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Random Thoughts Thread - Suffolk County Transit

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Sunday service is a great addition! But hopefully they also use some money to improve rush hour capacity. As people throughout NYCTF have mentioned, lately more and more people start using SCT in rush hours and a few routes have buses which are either SRO or almost packed. With a few extra runs (even if only short turns depending on where people are headed to) would solve that.

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Sunday service is a great addition! But hopefully they also use some money to improve rush hour capacity. As people throughout NYCTF have mentioned, lately more and more people start using SCT in rush hours and a few routes have buses which are either SRO or almost packed. With a few extra runs (even if only short turns depending on where people are headed to) would solve that.

 

Yeah the S58 needs more service. Heaviest part of the route seems to be between Middle Island & Smith Haven Mall. The 2 hour gap between 11:40am and 1:40pm from Riverhead is a killer, esp on Saturdays the 1:40pm is crush loaded right outta Riverhead. There also needs to be a later bus back from Riverhead, 5:45pm is way too early, should be another at 6:45pm, which shouldn't be too difficult with an eastbound trip arriving into Riverhead at 6:25pm, instead of deadheading, have it run at least to Smith Haven. They need to convert alot of these deadhead trips to carry ppl.

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SCT is operating in a busy suburban area with the mindset of a new, small transit agency with that's overly biased toward the coverage goal. They're probably the least-21st century (in terms of digital stuff, there isn't even an electronic way to contact them) and slow to change transit agencies (excluding tiny systems) I've seen, and it's right in our backyard.

 

A peak to base ratio that's 1.0 or surprisingly close on all but a few routes, even some of the busiest, isn't really a good way to run a transit system that serves more than the absolutely dependent. That's especially true when you're operating on major commercial corridors and travel markets, and serving the peaked demand of commuter rail stations. Runs and buses scheduled so that headways are skipped for the driver to have a meal break, a management model so small that barring maintenance work the same exact bus number goes out on the same run every day, yet so large to have one of the longest local routes in the country (S92). No fare options other than the basic one way, reduced, and transfers, let alone electronic fare collection. Confusing nomenclature, mid-route diversions everywhere, no timed connections, no evening service on all but a couple routes, no Sunday service, routes with ridership as low as the 10D/E continuing to run, schedules and routes that haven't seen changes in decades, the list goes on and on.

 

Yes, Sunday service is a small step forward. But SCT has a LOT to improve, and I'm not talking about radical expensive ideas like bus rapid transit on the Route 110 corridor. Simple things can make a big difference.

 

I'm actually not all that opposed to Veolia coming in and taking over, if the County doesn't cut subsidies. A uniform operator with control of routes and schedules is needed.

 

The Legislature called for a feasibility study of electronic fare collection. Where did that go?

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if the County doesn't cut subsidies.

 

That would probably happen at some point. Especially if the plan to use the money from the state that isn't going to service, to cover the county's subsidies so they can work on bring down the budget doesn't work. 

 

The Legislature called for a feasibility study of electronic fare collection. Where did that go?

 

I wasn't aware that a study was called for. My guess would be that A) it's taken longer then it was thought to do or B) the DPW somehow ended it.

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Yeah, Veolia really needs to step in. Even if they're gonna run it as SCT. But then at least the management, routes and performance will improve. Not to mention the fact that there will be electronic payment as well as free transfers between NICE and SCT. And probably timed connections between NICE and SCT.

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I wonder why S92 bus doesn't go all the way to Montauk in South Folk while it goes all the way to Oriental Point ferry deck on North Folk?

Is possible S92 could be expanded to Montauk?

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I wonder why S92 bus doesn't go all the way to Montauk in South Folk while it goes all the way to Oriental Point ferry deck on North Folk?

Is possible S92 could be expanded to Montauk?

Simple it's already super unreliable it doesn't need to get worse.

