It’s the buzz of the town – literally.
The Great Neck Park District, Transdev – which operates the NICE bus system – and Buzz, a shuttle service for commuters, announced the launch of a pilot program on Thursday, in hopes of easing stress on parking lots and reducing reliance on cars in the Great Neck area.
“It’s going to be less expensive than the daily parking fee and it’s going to be technology heavy, so it all can be done on a smartphone,” Great Neck Park District Commissioner Bob Lincoln said. “It’s not exactly ride share and not exactly Uber – it’s something in between.”
Buzz is a subscription-based shuttle service with pickups and dropoffs planned in advance, according to its website, “but built around subscriber locations and preferences.” Commuters then pool together into 14-person vans for transit.
In the case of Great Neck, it will target areas with high concentrations of commuter parking lot users and take them to and from the train station in Great Neck Plaza starting Jan. 14, according to Lincoln.
Buzz’s website says their operations schedule will be based on morning departures from Great Neck and afternoon departures from Penn Station.
The current service area includes an area sandwiched between Middle Neck Road and East Shore Road, with its northernmost point at Franklin and Rogers roads and southernmost point at Grace Avenue – just north of the train station.
State Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso, who represents the North Shore and attended the Jan. 10 unveiling, said he believes the service will help alleviate congestion in the area.
“This is an excellent way to commute to the train station and to reduce traffic during rush hour,” D’Urso said.
Lincoln said the program will be free for the first month and aiming for signing up “maybe a dozen people to sign up this first week.” It will then likely amount to about two dollars each way, he said.
“If this is successful, I would suspect that it would be expanded,” Lincoln said. “It’s not intended to be for everybody – it’s intended to be where there are clusters of people that use the parking lots.”
Lincoln recommended that anyone with interest in the program visit greatneckbuzz.com.
The deadline to sign up for the first week is Jan. 11 at 9 p.m.