Good news North Fork day-trippers: Your ride has arrived. A new initiative from the North Fork Promotion Council (NFPC) in conjunction with Suffolk County—and funded, in part, by a New York State Empire State Development (ESD) grant—is about to make spending a weekend on the North Fork much easier. Beginning Saturday, July 7, the North Fork Link, a fleet of luxury vans, will take riders around the region, saving them the bother of driving while helping to alleviate some summertime traffic. For free!
To kick off the festivities on July 7, the first 50 riders will be entered into a drawing to win an overnight stay on the North Fork. In addition, all riders can enter an Instagram selfie contest at @northforknow for a chance to win a wine tasting and dinner at a North Fork restaurant. Just tag the Link in your North Fork Link selfie using the hashtag #thinklink on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Post as many times as you like. The post with the most “likes” wins.
“Suffolk County is constantly looking for new and innovative transportation options to draw visitors to our region,” says Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “The North Fork Link does just that by allowing visitors to enjoy the world class attractions on the East End without the hassle of driving or parking.”
There will be six vans in total, each seating 27 passengers and equipped with leather seats, WiFi and power outlets. The vans will run every 30 to 45 minutes, making stops at 30 locations across the North Fork from Hotel Indigo and Long Island Vodka in the west, to downtown Greenport in the east—the entire loop covering 23 miles. In between, the Link will offer their hop-on hop-off service with stops at nine different wineries, the Riverhead and Mattituck Long Island Railroad (LIRR) Stations; downtown Riverhead, Southold and Greenport; and at lodgings, wineries, craft beverage locations, businesses and other local attractions, including Dan’s Best of the Best winners North Fork Chocolate Company (Best Candy Store) in Aquebogue, McCall Wines (Best Winery Events, Best Tasting Room) in Cutchogue and The Sound View (Best Waterview Restaurant) in Greenport.
“Our mission is to promote the North Fork through strategic partnerships while at the same time enhancing quality of life in the region,” says Duncan Kennedy, president of The NFPC. “We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors from New York and the surrounding area who can take advantage of this new complimentary and eco-friendly shuttle service.”
The vans and their professional drivers are provided by M&V Limousines and on-board concierges will be able to assist passengers with their itinerary, answer questions and provide information about the North Fork in general. Drunken or unruly behavior will not be tolerated and anyone in violation of the Link’s rules of conduct will not be allowed to ride. Friendly, leashed dogs, however, are permitted.
The Link will operate every Saturday, from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. through Saturday, August 25. Download the North Fork Now app for real time updates, the location of the Link and any traffic delays.
So whether you’re visiting from farther west on the Island or coming all the way from the City, leave your car at the train station and hop on (and off) the North Fork Link.
Find out more about the North Fork Link, including a detailed map of all the stops, at northforknow.org/nofolink.