It’s taken three years, but a group of students from a local church who have been campaigning for more bus shelters to be installed along Main Road are finally seeing some big movement toward their goal.
This month, Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski’s office submitted a request to build six new bus shelters in the county — including four in Southold Town.
He has said Suffolk County stands at the ready to fund such shelter requests.
Sam Shaffery, a junior at Mattituck High School who is a founding member of Project Bus Stop, said news of the progress was “phenomenal.”
He said the organization — which spun out of a church youth group — chose to champion bus shelters because it was a “real need” the members identified for the town.
“We picked up on a project that we were passionate about,” he said. “We didn’t expect it to be so difficult.”
Mr. Krupski said it was the group’s advocacy that led him to request funds for the project in this year’s budget.
“The wheels of government can turn very slowly,” he said.
If approved by the state Department of Transportation, two of the bus shelters would be built at Calverton National Cemetery in Calverton. One would be on Main Road in Peconic, while another would be installed near the Mattituck Plaza. Two more may be built near the bus stops in Cutchogue, he added.
“They see the need for it,” he said. “That’s why we made the application.”
Eileen Peters, a spokesperson for the DOT, said this was the first time the department had received a request about these new bus shelters in Southold Town.
She said the DOT would review the plans and issue its opinion in as soon as four weeks.
“We do know there’s an interest in it and we do support what they’re doing,” she said of Project Bus Stop.
Sam Shaffery said after struggling three years to get this close, he’s happy to wait a little longer.
“We’ve been waiting three years and working hard,” he said. “A month is great.”