are eager to share it with more Suffolk County residents. Customers can download either app from the Google Play Store and from the iTunes Store.
The SCT suite of technologies also includes Suffolk FastFare. This new mobile ticketing app allows users to go cashless and easily purchase Suffolk County Transit tickets on their smartphones anytime, anywhere and then display them on screen. Passengers using Suffolk FastFare can pay for tickets using a credit or debit card, or via digital payment services such as Masterpass and Apple Pay.
Suffolk County Mobility Study: Strategies for Suburban Transportation
Suffolk County Economic Development and Planning and Department of Public Works jointly undertook the Suffolk County Mobility Study to understand the trip patterns within the County, and evaluate multiple mobility modes including optimized transit, Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), vanpooling, microtransit and bike share for their suitability to help the County achieve system efficiencies while enhancing its mobility options and user experience. The study further outlines strategies and actions for improving mobility to ensure Suffolk County is well positioned to support existing riders, attract new riders, enhance economic competitiveness, support vibrant communities, leverage investments, and provide a foundation for sustainable growth in the County while reducing reliance on personal vehicles. The final report is available in the reports section.
A key objective of Connect Long Island is improving regional mobility and access by providing more transportation choices and expanding the reach of our existing transit system. To that end, Suffolk County is in the midst of developing a County-wide Hike and Bike Network Master Plan to foster more walkable and bike-able communities, connecting popular destinations, historical sites, downtowns and transit hubs across the county.
Progress on developing such a network has already begun. In 2018 the County began construction of the ten-mile Port Jefferson to Wading River Hike-Bike Trail, which uses public utility rights-of-way to develop a comfortable, safe bikeway and pedestrian path along the North Shore. As part of the Nicolls Road Bus Rapid Transit planning, the County is designing an extensive hiking and biking network along the Corridor to not only connect Suffolk County’s existing green spaces, work places, downtowns and education centers, but also serve as an alternate option for commuters wishing to travel by bike. The County’s Hike/Bike Master Plan will leverage this work, planning for a network of interconnected hike and bike infrastructure that will make it safe, easy and enjoyable to travel to Suffolk County’s many world-class destinations.
Suffolk County completed its Hike and Bike Master Plan in March of 2020. This plan is the result of robust community and stakeholder engagement and thorough consideration of the County’s existing and planned trail assets. The plan’s vision and recommendations were developed based on public input received through the online public input tool (hikebikesuffolk.com) and multiple pop-up events; input provided by the Hike-Bike Technical Advisory Committee which includes town planners, hike and bike enthusiasts and advocates, County DPW and parks representatives and local planning organizations; and gap analysis conducted by the project consultant. The network will improve quality of life for residents, reduce the reliance on automobiles, promote public health and boost economic activity.
REGIONAL BIKE SHARE PROGRAM
In September 2019, Suffolk County, Zagster, and Bethpage Federal Credit Union, launched Bethpage Ride, the first of its kind bike-sharing program on Long Island. One hundred bikes are currently available at 24 stations throughout our communities including Patchogue, Babylon, and Hampton Bays. The system will continue to expand to more communities across Suffolk County. It is available from April to November.
To start riding, users can download the Pace Bike Share App on their smartphone. In the app, riders have the ability to locate a bike near them, and unlock it using the app. Riders can pay $1 per 15 minutes, but can also opt for a monthly plan for $10, or a yearly plan for $60 per year. Both plans allow for unlimited trips of up to 30 minutes. Bikes can be returned to any Bethpage Ride Station, or for an extra $1, bikes can be locked to any public bike rack.
In its first three-month season, Bethpage Ride saw 752 members joining, taking 571 trips and riding 300 hours. There was an average distance of 1.2 miles and median trip duration of 29 minutes.
Zagster is responsible for designing, building, financing and operating the program in Suffolk County – at no cost to County taxpayers, towns, or villages. This program will boost the local economy by increasing tourism, extending the reach of existing transit networks, and will provide the critical last-mile connection between transportation hubs, popular destinations, and our vibrant downtown areas.
The goals of this regional bike share program include decreasing the use of the automobile as the primary mode of transportation, encouraging a more active, healthier lifestyle by providing bicycles for intermittent recreational use, and establishing a stronger bicycle network in Suffolk County, complete with new bike lanes.
If you are interested in sponsoring a dock in your area or bringing bike share to your community, contact the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning at 631-853-4800.