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Jan 17, 2018 10:03 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Thiele Pushing For Additional South Fork Trains By This Fall

More Long Island Rair Road trains are expected to roll through the South Fork in 2019. AMANDA BEROCCO
Jan 17, 2018 10:13 AM

Officials are moving forward with plans to bring extra Long Island Rail Road trains to the South Fork as early as this fall—though some of the logistics still need to be ironed out.

State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. said he is working with both Southampton and East Hampton towns to figure out how to address the biggest wrinkle in the plan, which is intended to ease traffic congestion on the South Fork: how to get commuters from the train stations to their actual places of employment.

While those final decisions will be largely left up to the respective municipality, Mr. Thiele ventured that bus service and ride sharing are going to most likely be part of the final solution. “I think there’s room for both,” Mr. Thiele said on Tuesday.

Before anything is finalized, the assemblyman explained, representatives of both towns will have to gauge the interest of transportation companies and draw up estimates for how much such services would cost. Mr. Thiele said he will work to get state funding to help offset some of those anticipated expenses.

Tom Neely, Southampton Town’s director of transportation and traffic safety, said this week that Town Board members intend to discuss the issue at an upcoming work session—though a date has not yet been finalized.

Mr. Neely then deferred all other questions about the plans to Mr. Thiele.

The assemblyman said his next meeting with Long Island Rail Road officials is set for March. During that meeting, he said, he intends to push to get an exact date so the public will be aware of when the extra trains would be available.

The Long Island Rail Road updates its schedule twice a year—once in October and again in May. Mr. Thiele said he is pushing to get the extra trains added this October.

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman noted that he is pushing for two eastbound trains during the morning and afternoon rush hours. The additional trains were largely pushed by local elected officials as one way to help alleviate the South Fork’s chronic traffic issues, especially at the Shinnecock Canal during the morning and evening rush hours.

Southampton Town Councilwoman Julie Lofstad, who lives in Hampton Bays, said she thinks the extra trains have the potential to attract certain workers—such as teachers, hospital staffers and even town employees—who do not have to haul equipment back and forth with them each day. She also acknowledged that it might be unrealistic to expect the region’s contractors, who make up what is known locally as the “trade parade,” to take public transportation.

At the same time, she said discussions should be held to see if the towns could create overnight parking and storage areas for those contractors. “That’s something that I personally am going to push for as well,” Ms. Lofstad said.

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BS from our local politicians. How about taking away their cars and putting them on the train. Not going to work.
What does Neely really do???
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Jan 17, 18 11:14 AM
I am a big proponent of public transportation as a transplant from NYC and commuting from Hampton Bays 80 miles 2/12 hours each way to work in NYC to afford my little piece of paradise. Some of the larger employers on Long Island provided van service for employees to attract the "best and brightest". One of the logistics discussed was where the starting point was west of the canal suggesting Speonk or Hampton Bays. That would require individuals west of those locations driving and parking in ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Jan 17, 18 12:48 PM
And what about the noise created by more trains! This will kill real estate values for those who live close enough to hear the noise. ---- more service more noise.
If the LIRR wants to do this, then they have to undertake noise abatement efforts!

And, the trains will do nothing for the tradespeople; they bring in their equipment in their vans. And, how are they supposed to get to their worksite from the train station? It's a stupid idea and will not solve the problem of congestion. ...more
By JohnSmith (25), Johnson City, Tennessee on Jan 17, 18 11:05 PM
I heard Trump is buying Gardiners Island and he plans on building affordable housing for the east end.
Plans call for ferries to Montauk, Easthampton and North Ferry.
They think 27 will be like it was in the 60's....
By Rayman (64), southampton on Jan 18, 18 11:41 AM
Many years ago this plan WAS put in place. It occurred during the addition of the 2nd lane on Rte 27/Cty Rd. 39 through Southampton. It was very successful.Local business, schools, postal workers & more took the train east during this construction period. It was HEAVEN. Now that the population & development of the areas east of the canal has exploded AND the US Open is coming in the spring, we need this train more than ever! The footbridge that is built over the highway will cause weeks of delays! ...more
By jcos (3), Remsenburg on Jan 19, 18 8:30 AM
It is easy enough for the Town to conduct an on-line survey to see the interest in this service. Based on this article, this proposed train service is to commence after the U.S. Open event this summer. The traffic for the U.S. Open last time started in Nassau County since I personally was on the LIE trying to get home to Hampton Bays from work. The additional service may serve the workers well, but the Town Board needs to address whether or not it will adversely impact Hampton Bays or Speonk ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Jan 19, 18 2:04 PM