Two weeks from now, in December 2013, the new luxury commuter bus service, 7Bus, will begin offering round-trip service directly between Stony Brook University and New York City everyday. The 7Bus system, named after its starting fare of $7, is famous for sending its large, green carriers around Long Island after replacing BoltBus on July 1, 2013. Employees of 7Bus have been advertising their services in the Student Activities Center, handing out pamphlets and making announcements to inform students about this imminent transportation change in Stony Brook. According to a 7Bus employee I talked to, 7Bus took years to implement at Stony Brook University. Luckily, through the efforts of the 7Bus company and cooperation of Stony Brook administration officials, 7Bus is extending its reaches onto the Stony Brook campus. Now, emphasized in a David Letterman-style countdown, here are seven main reasons to be excited about 7Bus coming to Stony Brook:
7. Free Wi-Fi: Whether you are businessman frequently making travels or a fervent user of Facebook and Twitter, excellent Internet connection is a basic necessity. However, when using public transportation, like New York City subway trains and the Long Island Rail Road, commuters are condemned to a few minutes, or even hours, of boredom and inactivity. In the age of technological communication, free Wi-Fi is a major perk for those who intend to use the 7Bus on their way to New York City or back to Stony Brook.
6. Personal Power Outlets: Of course, making use of the free Wi-Fi on the 7Bus along with other apps and gizmos in our laptops and cell phones drains the batteries of our technological devices. Seeing our devices black out due to insufficient batter power remains a haunting problem during long travels. Fortunately, personal power outlets allow commuters to spend at least one hour on the 7Bus limitlessly texting, typing, calling or playing with the opportunity to see their batteries be 100 percent charged by the time they arrive at their destination.
5. Plush Leather Seats: Cushioning your posterior with the smooth texture of leather upholstery may not seem like a persuading argument unless you are someone who has back problems or just plans on lounging throughout the entire commute. Nevertheless, the presence of leather seats makes a statement about how each 7Bus plans on creating an elegant, yet comfortable atmosphere for its riders.
4. Individual Cup Holders: OK, initially, listing individual cup holders as a primary reason to use the 7Bus seems absurd. You may even contest: “Why not just keep your drink in a tightly secured bottle or thermos?” Admittedly, I felt the same way, which led me to sarcastically ask an employee on why the 7Bus company even bothered mentioning cup holders in its pamphlets. Surprisingly, from what the employee told me, 30 percent of 7Bus commuters use the 7Bus only because it has cup holders. Apparently, the Long Island Rail Road Company receives lawsuits every year by commuters who spill their beverages due to an absence of cup holders on board. Thus, using the 7Bus is a preferable option for those who wish to have a safe resting place for their hot coffees or cold sodas during their travel.
3. Subway Connections in All of Queens/Brooklyn/Bronx/Downtown NYC: The 7Bus will pick up and drop off commuters at conveniently located stops in New York City near subway stations and terminals that have train lines going to various regions of Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn. Personally, a stop at Rego Park on Junction Boulevard at the Long Island Expressway service road will make visiting other neighborhoods in Queens a simple task because the Rego Park/63rd Drive Station is located nearby. In Manhattan, stop are located on 40th, 50th and 59th Street. Evidently, you can see 7Bus’ tourism angle since it has stops near Grand Central Terminal and Times Square/Theater District in Midtown. Even though the four boroughs of Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn are interconnected, one borough remains beyond the grasp of the network of the 7Bus: Staten Island. Sadly, some commuters will have to anticipate a longer travel via public transportation or car to get to the isolated borough of Staten Island.
2. Convenient Campus Pick Up: The 7Bus has established a pick up location at the Student Activity Center (SAC) Transit Bus Circle. As a result, students from all quads and areas of the university will experience great ease when walking to the Academic Mall, located in the heart of the campus, whenever they want to ride the 7Bus.
1. Low Fares Starting at $7: The key word here is starting. If you take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions section of www.7bus.com, 7Bus states that its fare prices fluctuate similar to how prices of airline tickets and hotel reservations change. As people buy tickets for a specific bus, the price rises on that bus because there are less seats available. Therefore, the price for one seat on a 7Bus can range from $7 to $17. If someone happens to miss his/her designated bus, he/she must pay the difference before boarding a later bus. For example, if a commuter misses a 7Bus that cost $7 to reserve a seat on, and must board a later bus that costs $12, he/she must pay $5 for the new reservation. Despite the 7Bus’s unpredictable pricing system, many riders still say it is a more cost-efficient transportation option than using the Long Island Rail Road.
Honestly, the 7Bus is a godsend for those of us without cars (or friends with cars) to take us into New York City at our whim. With Christmas break slowly approaching, 7Bus has chosen the perfect time to bring students home or allow them to tour New York City. The first 7Bus is expected to arrive at Stony Brook in December with pick ups occurring every 30 to 45 minutes. Seats on a 7Bus can only be acquired by reservation 15 minutes prior to the departure of the specified bus. Reservations can quickly be placed online at www.7bus.com or by calling (631)-725-7777. The direct route between Stony Brook and New York City will make the hassle of taking the Long Island Railroad a thing of past. Students will no longer have make a transfer at Huntington and then make several stops on their way to Jamaica or Penn Station. The installation of the 7Bus service at Stony Brook University is an auspicious transportation development that will allow students to indulge in the lap of luxury at an affordable price.