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Suffolk County Executive Bellone announces first-of-its-kind “Suffolk Transit On-Demand” service
June 23, 2021 (Suffolk County, NY) — Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced a new partnership with Hampton Jitney, and Via, a leader in TransitTech, to launch a first-of-its-kind mobility service for Suffolk County that will expand access to public transit. The service, which launched on June 16th, provides a new on-demand public transit option, “Suffolk Transit On-Demand,” that complements and extends the county’s existing transit system and provides transit coverage around Southampton and Sag Harbor in an area formerly served by the Suffolk Transit 10A bus route.
“This first-of-its-kind service uses advanced algorithms to create quick and efficient trips in real time increasing efficiency and reliability for riders,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “This new service not only helps create that first and last mile connection, it also furthers our continued efforts to connect Long Island by utilizing 21st century transportation technologies.”
Suffolk Transit On-Demand will enable affordable, efficient, and convenient transit across the entire service zone, provide seamless first/last mile connections to the existing transit infrastructure in the area, such as the LIRR, the S92 bus, and the South Ferry to Shelter Island, and provide a flexible and affordable mobility option for trips within the service area.
Via’s advanced algorithms create quick and efficient trips by matching multiple passengers heading in the same direction together into a single vehicle in real time, directing riders to a nearby “virtual bus stop” for pick up and drop off. The service will include wheelchair-accessible vehicles and is specially branded to stand out from the existing Suffolk County Transit fleet.
By using the Suffolk Transit On-Demand mobile app, or by calling (631) 818-2982, transit riders can book their ride by selecting a pickup and drop-off location within the Southampton service area. Once a ride is booked, passengers will be directed to a nearby corner, and will be able to see the real-time location of their vehicle, the driver’s name, and other information to help them spot their ride. The mobile app comes with all iOS and Android accessibility features.
Suffolk Transit On-Demand will operate from 6:30am-8:30pm, Monday-Friday. Rides cost the same as the Suffolk County Bus at $2.25, with discounted rates for youth, students, seniors, persons with disabilities, Medicare Card holders, and Suffolk County veterans. Children under 5 years of age ride free when accompanied by adults. Payment can be made by credit card through the app, or riders can purchase ride credit vouchers with cash at the Hampton Jitney Office (395 County Rd 39A, Southampton, NY 11968). The first 5 rides will be free for all riders until August 15, 2021. More information and FAQs on the service can be found at sct-bus.org/ondemand.
The app will offer in-app wellness checks to ensure passengers and drivers are symptom-free and ready to ride. Everyone on board will be required to wear a face mask or face covering. Vehicle capacity will be limited in accordance with social distancing guidelines, and vehicles will be professionally cleaned regularly.
Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming said: “I have always been an advocate of making public transportation more accessible, convenient, and responsive to community needs. As Chairperson of the Transportation Working Group and Vice Chairperson of Public Works, Transportation, and Energy Committee, it has been my goal to find cost-effective solutions for residents who may not have a car or who live in communities with limited public transit services. The Suffolk Transit On-Demand program is a pilot that completely reimagines public transportation. Its “microtransit” framework makes it easy for users to get on a bus and get to where they need to go using an app, or by calling a phone number. We must find ways to enhance access and availability to all and this program is the first step in that direction.”
Daniel Ramot, Co-Founder and CEO of Via said: “We are excited to partner with Suffolk County to launch the area’s first on-demand public transit service, connecting more residents and visitors to transit than ever before. Via’s dynamic platform will fill the gaps where transportation is needed most, and expand access to an efficient and flexible mobility offering without the need for a private vehicle.”
About Suffolk County Transit:
Suffolk County Transit (SCT) is a local public bus system with a network of 42 bus routes, including two summer-only routes. The routes extend from the Nassau/Suffolk County line on the west to Montauk Point and Orient Point on the east, providing mobility and connectivity to a population of 1.5 million residents. The bus system is County owned, planned and managed by the Department of Public Works and is operated by privately owned companies under contract with the County.
Founded in 2012, Via pioneered the TransitTech category by using new technologies to power public mobility systems, optimizing networks of dynamic shuttles, buses, wheelchair accessible vehicles, school buses, and autonomous vehicles around the globe. Building the world’s most efficient, equitable, and sustainable transportation network for all riders — including those with limited mobility, those without smartphones, and unbanked populations — Via works with its partners to lower the cost of public transit and provide accessible options that rival the convenience of a personal car at a much reduced environmental impact. At the intersection of transportation and technology, Via is a visionary market leader that combines software innovation with sophisticated service design and operational expertise to fundamentally improve the way the world moves, with more than 500 global partners on six continents, and counting.
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