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Eric B

Jamaica-Montauk by local bus

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My long planned trip, and the followup to my NY-Springfield trip 8 years ago. (http://www.erictb.info/interests.html second entry).

 

Kept putting it off for years, but with the threat of cuts on the systems (like the whole southeast corner of Nassau) and the uncertainty of the impending Veolia takeover, I felt pressed to finally do it this year. So on vacation this week, and a warm day today though very dreary, though the forecasters kept mentioning the sun coming out amidst all the rain), I set out early in the morning.

 

From Jamaica:

N4 7:12 8:10 (1676)

Freeport

N19 8:15 9:17 (1723)

Babylon

S40 9:30 10:20 (9923)

Patchogue

S66 10:30 11:50 (1034)

Riverhead County Center

S92 11:55 1:15 (1065)

East Hampton

10C 1:35 (1075)

to Montauk RR station

 

I wanted to ride around the whole loop, but it passes the railroad station first (clockwise), and the train left a little whole after that (2:51). The next one after that will be leaving in about 20 minutes from now, as I write, already back home!

 

On the way, I stopped at East Meadow to see the RXR Plaza tree (it was raining again).

 

I had only been in Eastern LI twice before, both on fishing trips we were driven to. '80, to Sag Harbor, and '82, to Montauk.

 

For 10 years now, travelling to LI in December, at first to shop for the then new LED Christmas lights, then, afterward, to see all the decorations on the homes in the area, I gradually began exploring further and further. So this is like the culmination of the whole string of trips. Going all the way, to the very end. (though it was daytime, and I couldn't see any lights until the return trip).

 

A few things I'm curious about.

 

ST has the color changing routes on the signs, but I see they only use yellow. (the destination is fixed amber, but the route itself is a lighter yellow made from combining red and green). I first saw these a few years ago, when my travels reached into Amityville and Farmingdale and figured the other routes would have the other colors).

 

I also see ST consists of several different operators, including Hampton Jitney and that CBS company I have seen mentioned.

Also wonder why most routes have the MTA-styled S designation, but several routes in the eastern areas don't (the 10's, 7E, etc). Are the S routes run by the county, and the other routes the private ones?

 

Why is there so much westbound traffic (both cars and bus passengers) in the PM rush hour in Nassau?

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My long planned trip, and the followup to my NY-Springfield trip 8 years ago. (BDMNQR Essays: Interests second entry).

 

Kept putting it off for years, but with the threat of cuts on the systems (like the whole southeast corner of Nassau) and the uncertainty of the impending Veolia takeover, I felt pressed to finally do it this year. So on vacation this week, and a warm day today though very dreary, though the forecasters kept mentioning the sun coming out amidst all the rain), I set out early in the morning.

 

From Jamaica:

N4 7:12 8:10 (1676)

Freeport

N19 8:15 9:17 (1723)

Babylon

S40 9:30 10:20 (9923)

Patchogue

S66 10:30 11:50 (1034)

Riverhead County Center

S92 11:55 1:15 (1065)

East Hampton

10C 1:35 (1075)

to Montauk RR station

 

I wanted to ride around the whole loop, but it passes the railroad station first (clockwise), and the train left a little whole after that (2:51). The next one after that will be leaving in about 20 minutes from now, as I write, already back home!

 

On the way, I stopped at East Meadow to see the RXR Plaza tree (it was raining again).

 

I had only been in Eastern LI twice before, both on fishing trips we were driven to. '80, to Sag Harbor, and '82, to Montauk.

 

For 10 years now, travelling to LI in December, at first to shop for the then new LED Christmas lights, then, afterward, to see all the decorations on the homes in the area, I gradually began exploring further and further. So this is like the culmination of the whole string of trips. Going all the way, to the very end. (though it was daytime, and I couldn't see any lights until the return trip).

 

A few things I'm curious about.

 

ST has the color changing routes on the signs, but I see they only use yellow. (the destination is fixed amber, but the route itself is a lighter yellow made from combining red and green). I first saw these a few years ago, when my travels reached into Amityville and Farmingdale and figured the other routes would have the other colors).

 

I also see ST consists of several different operators, including Hampton Jitney and that CBS company I have seen mentioned.

