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Could scoot train finally become reality on North Fork?

10/06/2017 4:38 PM |

Riverhead Town officials are hoping to get grant money to fund two major projects.

One is the so-called scoot train, which would run between the Riverhead and Greenport train stations while establishing a series of “feeder” bus loops to take riders from the stations to other nearby attractions.

Dawn Thomas, the town’s community development agency director, said officials are hoping to obtain federal TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recover) grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The federal DOT has $500 million available in TIGER grants and says on its website that grants are between $5 million and $25 million, except for projects located in rural areas and the minimum TIGER discretionary grant size is $1 million.

“It’s an awfully large amount of money if you can get it, so it was suggested we apply corroboratively with Southold Town, as we have in the past,” Ms. Thomas said.

The scoot train idea goes back many years, and it had actually been funded in the Long Island Rail Road’s capital budget, but has yet to come to fruition.

“This has been a sizable challenge for tourism overall on the East End,” said Bryan DeLuca, who heads the East End Tourism Alliance and is the general manager of Atlantis Holdings, which owns the Long Island Aquarium and Hyatt Hotel, among other things. “We want to grow a tourism business, but the residents are in complete opposition, clearly because of the traffic.”

The second project officials are hoping to obtain grants for is the resurfacing and lifting of Creek Road in Wading River, which is prone to flooding in bad storms and high tide, officials said.

“You can’t even drive on the south lane after it rains or is high tide,” Supervisor Sean Walter said. “Everybody drives in the north lane.”

Officials said the project will probably be done in conjunction with Suffolk County, and that some town and county land is proposed for use in improving the drainage on Creek Road.

Photo credit: Tim Gannon

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