While the Hamptons remains one of the most beautifully kept places in the nation, traveling from one end of the South Fork to the other isn’t always a pretty picture.
If you’re one of many who doesn’t own a car (or chopper or jet in these parts), or just would rather not get behind the wheel, you may find yourself relying on public trains and/or automobiles to get to and from places.
It’s obvious traffic has grown exponentially heavier over the years for myriad reasons — one being the fact that there aren’t many affordable places to live on the East End so members of the workforce have to commute from points further west — but that’s a different story! Still, that bumper to bumper situation alone can be enough to make a person re-think the route from here to there. Add in the risk of driving after an evening on the town and the contemplative crux of constantly (and unnecessarily?) using your own personal dollop of fossil fuel and … well, maybe the bus ain’t so bad after all.
There are a few public transportation options available that may help keep you from straight up hoofin’ it across the South Fork this winter — and we’ve got some thoughts and ideas on the topic.
Taxing drive? Grab a cab
Ride hailing services, like Uber and Lyft, have been available in the Hamptons since summer of 2017. There are also several privately-owned local taxi companies still kicking around that are equally reliable and accessible.
Some of our favorites include Hometown Taxi (631-287-5200), Ted’s Taxi (631-324-2003), and Shelter Island Taxi (631-210-6677). The downside is any one of these options can be a bit expensive. Here’s a handy dandy example: According to Rome2Rio, an online global travel planner, if you were to travel from Sag Harbor Cinema on Main Street to TJ Maxx in the Bridgehampton Commons, a taxi (whether it’s an Uber or a local cab) would take about nine minutes and cost about $30, before tip. The distance is a little over five miles. If that’s not in your budget or you’ve got more than one stop on the docket, though, never fear.
Hop on the bus, Gus
Rome2Rio notes the best option for those needing to travel the same route sans car would be to take the 12-minute Suffolk County Transit 92 bus ride for $2.25.
For over 40 years now Suffolk County Transit has provided eastern Long Island with bus services offering dozens of routes available for riding with a rate of $2.25 per person. Throughout the East End community, the most frequent line traversing southbound and northbound across both forks is the 92, formally known as the S92, traveling between the East Hampton Railroad Station all the way to the Cross Sound Ferry dock at Orient Point on the North Fork. Designated South Fork stops are in Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton, Southampton, Shinnecock Hills, Hampton Bays and Flanders before it hits downtown Riverhead and continues traveling onto the North Fork (two forks for the price of one!).
The 92 operates every 60 minutes in both directions on weekdays and weekends. Be forewarned: the 92 is notoriously late, so a good rule of thumb is to show up early, (our rec: 30 minutes) as there’s a good possibility of catching a bus that’s running behind. For the 92’s winter schedule, route map, and specific stops click here.
If you live in Montauk, Amagansett or Springs, the bus situation is more challenging, as buses on these routes operate far less frequently, riding only weekdays at certain, spread-out times. The 10B travels from the East Hampton Railroad Station to Three Mile Harbor Road, going all the way down to the end of Springs. It then crosses over Hog Creek Road and travels back toward East Hampton Village down Springs Fireplace Road, eventually traveling to the Bridgehampton Commons via Montauk Highway.
If you’re traveling to points further east, the 10C starts at East Hampton Railroad Station and has its first stop in downtown Amagansett at the corner of Montauk Highway and Miankoma Lane. It continues down 27, stopping at Hither Hills State Park before it gets to downtown Montauk, where it rides by the Montauk Railroad Station before continuing to the Gosman’s Dock.
Wheels on demand
Launched by the Suffolk County Transit over two years ago is the Transit On-Demand (631-818-2982) feature, where you book a bus to pick you up through an app downloaded to your phone. While it’s nice that SCT has broken into the 21st century, this still isn’t a foolproof option as its services are limited to designated zones that only cover certain parts of Sag Harbor, Noyac, North Haven, North Sea, Tuckahoe and Southampton Village. Forewarned is forearmed: There are no rides available in Bridgehampton, Water Mill or any points east, though bringing the transit on-demand system to East Hampton is in the works.
Get on track
Finally, let’s not forget about the trusty Long Island Rail Road, operated by non-other than the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. In addition to the regularly scheduled programming, aka the Montauk line, there’s a new train and shuttle schedule that started this past September. Dubbed the South Fork Commuter Connection, it’s a great option for those traveling between Speonk and Montauk during the weekdays.
According to Southampton Town’s website, “the South Fork Commuter Connection is a coordinated rail and bus system created to operate during peak commuting hours to provide workers with a public transportation travel option.” The SFCC operates Monday through Friday, except for major holidays, and costs $3.25 for a one-way ticket. Town-provided shuttles (including the Hampton Hopper, since that only hops throughout the Hamptons from June to Labor Day) will take train riders to nearby workplaces and employment centers in whatever hamlet they disembarked during the mornings and late afternoons. To check the schedule click here.