Also wonder why most routes have the MTA-styled S designation, but several routes in the eastern areas don't (the 10's, 7E, etc). Are the S routes run by the county, and the other routes the private ones?

 

Why is there so much westbound traffic (both cars and bus passengers) in the PM rush hour in Nassau?

 

they might have wanted to keep it under 3 characters for earlier bus displays. The suffixed routes are connector routes that usually serve a smaller area while the S routes are longer and what they consider the main lines (according to the suffolk transit map)

 

The westbound traffic is because people on long island often work on long island. There are major commercial centers in Suffolk County and people from Nassau drive there.

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My long planned trip, and the followup to my NY-Springfield trip 8 years ago. (BDMNQR Essays: Interests second entry).

 

Kept putting it off for years, but with the threat of cuts on the systems (like the whole southeast corner of Nassau) and the uncertainty of the impending Veolia takeover, I felt pressed to finally do it this year. So on vacation this week, and a warm day today though very dreary, though the forecasters kept mentioning the sun coming out amidst all the rain), I set out early in the morning.

 

From Jamaica:

N4 7:12 8:10 (1676)

Freeport

N19 8:15 9:17 (1723)

Babylon

S40 9:30 10:20 (9923)

Patchogue

S66 10:30 11:50 (1034)

Riverhead County Center

S92 11:55 1:15 (1065)

East Hampton

10C 1:35 (1075)

to Montauk RR station

 

I wanted to ride around the whole loop, but it passes the railroad station first (clockwise), and the train left a little whole after that (2:51). The next one after that will be leaving in about 20 minutes from now, as I write, already back home!

 

On the way, I stopped at East Meadow to see the RXR Plaza tree (it was raining again).

 

I had only been in Eastern LI twice before, both on fishing trips we were driven to. '80, to Sag Harbor, and '82, to Montauk.

 

For 10 years now, travelling to LI in December, at first to shop for the then new LED Christmas lights, then, afterward, to see all the decorations on the homes in the area, I gradually began exploring further and further. So this is like the culmination of the whole string of trips. Going all the way, to the very end. (though it was daytime, and I couldn't see any lights until the return trip).

 

A few things I'm curious about.

 

ST has the color changing routes on the signs, but I see they only use yellow. (the destination is fixed amber, but the route itself is a lighter yellow made from combining red and green). I first saw these a few years ago, when my travels reached into Amityville and Farmingdale and figured the other routes would have the other colors).

 

I also see ST consists of several different operators, including Hampton Jitney and that CBS company I have seen mentioned.

Also wonder why most routes have the MTA-styled S designation, but several routes in the eastern areas don't (the 10's, 7E, etc). Are the S routes run by the county, and the other routes the private ones?

 

Why is there so much westbound traffic (both cars and bus passengers) in the PM rush hour in Nassau?

 

Prepare to be stranded buddy. This will NOT work do not even attampt to go from jamacia to montauk by local bus It can't be done. You will have to mix in some LIRR at one point. This trip is the very definition of INSANITY. I have been to eastern LI several times you I repeat can't use only local bus for long distance trips SCT will screw up once and that is all that is needed to completely ruin your travel plans

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OK, thanks! That' makes sense, about the characters, with those routes all have these branches designated by the letter on the end. It's like, it almost should have figured.

 

Still wonder about the color on the signs. (why they don't use just red, green, and if they signs have it, blue, as well as the other combinations of RGB).

 

Also found that a much simpler route would be follow Old Country Rd/Jericho Tpk, with the N22 or 24, N79, and the S58 (which spans the distance of the 40 and 66 combined, all the way to Riverhead, and is much straighter than the Southern route; a whole hour quicker, even. But I always liked the south side of the island, and had long looked at the Montauk Hwy routes).

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I dont recall ever seeing one of the newer Suffolk Transit buses use any colors besides orange for the destination and yellow for the route number.

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Also wonder why most routes have the MTA-styled S designation, but several routes in the eastern areas don't (the 10's, 7E, etc). Are the S routes run by the county, and the other routes the private ones?

 

All routes are privately operated. S routes are regular bus routes, the lettered ones are technically train station feeders (but over time have shifted in their purpose).

