Bolt Bus, an inexpensive luxury bus service will soon offer...

Bolt Bus, an inexpensive luxury bus service will soon offer service from Manhattan to Ronkonkoma and Riverhead. (June. 20, 2012) Credit: Nancy Borowick

BoltBus, the big orange coach bus company that moves about 40,000 riders throughout the Northeast each week, is coming to Long Island.

The carrier is partnering with Hampton Luxury Liner to provide 15 daily round trips from Manhattan's East Side to Ronkonkoma and Riverhead, starting this fall.

"The region is ripe for this type of service, with people currently commuting into the city on the LIRR to Penn Station," said David Hall, the Dallas-based general manager of BoltBus, a division of Greyhound Lines. "This new service takes you direct to the East Side; we think people will find that more convenient."

Mike Schoolman, president of Bohemia-based Classic Transportation, which owns Hampton Luxury Liner and Classic Coach bus services, said the BoltBus schedule and exact locations of the Manhattan departure and arrival points are still being determined.

Hampton Luxury Liner has five New York City departure points on Lexington Avenue between 40th and 86th streets that it uses for daily service between the Hamptons and Manhattan. It also offers winery tours to the North Fork from Manhattan and Long Island locations. Classic Coach provides charter buses and makes five daily trips from Long Island to Atlantic City.

BoltBus, with wireless Internet access, power outlets and extra legroom, operates among Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

The price for a Ronkonkoma to New York City ticket would be less than $15, Schoolman said. A Riverhead trip price has not been determined.

The new bus concept has the support of Islip, Brookhaven and Riverhead towns. "We feel it's an important transportation option for the East End and will complement the existing Long Island Rail Road service -- especially in special-events situations such as the recent Tall Ships or the Riverhead Country Fair," said Chris Kempner, Riverhead community development director.

Hampton Luxury Liner will operate as the Long Island licensee for BoltBus. Hall and Schoolman said the operation would target both the Long Island commuter and tourist markets.

"Around 50 million people visit New York City a year and most don't hire cars," Schoolman said. "Having a service like Bolt to quickly, efficiently and comfortably bring them to Long Island would facilitate spending at our hotels, museums and other attractions, such as the wineries and beaches."

The two planned stops on Long Island are at the Courtyard Marriott hotel in Ronkonkoma and the Hilton Garden Inn opposite the Tanger Factory Outlet in Riverhead. Passengers also could arrange package deals to visit other attractions.

The operation would complement, not compete with the LIRR, Schoolman said.

"The goal is getting people out of cars and decongesting our very busy Long Island Expressway," he said. "This is another option to take cars off the road when the roads are busy."

LIRR president Helena Williams said the railroad would welcome competition and the promise of more tourists and jobs for Long Island. "But the LIRR remains the fastest and greenest way to Manhattan from Ronkonkoma," she said.

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