The official launch date of the revamped bus company 7 Bus is now set for July 1, although the giant green carriers of the renamed transport service already roll through the oft-congested lanes of the Long Island Expressway.
With the launch, the Bohemia company -- which formerly operated as Bolt Bus Long Island and offered transport from Suffolk County locations to Manhattan -- will begin a new commuter program as well as new service areas.
On July 1, daily passengers will be able to use commuter passes, as well as intra-Island tickets.
The Southampton Long Island Rail Road station on Long Island, and the intersection of 47th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, will also be added as new pickup and drop-off spots. Currently, the bus services Melville, Ronkonkoma and Riverhead on Long Island, in addition to 40th Street and 59th Street along Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.
The 7 Bus operator previously had a license agreement with Bolt Bus to use the national bus servicer's name and online ticketing system. But Bolt's rigid ticketing options were ultimately not a good fit for a Long Island commuter's needs, Mike Schoolman, the president of 7 Bus, said Wednesday. Schoolman also heads the Hamptons Luxury Liner, a seasonal bus service that runs between Manhattan and the Hamptons.
"We had experience operating from December to present with Bolt," he said of ending use of Bolt's systems. "We wanted to add additional services to make it the best product it can be."
In the future, Schoolman said he hopes to offer stops in Nassau County for commuters within Long Island, and also partner with local towns and hotels to offer vacation packages for New York City tourists.
The 7 Bus website, 7bus.com, is already active and passengers can use it to purchase tickets for trips on and after July 1. Single ticket prices differ depending on place of origin, and range from $7 to $17.