 

N79 does not connect with S58. You'll have to use the S54 to get to Huntington Square Mall from Whitman.

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Personally, I find the S62 to be quicker than the S58; 25's like one big parking lot....

God help you if you travel along 25 on the holidays, esp. w/ Tanger out there now....

 

The S40 -> S66 xfer scenario is very common...

 

That N79 -> S54 -> S66 I've done on a few occasions... mainly b/c I'm not fond of gettin off mid-route out in suburbia (unless I'm goin somewhere specific)..... I always feel that the best chances you have of catchin a bus out there is @ a terminal....

 

You mentioned riding the N79 to the S58.... As Amtrak said, those routes don't connect.... unless you're gonna walk from walt whitman to huntington sq. mall & avoid the stint on the 54.... which is something I made this mistake of doing when I first started fanning out there yrs ago.... Never again.

 

I'm w/ you on the southern portion of suffolk... I make it a habit of taking the (full) S40.... that's the route I have the most knowledge on, b/c I been on it so many times.... It's a heck of a lot more that's visually appealing along the ways.....

----------------------------------

 

In any event, from Jamaica to Montauk by bus....

- iono, I'd probably take the N4 -> N19 -> S40 -> S66, etc...

 

- 2nd option would probably be the N22 -> N79 -> S54 -> S62, etc...

(I like riding the loop in & out of the county offices in Hauppauge)

 

- If I wanted to torture myself, I'd take the N6 -> N72 -> S40 -> S66, etc...

 

 

Basically what I'm sayin is.... Nesconset Hwy > '25 (middle country rd)

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Personally, I find the S62 to be quicker than the S58; 25's like one big parking lot....

God help you if you travel along 25 on the holidays, esp. w/ Tanger out there now....

 

The S40 -> S66 xfer scenario is very common...

 

That N79 -> S54 -> S66 I've done on a few occasions... mainly b/c I'm not fond of gettin off mid-route out in suburbia (unless I'm goin somewhere specific)..... I always feel that the best chances you have of catchin a bus out there is @ a terminal....

 

You mentioned riding the N79 to the S58.... As Amtrak said, those routes don't connect.... unless you're gonna walk from walt whitman to huntington sq. mall & avoid the stint on the 54.... which is something I made this mistake of doing when I first started fanning out there yrs ago.... Never again.

 

I'm w/ you on the southern portion of suffolk... I make it a habit of taking the (full) S40.... that's the route I have the most knowledge on, b/c I been on it so many times.... It's a heck of a lot more that's visually appealing along the ways.....

----------------------------------

 

In any event, from Jamaica to Montauk by bus....

- iono, I'd probably take the N4 -> N19 -> S40 -> S66, etc...

 

- 2nd option would probably be the N22 -> N79 -> S54 -> S62, etc...

(I like riding the loop in & out of the county offices in Hauppauge)

 

- If I wanted to torture myself, I'd take the N6 -> N72 -> S40 -> S66, etc...

 

 

Basically what I'm sayin is.... Nesconset Hwy > '25 (middle country rd)

 

You are encouraging it whyB35 why? just kidding But seriously I used god knows how many SCT buses I know how bad they can get sometimes. I sometimes spent a whole day using many SCT buses to get between my shop locations.

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OK, that's good to know.

(forgot to mention, the westbound PM traffic seems to exceed even the eastbound traffic coming from the city).

 

Perhaps because the S54 is colored an almost yellow orange; I thought it was an extension of the 79?

 

Didn't realize the 54 cut across diagonally and the 62 also spanned the distance.

 

Ridership seemed to be decent, except on the N19 from Sunrise to Babylon. It was only about two or three of us on there. And since SCT has a service paralleling that (20), they would be crazy to not cut that portion of the route. (Unless it's really busy at other times, or something).

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OK, that's good to know.

(forgot to mention, the westbound PM traffic seems to exceed even the eastbound traffic coming from the city).

 

Perhaps because the S54 is colored an almost yellow orange; I thought it was an extension of the 79?

 

Didn't realize the 54 cut across diagonally and the 62 also spanned the distance.

 

Ridership seemed to be decent, except on the N19 from Sunrise to Babylon. It was only about two or three of us on there. And since SCT has a service paralleling that (20), they would be crazy to not cut that portion of the route. (Unless it's really busy at other times, or something).

