Getting around in the Hamptons is almost completely car-dependent. Though there is a public bus system and getting the train off-peak is inexpensive, people almost always elect using personal cars over public transit.
The S92 bus—which goes all the way from Orient Point, through the North Fork, and then loops around to the South Fork, eventually ending in East Hampton—runs several times a day, but it’s only scheduled for a maximum of three times within an hour at a given stop during peak hours. It only runs once an hour during less busy times. On top of that, the schedule is often inaccurate and unreliable.
Bus schedules are very inaccurate in many cities, but the infrequency of operation is what makes catching the bus more difficult in the Hamptons. In a city where bus routes operate more frequently, the inaccuracy isn’t always as much of a problem because there are more buses running.
The train runs even less frequently throughout the day. The train only runs about seven times a day from Montauk, and getting back to the Hamptons from the city usually requires a stop at Ronkonkoma because the trains back are few and far between.
Biking isn’t always the best option, either. The distance between Westhampton and Montauk Point is over 50 miles in length—and even from Southampton, the drive all the way out east can take over an hour when there’s traffic. And while most people aren’t spanning the entire length of the Hamptons to get to work, even getting to work within one’s own town can be difficult.
Biking to work is a great option for people who live close to their place of work, but for the most part, people do have to travel a bit—making driving a more convenient option.
Living in private places is ideal for the peace and quiet that people come to the Hamptons in search of, but it comes with the caveat of being located far away from shops and restaurants. Additionally, there are so many private roads that public buses often can’t go down them.
The Hamptons has public transit—a public bus and a rail system—but the question must be asked: Do we need better public transit options, or is what we have working for the East End?
Let us know what you think in the comments.