Southold officials got taken for a ride Wednesday aboard the latest transportation option aimed at easing the East End traffic crunch: a trolley.
A trial run in Peconic included Suffolk transportation officials and local business owners. The service would be offered on the weekends along two lines, one in Mattituck and the other in Greenport, if a planned test run in September is successful.
Officials met at the Peconic Lane Community Center and discussed route planning, a possible mobile app for trolley users and how to advertise the trolley service to potential riders. Afterward, officials and business owners rode the trolley from Peconic Lane to several stops on Main Road and Route 48 that may eventually be on the Mattituck route.
Denis Noncarrow, the town’s government liaison officer, said the Greenport line would start its trial run between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday starting Sept. 2. The Mattituck trolley line test run would follow at a later time, he said.
After the trial runs, officials would plan to offer the trolley service next year, from June through November, Noncarrow said.
August Ruckdeschel, the East End projects coordinator for the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning, said the trolley service would create an alternative transportation option on the East End while also reducing traffic congestion and boosting the local economy.
There are no projected ridership numbers, but Noncarrow said town officials hope the service helps local businesses that depend on visitors in the summer and fall months.
“If you get a couple of hundred people per day [using the service], which is what we’re hoping for, that would be great,” Noncarrow said.
Commack-based bus line Hampton Luxury Liner will provide the trolley service, and the North Fork Promotion Council will oversee the program, officials said. Noncarrow added that the town would also apply for state tourism grants to fund the service.