 

VERY bad move I used S20 and N19 the S20 is stupidly slower than N19 and removing N19 eliminates a quick link to babylon. Also S20 cuts off early where as N19 does not at other times N19 does indeed carry well from babylon and is a straight route for the most part. I use it if it comes first as it's faster than waiting for LIRR!!!!! Sometimes it will beat the LIRR. N19 sometimes may interline with N72. N72 is a direct link from farmingdale to babylon thus it links the montauk line with the ronkonkoma line sometimes timed well too!! It can be used to go from hicksville to babylon via transfer at farmingdale. Do not underestimate the convenience of LIB.

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On the map, yeh, I think the 54 is some funny colored yellow IIRC.... the LIB routes are straight yellow....

 

Anyway, when veolia gets done w/ it all, I don't think the 19 or the 72 would pan out to LIRR Babylon....

Way I see it, there's no need for the N19 to serve Suffolk county....

 

Maybe SCT should consider restructuring the S20 to have it run along 27a b/w great neck rd & wellwood ave (at the least).... the S20 b/w copiague & lindenhurst doesn't garner riders.... Same deal w/ the N19 along Montauk Hwy b/w sunrise & LIRR Babylon.... Recently, they cut-back the S20 to Sunrise Mall (from Kohl's, a little further west... which very few ppl. took S20's to)... That move IMO made sense....

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On the map, yeh, I think the 54 is some funny colored yellow IIRC.... the LIB routes are straight yellow....

 

Anyway, when veolia gets done w/ it all, I don't think the 19 or the 72 would pan out to LIRR Babylon....

Way I see it, there's no need for the N19 to serve Suffolk county....

 

Maybe SCT should consider restructuring the S20 to have it run along 27a b/w great neck rd & wellwood ave (at the least).... the S20 b/w copiague & lindenhurst doesn't garner riders.... Same deal w/ the N19 along Montauk Hwy b/w sunrise & LIRR Babylon.... Recently, they cut-back the S20 to Sunrise Mall (from Kohl's, a little further west... which very few ppl. took S20's to)... That move IMO made sense....

 

what will happen and what you think will happen are 2 very different things. I think N72 service to babylon should be adjusted so only trips timed with LIRR montauk trains go there. And N72 trips timed with ronkonkoma should serve farmingdale LIRR directly at the station then go to babylon and meet montauk trains. Buses that don't meet trains won't need to go there but N72 is different from N70 due to babylon service. N72 actually does get riders from babylon more than one would expect. The line isn't empty like N45 which should get the axe first. S20 again runs like shit it has no business replacing anything even N19. S20 should get the streamline hit sunrise hwy and be done with it.

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I dont recall ever seeing one of the newer Suffolk Transit buses use any colors besides orange for the destination and yellow for the route number.

 

5016 has some type of problem with its sign where its just one color for both Route number and Destination sign. It use to be assigned to the S68 (either in the afternoon or the whole day) with some service on the S66 before the newer buses arrived.

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What are the 5000's? Gilligs? I know those have the same color changing route, but there are older buses (like 9923, which was an old Orion, I believe) which still have flipdots. Not sure if there might be all amber LED's as well.

 

But it seems like they are keeping the routes yellow to mimick as closely as possible the amber of the rest of the sign. Seems silly; why did they order color changing, then? Perhaps as a provision in case they decided to display route colors? Or maybe they, like (MTA), never updated the computers to handle different colors. Such a shame, then, that they would spend the money on it.

 

Also, if they did decide to cut the N19 and let the S20 fill in for it, then SCT could increase S20 service. It does appear to run pretty straight out for the most part on Old Sunrise (or whatever it is called when it enters Suffolk; the street that runs right next to the RR; while the N19 runs further away on Montauk Hwy, having to get to and from that road). But then it does loop around the Great South Bay shopping center. Perhaps, with an increase, they could have direct runs to Babylon.

Or perhaps, as suggested, only N19 trips really needed could be retained.

 

It was a nice quick connection compared to dividing it up into another transfer, but still, on the run I was on, it was way to empty. They want to cut all the service over there, except for the 71, but it would be better if they at least kept the Freeport-Sunrise portion.