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I don't know if anyone caught this article in today's Newsday:

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/suffolk-seeks-bump-in-state-funding-for-bus-service-1.7394605

 

Of course the online article's comments are annoying to read, if you have access to read the link above. If not, here's the article:

 

Suffolk seeks bump in state funding for bus service

Originally published: March 14, 2014 3:48 PM

Updated: March 14, 2014 8:11 PM

By ALFONSO A. CASTILLO alfonso.castillo@newsday.com

 

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has asked Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for a nearly 50 percent bump in state funding for the county's bus system -- pointing out that Nassau gets a lot more money while contributing a lot less.

In a letter to Cuomo dated March 10, Bellone requested $10 million in new state funding for Suffolk County Transit, which carries about 22,000 passengers every weekday. Bellone said in the letter that the additional funds were not only needed, but would address "an issue of equity."

"Other suburban counties such as Nassau and Westchester receive up to five times the amount of state funds that Suffolk County receives," wrote Bellone, who noted that Suffolk is coming off its largest increase in service in its history with the addition of Sunday bus service on several routes.

"However, much more needs to be done," Bellone wrote.

Cuomo's office did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for the state budget office said officials are "reviewing County Executive Bellone's letter."

The disparity in state transit aid between Long Island's two counties has long stuck in the craw of Suffolk administrations. Of its bus system's $57 million annual budget, $29 million -- more than half -- comes from county subsidies. The state kicks in about $22 million annually.

To compare, Nassau contributes $2.6 million to the $113 million annual budget of the Nassau Inter-County Express, or NICE Bus, but gets $57 million from the state.

Westchester County puts about $19 million annually into its Bee-Line Bus system, and gets $47 million from the state.

"This is really just pointing out what I think has been a long-standing issue that Suffolk County is getting less funds than surrounding counties, and pointing out that this is a top priority for us," Bellone said in an interview Thursday.

Bellone noted that in addition to the new Sunday service, which was largely funded through a $2 million increase in state aid last year, the county has plans for several new transit initiatives.

He said Suffolk is working on a mobile app to let riders pay their fares using their smartphones, and is moving ahead with plans for bus rapid-transit lines in the county, which would operate on dedicated lanes along busy north-south corridors such as Route 110.

Ryan Lynch, associate director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a nonprofit transit-advocacy group, said "good behavior should be rewarded" at Suffolk County Transit, which has increased its ridership by almost 40 percent since 2001.

Lynch said one of Suffolk's historical challenges in getting state funding is the fact that its bus system is far smaller than Nassau's, which carries about 100,000 weekday riders.

"The further east you get, it operates much more like a rural system," Lynch said. "But that doesn't make it any less important."

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Simple it's already super unreliable it doesn't need to get worse.

No it isn't. It's just that nobody would ride it to Montauk outside of the summer.

I'm going to expound on both of these posts a little (below, to Yuki)... Both of you are actually right here.....

 

I wonder why S92 bus doesn't go all the way to Montauk in South Folk while it goes all the way to Oriental Point ferry deck on North Folk?

 

Is possible S92 could be expanded to Montauk?

Both segments get good usage, but for the most part, [North Fork usage > South Fork usage]....

Service to(wards) Orient Point (from Riverhead) is more sought after than service b/w Southampton & Montauk.....

 

You'd screw the North Fork S92 (well every S92 rider, but this group more in particular) riders by extending this already long drawn out route, to an area where it is not likely to get many more passengers.....

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Is it really? I figured because the LIRR Montauk line does better than the LIRR Greenport line, the same would be for bus service. I feel like more tourism during the summer goes to the south fork and is more likely to use the bus than the North Fork.

