The following was submitted to Suffolk County on December 16, 2016.
The key to Connect Long Island’s success is highlighting the potential benefits to our residents, and making them want to leave their cars and climb aboard the Bus Rapid Transit line instead. The county executive should focus on promoting the Route 110 corridor, an already successful employment hub on the Island, instead of pushing for a BRT line on Nicolls Road.
The County must legitimately find out if Stony Brook students want to travel to and from Patchogue, or if workers at Stony Brook University hospital and the campus commute south to north. Given both the region’s current population density and commutation patterns, it wouldn’t seem that BRT on Nicolls Road is fiscally sustainable or that the ridership demand is there to be viable. Further – how does the County propose funding this project five or ten years down the road if ridership demand is questionable?
Connect Long Island isn’t a bad idea in concept, but the execution is inherently flawed without hard data showcasing the regional and community need for this effort.
A good idea doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right idea. We need to have fact-backed proposals, not a “build it and they will come” mindset.