 

As for color, I like that gold the S27 is shown in. I've always said that (MTA) should use this color on the subway maps in place of yellow (that would eliminate the need to use gray shadowing or black outlines). And it would be another color for the bus maps as well. The SCT map has a lot of different shades you don't see on other maps.

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What are the 5000's? Gilligs? I know those have the same color changing route, but there are older buses (like 9923, which was an old Orion, I believe) which still have flipdots. Not sure if there might be all amber LED's as well.

 

 

Yeah the 50xx's are 2005 Gillig Phantoms. All the buses Except bus 5016 has two different colors on their front signs. I don't know why that bus is different from the 58 others, I just know that it is.

 

5016 is probably a spare bus now as 5015 is now being used on the S68.

 

yeah the 99xx's were 1999 Orion V's, which was Suffolk's first big Non-Gillig bus since the 1993 Flex Metros, as well as Suffolk's First buses with automated announcements. No the Orion V's still have completely green, I guess Flip Dot signs.

 

The 50xx's were the first buses with the two different colors on their signs.

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what will happen and what you think will happen are 2 very different things.

 

I think N72 service to babylon........

 

....and what you think makes anymore of a difference as to what will happen?

 

 

 

Also, if they did decide to cut the N19 and let the S20 fill in for it, then SCT could increase S20 service. It does appear to run pretty straight out for the most part on Old Sunrise (or whatever it is called when it enters Suffolk; the street that runs right next to the RR; while the N19 runs further away on Montauk Hwy, having to get to and from that road). But then it does loop around the Great South Bay shopping center. Perhaps, with an increase, they could have direct runs to Babylon.

Or perhaps, as suggested, only N19 trips really needed could be retained.

 

It was a nice quick connection compared to dividing it up into another transfer, but still, on the run I was on, it was way to empty. They want to cut all the service over there, except for the 71, but it would be better if they at least kept the Freeport-Sunrise portion.

 

As for color, I like that gold the S27 is shown in. I've always said that should use this color on the subway maps in place of yellow (that would eliminate the need to use gray shadowing or black outlines). And it would be another color for the bus maps as well. The SCT map has a lot of different shades you don't see on other maps.

 

Yup, not too many routes share the same color scheme w/ one another on the SCT map... thing is, I find the color choices they use as being rather... dull...

 

S27... that olive green color IIRC? nah, I think that would clash terribly on the NYC subway maps... the parks (central park, prospect park, etc) & the cemetaries are a similar color to the S27.... But I do concur with the notion of adding at least one more (other) route color to the bus maps.....

 

You mean direct runs on the S20 to Babylon? Iono, I would leave/keep all S20 service to remain serving GSB shopping ctr - Even if service were to be increased.... I think the North Babylon route (S25?) also loops into GSB before serving LIRR Babylon.... but then again, S20 ridership >>> S25 ridership...

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....and what you think makes anymore of a difference as to what will happen?

 

 

 

 

 

Yup, not too many routes share the same color scheme w/ one another on the SCT map... thing is, I find the color choices they use as being rather... dull...

 

S27... that olive green color IIRC? nah, I think that would clash terribly on the NYC subway maps... the parks (central park, prospect park, etc) & the cemetaries are a similar color to the S27.... But I do concur with the notion of adding at least one more (other) route color to the bus maps.....

 

You mean direct runs on the S20 to Babylon? Iono, I would leave/keep all S20 service to remain serving GSB shopping ctr - Even if service were to be increased.... I think the North Babylon route (S25?) also loops into GSB before serving LIRR Babylon.... but then again, S20 ridership >>> S25 ridership...

 

true about S20 but the segment on oak street duplicates LIRR so it isn't needed. S25 is a loop route therefore ppl think it sucks therefore use it less.

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true about S20 but the segment on oak street duplicates LIRR so it isn't needed.

 

Yeah, I already mentioned that about the S20....

"the S20 b/w copiague & lindenhurst doesn't garner riders...."

 

that's the same section that runs alongside the LIRR trackage you're referencing....

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Yeah, I already mentioned that about the S20....

"the S20 b/w copiague & lindenhurst doesn't garner riders...."

