The new owner of the Hampton Luxury Liner will begin a commuter bus service from Long Island to New York City on Monday as an alternative to the Long Island Rail Road.
Buses will go to midtown and lower Manhattan from Mondays through Fridays, starting at 4 a.m., and return in the evening.
The target customer of the Commack-based bus service “is the everyday commuter that works in the city and lives on Long Island and wants to do their work on their way in and not have to worry about driving, or someone who is sick of riding the railroad and wants a comfortable and an alternative way to get into the city,” said president and CEO Mark Vigliante.
The line’s Mercedes coach buses will make pickups at the Southampton LIRR station, the Long Island Expressway Exit 63 (Park and Ride in Farmingville), the Ronkonkoma station, then LIE exits 60 (MacArthur Airport connection), 49 (Park and Ride in Melville), and 23 (JFK/LGA Airport connection). They will make two drop-offs in Manhattan — on Lexington Avenue and East 40th Street, and on Broadway and Park Place.
For the return to Long Island starting at 4:30 p.m., the bus service will make four pickups in Manhattan on Lexington Avenue between East 40th and East 70th streets, and one on Park Row and Beekman Street.
“We are going to start with the four buses and then as we see fit, we may add buses,” said Vigliante, adding he is looking to hire more professional bus drivers.
A one-way trip on the Hampton Luxury Liner commuter line will generally cost $19, or $29 to and from Southampton; 10-trip packages will cost $150. Reservations are required online or over the phone to guarantee a seat.
A one-way peak trip LIRR ticket from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station is $19, from Southampton to Penn Station is $29.25, and a weekly pass is $125.
“As a commuter I have not seen a better alternative than the LIRR,” Mark J. Epstein, the chair of the LIRR Commuter Council said. “I wish them luck and we will be watching if they can give a better service for a cheaper price.” Epstein pointed out that during the so-called “summer of hell,” the MTA cut back on charter buses because of low ridership.
Robert Sinclair Jr., spokesman for AAA’s Northeast region, said Nassau and Suffolk counties have added thousands of cars in the past five years and that Suffolk has the most cars of any county in the state. “If it seems that roads are more crowded, it is not your imagination,” he said. “For someone looking to escape the congestion into Manhattan, a new commuter bus sounds like a great alternative for someone who doesn’t want to face it or doesn’t have the ability to face it.”
Hampton Luxury Liner and its related companies, Classic Coach and 7Bus, all formerly based in Bohemia, abruptly went out of business after Labor Day 2016, following the companies’ bankruptcy filings and the subsequent decision by a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee to cease operations.
In November 2016, M&V Limousines Ltd., owned by Vigliante, acquired naming rights and some assets of the companies at an auction. M&V, a limo and bus company founded in 1993, spent about $90,000 to purchase client lists, computers, software and a trolley.
In May, the Hampton Luxury Liner started offering service between the Hamptons and Manhattan.
The company’s buses, which hold up to 50 passengers, have Wi-Fi, power outlets, leather reclining seats, restrooms, complimentary snacks and bottled water.
Alternative bus companies between Manhattan and Long Island include Calverton-based Hamptons Jitney and Hampton Bays-based North Fork Express.