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Brookhaven mulls new jitney provider

Brookhaven is mulling a new jitney provider to help the elderly run errands, get to medical appointments and explore the town.

Montauk Bus of Center Moriches was the winning bid in a request for proposals last year, but a contract was never formalized, said Supervisor Edward P. Romaine at a town board work session last week.

Bus company representatives at the meeting said the company could expand services.

“We believe we can save the taxpayer money,” said manager Greg Mensch.

Seniors can schedule the jitney to take them to specific locations for medical appointments and shopping, but currently those appointments may have to be made several weeks in advance, said Dotte Lantz, comptroller of Montauk Bus. The new providers will allow appointments to be made as little as 24 or 48 hours in advance, she said.

Mensch also said current town employees who work for the jitney will be given opportunities to work for Montauk Bus, and the company may buy some of the town’s fleet of buses.

The jitney can also expand its locations to include libraries and cinemas, Lantz said, and Romaine added, “which isn’t part of our program, so it’s an enhancement.”

The town board’s next step is to negotiate a contract with Montauk Bus, but no increase in the $3 trip cost is anticipated. About 1,200 riders use the jitney every month, according to the town.

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