Riders of the Southampton-based Hampton Jitney will have one more option for catching the big green bus to Manhattan or the North Fork, with a new, $10 million terminal set to open in Calverton this summer.
Although the main company headquarters will remain at the current Southampton location, the new 50,000-square-foot building on Edwards Avenue will be the headquarters for all Jitney charters and tours, as well as for operations of the North Fork and Westhampton lines, according to Hampton Jitney Vice President Andrew Lynch.
The new building will also feature a full food court and retail space in the lobby. The company is already in negotiations with unspecified tenants for the spaces.
“We have grown out of our facility in Southampton,” Mr. Lynch said in an email last week. “Our shop there is too small to service the 60 vehicles that we have, and anyone who has parked there knows that it can be challenging to find a spot at peak times.”
The Hampton Jitney, celebrating its 40th year, was founded in 1974 by Jim Davidson and initially operated out of an old barn in Bridgehampton with just two vans and a single route throughout the Hamptons to New York City. The company has grown considerably to include more than 50 large coach buses that transport 500,000 riders per year on three primary routes focusing on the Westhampton line, the Montauk line and the North Fork line. The company also has bus services taking travelers to the South, as well as wine tour packages on the North Fork.
With its rapid expansion over the last four decades, the company decided to expand operations in 2006, and went on to purchase the approximately 13-acre Edwards Avenue property in 2008. It took several years to get permit approval for the new terminal, and construction was completed earlier this year.
The facility will have seven maintenance bays, four more than the current Southampton facility, and will feature an automated bus wash, on-demand lighting and a state-of-the-art maintenance facility. There is also 25,000 gallons of fuel storage capacity at the site.
One of the biggest perks of the new terminal, according to Mr. Lynch, is parking. The location will have 200 customer parking spaces, along with enough space for 65 bus slots.
According to Mr. Lynch, the new terminal will open up employment opportunities, as it is often difficult to hire year-round bus drivers on the East End.
“No town in Suffolk County is forecast to grow faster than Riverhead over the next 20 years,” Mr. Lynch said. “And being as seasonal as we are makes staffing very challenging. Even though the new building is only 25 miles west, it makes a big difference in being able to access and hire the people we need.”
While the Hampton Jitney headquarters will remain in Southampton, at least half of the fleet will be moved to Calverton, freeing up parking and reducing wait times for customers at the Southampton branch. “Our headquarters will remain in Southampton,” Mr. Lynch said. “The majority of our line-run business originates on the South Fork, so a 100-percent move to Calverton doesn’t make sense.”