'Reimagine Transit' initiative rolls out on Suffolk County buses to mixed reviews

Suffolk County began its new “Reimagine Transit” initiative, meant to increase the frequency of bus service on Sunday.
County officials say more routes have service every 30 minutes instead of every hour. Buses were also added at night and on weekends.
In exchange, Suffolk Transit cut the overall number of routes from 41 to 27.
The S56 route was eliminated as part of the overhaul.
Frequent rider Kathleen Pratt says the change means it’s more difficult to leave her senior citizen complex in Smithtown.
“We have no access to the outside world," says Pratt.
But pizzeria worker Joe Soto, who takes the bus from his home in Bay Shore to his job in Northport, says the changes have helped him get home late at night. Soto says he no longer has to spend $50 on a taxi every day.
“It’s really helpful. It’s something they did that they should have done a while ago,” Soto says.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone says the overhaul was done following dozens of community meetings over two years.
Bellone says the changes will likely increase ridership, which in turn would boost state funding for the county’s transit system.
“There’s 50% more access to jobs with the new system today than previously. And about three times as many people have access to frequent service than before the change," Bellone says.