 

that's the same section that runs alongside the LIRR trackage you're referencing....

 

yep any bus that directly duplicates LIRR would garner no riders period unless LIRR service is awful. agreed. However I sense traffic on LIE gets bad by rego park and roslyn am I correct?

 

eric If you venture out to LI use the LIRR then transfer to whatever buses you want to use like I do when I get there.

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yep any bus that directly duplicates LIRR would garner no riders period unless LIRR service is awful. agreed. However I sense traffic on LIE gets bad by rego park and roslyn am I correct?

 

Don't know how bad the LIE gets over around Roslyn....

 

Within NYC though, it's bad, period.... but FWIW, the worst of it within NYC is b/w the Woodhaven blvd exit & the Queens midtown tunnel approach.....

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Don't know how bad the LIE gets over around Roslyn....

 

Within NYC though, it's bad, period.... but FWIW, the worst of it within NYC is b/w the Woodhaven blvd exit & the Queens midtown tunnel approach.....

 

There is a large mass of ppl from the roslyn area going to queens on LIE also at rush many reverse ppl from nassau to suffolk that data alone was where I came up with ideas to modify some routes but that for another topic. That part of LIE however is a mix of LI to queens and taxis from queens to NYC manhattan. as ppl leave and reenter there creating a jam.

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The S20 is the route that stops at the Great Bay Shopping Center only on trips to Bablyon right? I know there is a route that only stops there once on their trip but I never seem to remember which one it is.

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The S20 is the route that stops at the Great Bay Shopping Center only on trips to Bablyon right? I know there is a route that only stops there once on their trip but I never seem to remember which one it is.

The S25 is a "loop" route, so it serves GSB in both directions....

 

But yes, it's the S20 that you're thinkin of.

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The S25 is a "loop" route, so it serves GSB in both directions....

 

But yes, it's the S20 that you're thinkin of.

 

have any of you used the suffolk clipper? or S61 and S66 the S66 is a sardine can based on riding it and shockingly goes through seemingly deserted areas yet gets loaded. The S buses at stony brook are literally death cans on wheels you are literally crushed on the bus on the S60 and S62 S62 needs at least better rush hour service LI's biggest flaw in transit is horrible rush hour service. Even if ppl wanted to use the bus in many cases they CAN'T!!!!!!!!!!

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S27... that olive green color IIRC? nah, I think that would clash terribly on the NYC subway maps... the parks (central park, prospect park, etc) & the cemetaries are a similar color to the S27.... But I do concur with the notion of adding at least one more (other) route color to the bus maps.....

 

The S27 color is more like a pure gold or anise. The parks and cemeteries on the map are like a pea soup green, and it may be similar to the anise, but it's just as close to the existing yellow of the Bway lines, especially since it's lighter heading towards yellow. So I don't think that will clash much, but especially not as much as the yellow which clashes with white and other light background colors; requiring both outlining and black letters. That was always my reason for suggesting gold in the first place.

 

eric If you venture out to LI use the LIRR then transfer to whatever buses you want to use like I do when I get there.

I was joy riding, for the sake of going locally all the way; so yes, if I wasn't doing that, your suggestion is what I'd do.

 

have any of you used the suffolk clipper? or S61 and S66 the S66 is a sardine can based on riding it and shockingly goes through seemingly deserted areas yet gets loaded.
Yes, the 66 did have good ridership, and I was a bit surprised. But it is connecting the major points of Patchogue and Riverhead.

 

Kept forgetting to mention, in Babylon I saw one of the MTAB loaners parked across from the station, and it was strange seeing a Queen bus way out there. Forgot to get the number.

 

Also, seeing the crisp clear night, with the clear moonrise on my last trip tonight, I kind of wish I had gone on a night like tonight, and took the later trip (leave Jamaica at noon; reach Montauk at 7, last possible run), so I could see the moon over the bay, east of Riverhead where the island splits. I always imagine what it's like out there at night, and originally planned the later slot, but the next train out of Montauk after the 2:51 leaves at 10:38 or so , and gets to Jamaica at 2AM!

I also wonder how much holiday decoration there is in the Hamptons and beyond. (to further see if it's worth ever going out there at night).

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