The partnership between Suffolk County Transit and Stony Brook University is available for all students, including those with disabilities, to get to off-campus locations.
Suffolk County Accessible Transportation, or SCAT, is a program for people who cannot access the Suffolk Transit bus because of disabilities that prohibit them from using the bus or getting to the bus stop, and it is available for SBU students.
There have been complaints made that students with disabilities are unable to get to off-campus locations on the weekend, but this service provides the same travel route, only with a different procedure to make a reservation.
According to Chris Chatterton, senior planner of transportation in Suffolk County, SCAT has not received any requests for Saturday service by any SBU student.
At first, the new partnership garnered complaints, as students were unaware of the new system or how to use it. James O’Connor, director of sustainability and transportation operations, said there have been less calls since they have advertised through the Internet and posters around bus stops on campus.
“It’s a change in services,” O’Connor said. “It’s always a challenge to get the message out.”
Prior to the partnership, students with disabilities used ADA Accessible Services to go off campus.
“We were both utilizing the same route,” O’Connor said of the bus routes to off-campus locations such as the mall. The partnership now gives students the ability to travel on the Suffolk Transit bus routes 3D, S60 and S69. SCAT riders can go where the origin and destination are both within three-quarters of a mile of Suffolk Transit bus routes.
Making a reservation with ADA Accessible Services required the student to call Disabilities Support Services to make the reservation because the university provided the transportation, O’Connor said. Now, students must call SCAT directly.
“Those students who wish to use SCAT service must register with the Suffolk County Office for People with Disabilities,” Chatterton said. In some cases, students who are already registered with another para-transit service provider, such as those in Nassau County or New York City, have up to 21 days per year to use the system as visitors.
In order to be a rider now, the student must provide a valid Stony Brook University student ID card and identification showing that he or she is eligible to receive para-transit service under the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990.
For more information on registering for the program or making a reservation, visit www.sct-bus.org. To make a reservation, students can call SCAT at 631-738-1150.