Does Suffolk County Have Public Transportation?

The bus system in Suffolk County, New York, is owned, planned, and managed by the County. Suffolk County Transit (SCT) is the provider of bus services on Long Island and is an agency of the Suffolk County Government. Established in 1980, SCT oversees a group of private contract operators who are responsible for the physical maintenance and operation of the buses, while SCT handles other issues such as purchasing buses, planning routes and schedules, and setting fare rules. Most HART routes connect to both SCT and the Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE), allowing passengers to transfer between them easily.

SCT also offers fixed-route public transportation services in North Suffolk, as well as a connection from the city center to the HRT in the Chesapeake Square area before continuing to the North Suffolk Library. As a member of the New York Metropolitan Council (NYMTC), Suffolk County is responsible for providing relevant data related to the Suffolk element of the Regional Transportation Plan for the New York metropolitan area. The State Transit Operational Assistance (STOA) program is funded by the State and represents the main external source of transportation operational assistance available in Suffolk County to offset the cost of maintaining and operating SCT buses. Additionally, Suffolk County Accessible Transportation (SCAT) is a mandatory paratransit service provided by the federal government for passengers with disabilities who meet ADA requirements.

Suffolk Transit began as a consolidation of numerous private bus companies, many of which became county contractors. During his tenure as Suffolk County Executive, Steve Levy proposed that the MTA take over SCT. Passengers can now track their SCT bus live and get accurate arrival predictions on their mobile phone. The Division is also responsible for managing the STOA program with respect to local transportation operations in Suffolk County.

Suffolk Transit is funded through the City of Suffolk Transit Fund to provide fixed routes and paratransit services to its current service area. Transfers are valid for two hours from issue and can be used on SCT connecting routes or on NICE connecting routes with a special transfer request voucher (transfers to NICE require payment of an additional fee). The application, Suffolk FastFare, is available for use on all SCT buses and provides an update to current paper ticket options by allowing passengers to purchase tickets on their smartphones anytime, anywhere and then show them on the screen. All services are operated by private contractors rather than in-house.

Jonathan Souder
Jonathan Souder

Avid coffee advocate. Lifelong pop culture ninja. Typical tv buff. Typical travel lover. Amateur internet evangelist.