Free Shuttles in Montauk

The Hampton Hopper

The Hampton Hopper, a private bus service that has operated between East Hampton and Montauk for three years, will run a free Montauk shuttle route for East Hampton Town this summer.

Using two buses, Hampton Hopper will provide service from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from June 28 through Sept. 4, stopping along a loop from Hither Hills State Park on Old Montauk Highway, into downtown Montauk, and to the Long Island Rail Road and the Montauk dock area.

Pickup at any of the designated bus stops will take place at intervals of between 15 and 30 minutes, at maximum, and riders will be able to learn the schedule and track the location of approaching buses with an app and a global positioning system service. In addition to catching the bus at a regular stop, riders will be able to hail the shuttle, provided there is a safe area to pull over for people to embark.

The Hopper buses will coordinate with Hamptons Free Ride, a free shuttle service using small electric vehicles that can be waved down or summoned through an app, to enable people to reach locations outside the Hopper shuttle route.

Seeking a partial solution to traffic and parking jams during the busy summer season in Montauk, town officials had issued a request for proposals from transportation services to initiate a pilot program this year, and finalized an agreement with Hampton Hopper this week. The business will be paid $100,000 — the amount of a grant East Hampton received from New York State to provide the shuttle service.

Hampton Hopper’s familiarity with the area, local roads, ridership demographics, and the company’s experienced drivers are a plus, Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said at a board meeting in Montauk on Tuesday. “This is a trial proposal; I think we’ll learn some things from doing this,” he said.

As part of the agreement, Hamptons Hopper will devote about $10,000 to spreading the word about the new bus service through its own marketing and advertising.

The potential reduction in traffic, competition for parking, and general congestion in Montauk will make for “a more pleasant summer, I hope,” said Town Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc.