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Diesel ‘Scoot’ Trains Coming to East End

MTA plans to introduce light diesel trains in 2014 for local commuters.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has amended its five-year capital plan to budget for light diesel “scoot” trains on the Montauk and Greenport branches of the the Long Island Rail Road, a move that could make life much easier for commuters on the East End come 2014.

New York State Assemblyman , I-Sag Harbor, said the trains were part of the MTA's capital plan when it was designed in 2009, but actual funding for the proposal was never identified until now. The amendment calls for $37.2 million to purchase five new trains for the LIRR, which will serve as shuttles for intra-Island commuting.

Thiele said the proposed “diesel multiple unit” trains come in sets of two cars and are lighter, more cost effective and have smaller engines than typical LIRR trains. When ridership is heavy, another pair of cars can be added to a train to accommodate the additional riders. The LIRR could purchase more in the future if the first fleet of shuttles is successful, according to Thiele.

Shuttle trains were successful during the reconstruction of County Road 39 in Southampton, Thiele said. But these trains will be different, as they will be cheaper to run.

Thiele predicted that the new shuttle service will help boost the number of jobs in the East End tourism and second-home industries. “Transportation alternatives that make it easier to get here and easier to move from hamlet to hamlet will foster the growth of our local economy,” he said.

The train shuttles are a step toward an East End rail-bus network pushed by Five Towns Rural Transit, a nonprofit advocacy group that hopes to solve the area’s congestion woes. A study completed in 2009 by the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center on behalf of the towns of Southampton, East Hampton, Riverhead, Southold and Shelter Island looked at the feasibility of such a commuter network. It recommended that service run for approximately 18 hours per day in season, and 14 hours per day off-season, with the “seasons” each defined as roughly 182 days per year.

BOB PALADIN February 09, 2012 at 05:54 PM
goodbye east end quality of life we have been discovered ... the east end will be a DESTINATION not a resident community in 10 years.. if you a local full time resident the last one left can turn off the lights
ahblid February 09, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Preliator, Yes, it might be easy to replace the LIRR with buses, but did you want the bigger tax bill that will come with it? I sure don't! On average in this country in 2010 according to the National Transit Database it costs 40 cents per passenger mile to move people on commuter rail systems, like the LIRR. The LIRR comes in at 48 cents per passenger mile. On average it costs 90 cents per passenger mile to move people by bus in this country; Suffolk County's SCT buses come in at 93 cents per passenger mile. Nassau Country comes in at 79 cents per passenger mile. NYC's MTA manages a whopping $1.25 per passenger mile.
ahblid February 09, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Tom, Seeing as how we drivers only manage to cover 51% of the costs of our highways via fuel taxes & other fees, it's no wonder that the LIRR can't charge enough to cover its costs. And those local streets in most states are paved with property taxes, not fuel taxes. The subsidy to us drivers is far greater than any subsidy to the LIRR. Heck, according to the data from the National Transit Database, in 2010 LIRR riders actually managed to cover 46.12% of their costs, just below what we drivers are managing on only the highways.
BOB PALADIN February 09, 2012 at 08:31 PM
ahblid do you work for the transportation industry who pays for the infrastructure to rehab the stations the roads the cops to police the ner do wellers the courts to process them the road clean up crews to clean up after they dump the litter on the streets where we live this is a boondoggle to match the casinos going into riverhead .. i can see it now the advertising will be come to the southampton beachs dine in luxury visit the wineries and play and stay at the riverhead casinos goodbye long island as you know it you ever been to foxwoods yuck its coming here real soon
forward thinking February 09, 2012 at 11:51 PM
hang a lux car monorail 75 ft. over montauk hwy. incl food / bar car - what a view. better yet a car/train for those qho dont have a sec. car to leave in the hamptons. .

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