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South Fork transit programs get state funding

The recently adopted 2018-19 New York State budget includes funding for two programs that provide public transit on the South Fork.

The spending plan allots $100,000 for an East Hampton Town-run summer shuttle service in Montauk as well as $500,000 for ground transportation from stops along the Long Island Rail Road’s Montauk line to various South Fork workplaces.

East Hampton provided a free shuttle bus service last year between Hither Hills State Park and Montauk’s downtown and harbor areas. The funding will help it continue in 2018, according to Assemb. Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor).

The South Fork Commuter Connection, which is expected to begin in February 2019, will provide three eastbound and three westbound trains per day running from Speonk to Montauk. The state and local towns are expected to share the cost of the final leg of the trip to bring commuters to their jobs either via buses, ride sharing or taxis.

That plan will “reduce traffic congestion to the South Fork, including the adverse impacts from automobile congestion on the environment,” Thiele said in a statement.

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