Using LI public transportation is just not realistic

Lean Jackson, 25 of Coram, is a law school student graduating in 2020.

Right on the day of my sixteenth birthday I went down to the DMV and I got my learner’s permit. The following year, I passed my driver’s test. Driving gave me freedom and, fortunately for me, my parents had an old car that had been sitting in the driveway that I could drive.

From then on, I always had a car. I never had to worry about public transportation — which is good, since the closest bus stop to my house is two miles away. Buses, the LIRR or ride-sharing services are currently the other transportation options available here. But if I need to take the bus, it would take me 38 minutes just to get to the bus stop, according to a map app on my phone. If I needed to take the bus to the Port Jefferson train station, which is normally a 10-minute drive, it would take me more than one hour to get there — and it would involve a two-mile walk and two bus transfers.

Public transportation on Long Island is accessible, the problem is that the transportation isn’t easily accessible. The best way to improve public transportation is to put more bus stops closer to suburban homes. Along with more bus stops, more routes that travel within towns. Walking two miles to a bus stop might not be difficult for me, but what about older or disabled residents? I see people every day walking up and down the main roads in the rain and sometimes the snow. What happens to someone who is injured and not able to reach the closest bus stop?

During the summer of 2014, I came home from college and got into a horrible car accident that totaled my car. Theoretically, being without a car was fine when I was up at college because everything was extremely close, or I knew someone with a car. But I was at home on Long Island for the summer and life without a car was miserable. I spent all summer borrowing the cars of my parents or siblings, waiting for hours for someone to pick me up from work, or I was just stuck at home for the day. Uber wasn’t as popular a few years ago.

Currently, I drive an eco-efficient car. One tank of gas may cost me 30 dollars at its highest and it lasts for the entire week. I commute to work and school daily and an Uber to my school in Central Islip would cost 20 dollars one way. For me this wouldn’t be worth it. Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft aren’t affordable for a long-distance drive or even a short distance at peak time.

Using these services on a daily basis is not practical on an already expensive Island. Driving is the only practical option.