 

The S92 is certainly busy on the South Fork all the way to East Hampton, and it's lighter on the North Fork. But it should NOT be extended to Montauk, the route is long enough as it is & prone to alot of delays. What I'd like to see is a "limited" version of the S92 that runs straight down Rt.27 and skips Sag Harbor & Downtown Southampton. Generally, the last time I took it, most passengers loads are going from Riverhead & Flanders/Hampton Bays, to Bridgehampton & East Hampton in the AM and back in the PM. By having a limited to serve these loads, it would make room for the riders coming back from Southampton, who often have to squeeze on the bus. It's been awhile since I've been on it so perhaps patterns have changed, but I am totally against extending it to Montauk. Most people who disembark at E.Hampton don't transfer to/from the 10C anyway. What I do think is that in summer the 10C should be extended to Montauk Lighthouse to replace the S94. I also think there should be regular hourly (or at least bi-hourly) service between Montauk & East Hampton.

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So, why does Suffolk has a distinct lack of transportation?

Edited by NY1635

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So, why does Suffolk has a distinct lack of transportation?

 

Money. If I remember correctly, Suffolk provides more county money for transit than Nassau does, but gets significantly less funding.

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Is it really? I figured because the LIRR Montauk line does better than the LIRR Greenport line, the same would be for bus service. I feel like more tourism during the summer goes to the south fork and is more likely to use the bus than the North Fork.

More tourists gun for the south fork, but it's not by bus....

So for tourism (and overall, really), LIRR usage is definitely greater/heavier on the south fork....

 

However, as far as regulars (or whatever you wanna call them), I have to say that usage on the S92 is slightly greater on the north fork (this isn't saying south fork usage is weak, b/c it's definitely not)... What I will say though is that usage on the south fork is skewed, thanks to all those day laborers that board b/w Hampton Bays & Riverhead at times (which is what PinePower is referring to).... Usage is more consistent on the north fork.... I used to make the mistake also in underestimating north fork usage, until I noticed some things.....

 

What I'd like to see is a "limited" version of the S92 that runs straight down Rt.27 and skips Sag Harbor & Downtown Southampton.

That diversion is a PITA, but I can't agree with 92's skipping Sag Harbor....

 

I'm not for extending the S92 either cause that's a long enough route already like you said, but I don't think it needs LIMITED service either.

I don't think there's enough of a direct ridership pattern for that to be necessary.

For all that, he may as well suggest short turns b/w Hampton Bays & Orient Point......

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1008 was broken down on the side of Commack Rd earlier today hazards on, triangles behind it, it looked like they left it waiting for a tow.  Sunday evening I was near EBTs yard and 1004 was being towed...  These "newer" Orion.s are dropping like flies...

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 These "newer" Orion.s are dropping like flies

 

I'm not totally suprised Suffolk Bus has seemed to have trouble with the Orion VII's since they have come out. The current problem bus has been 1067.

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Couple of notes...

 

5031 was broken down out of service with its engine compartment open during the PM at Walt Whitman Mall...

 

There was a new model 35 foot (or shorter) Orion with a completely white back at the Mayfair Shopping Center in Commack. I couldn't seethe number of the bus but the back was obviously a replacement, really looked like an (MTA) Orion and looked wired being a short bus.

 

(At least EBT buses) "follow us on twitter" is starting to pop up on the rear of the side body with with #sctbus (or something like that) and the twitter logo in between the stripes on the livery...

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There was a new model 35 foot (or shorter) Orion with a completely white back at the Mayfair Shopping Center in Commack. I couldn't seethe number of the bus but the back was obviously a replacement, really looked like an (MTA) Orion and looked wired being a short bus.

I wouldn't be suprised if that bus from EBT was the bus that was hit by the taxi cab, That's my guess since I haven't heard of any other buses that would need a new back panel, especially I haven't heard of any of Suffolk Bus's 30ft buses (the only company that had 30ft buses that would be in that area.) being hit from behind. 

 

(At least EBT buses) "follow us on twitter" is starting to pop up on the rear of the side body with with #sctbus (or something like that) and the twitter logo in between the stripes on the livery...

 

The 30ft buses at Suffolk Bus has them according to a friend who had 30ft buses on the routes he used on Sunday. I think it should be follow us at @SCTBusinfo 

Money. If I remember correctly, Suffolk provides more county money for transit than Nassau does, but gets significantly less funding.

 

That's one reason. Another I think has been a reason since the system was started which was that Suffolk is simply to big to be able to have the kind of service that you see elsewhere. 

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I wouldn't be suprised if that bus from EBT was the bus that was hit by the taxi cab, That's my guess since I haven't heard of any other buses that would need a new back panel....

 

That's what I was thinking...  Although anything could've happened that we would know of (accident in the yard) etc...  If you recall right before Veolia took over in Nassau County half of LIB's buses didn't pass DOT inspection so the (MTA) sent city buses over to keep the system running.  A LIB driver backed into another city bus (I think at HTC) and there is (or was) a city bus running around with an obvious LIB back.

 

 

, especially I haven't heard of any of Suffolk Bus's 30ft buses (the only company that had 30ft buses that would be in that area.) being hit from behind. 

 

 

I'm not sure if it was a 30 or 35 foot, went by too fast...

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That's what I was thinking.

 

Actually it can't have been an EBT bus, unless it was a replacment bus heading for Smith Haven Mall, since only the S56 and S58 pass the Mayfair Shopping Center in Commack. 

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Actually it can't have been an EBT bus, unless it was a replacment bus heading for Smith Haven Mall, since only the S56 and S58 pass the Mayfair Shopping Center in Commack. 

The S56 does not pass Mayfair Shopping Ctr.

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The S56 does not pass Mayfair Shopping Ctr.

 

 

Thanks for the correction. I've only been through Commack once when I was younger, so I don't know the lay out, not to mention that the S58 schudule don't mark Indian Head Road (where the S56 turns, for those who don't know that route) so I wasn't sure if it came before or after Mayfair. 

 

It's likely the bus belongs to SBC, since a friend said that he's seen a few buses with a white back but couldn't remember the bus numbers.

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Apparently the shopping center I saw this particular bus in was "Commack Plaza" not Mayfair shopping center... I dunno I don't go there, in my defense I didn't know the name of the plaza, HART lists the plaza on the H10 website as "Macy's Plaza" I looked on Macy's website and they say they are located in the Mayfair Shopping Center.

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Apparently the shopping center I saw this particular bus in was "Commack Plaza" not Mayfair shopping center... I dunno I don't go there, in my defense I didn't know the name of the plaza, HART lists the plaza on the H10 website as "Macy's Plaza" I looked on Macy's website and they say they are located in the Mayfair Shopping Center.

Unless Macy's was once at that shopping center and then moved at one point, since the S58 schudule list's Macy's Shopping Center and yet on the S56 schudule it says Commack Shopping Center. (Unless it's two diffrent shopping centers' conjoined and one just happens to be called Macy's for some reason.)

 

Well being that it's Commack Shopping Center, then it brings back into play that it could have been a bus from EBT. 

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Unless Macy's was once at that shopping center and then moved at one point, since the S58 schudule list's Macy's Shopping Center and yet on the S56 schudule it says Commack Shopping Center. (Unless it's two diffrent shopping centers' conjoined and one just happens to be called Macy's for some reason.)

 

Well being that it's Commack Shopping Center, then it brings back into play that it could have been a bus from EBT. 

 

I really don't think it's called "Macy's Shopping Center" as Macy's would probably be more than happy to call it that.  It is confusing I do believe it is two different shopping centers right next to each other and probably called many things over the years...

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I really don't think it's called "Macy's Shopping Center" as Macy's would probably be more than happy to call it that.  It is confusing I do believe it is two different shopping centers right next to each other and probably called many things over the years...

It's called Commack Plaza,which is where Vets Hwy intersects Jericho Tpk. The Mayfair Shopping Ctr is east of Indian Head Rd on Jericho Tpk.

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