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Penn Transit to Add New PennBus Route Direct to Long Island

Graphic by Lucy Ferry / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Penn Transportation and Parking Services announced yesterday that a PennBus route traveling directly to and from Long Island, New York will be added within the next month. 

A representative from Penn Business Services reported that they reluctantly added the direct route due to overwhelming demand from individual students, on-campus groups, and extremely persistent Long Island parents.

"As much as we and our drivers would rather drive directly into the sun than travel to and from Long Island, we had to consider the transportation needs of the students, faculty, and staff who use our transit system," explained the representative. "And unfortunately, that means making the long haul out to the furthest reaches of the state of New York three times per day: morning, afternoon, and night."

The decision has received a mixed response from students. "I mean, I guess that's good for the three of my six roommates who are from Long Island," offered Nursing senior Georgia Lansbury, "but I would have hoped they'd at least add a route to South Philly or Old City first."

Other students had a more favorable reaction to the news. Johnny Ruggerio (E '20), a native of the North Shore of Long Island, is ecstatic about the new destination. "I've never taken the PennBus before, but now that they actually have a useful route to #StrongIsland, I might consider it," Ruggerio said. 

"It'll definitely be worth it for the food alone. I haven't had a decent slice [of pizza] since I was home over winter break. You know, I'm a born-and-raised New Yorker," he continued, even after the reporter began to walk away from the interview, "and let me tell you, I take my pizza very seriously. Philly pizza is for shit. I won't touch it."

"It would also be nice to go home and see my mom," Ruggerio added.

Besides creating more convenient transportation options for a large portion of Penn students, the new circuit is also expected to improve tourism in "the sixth borough of New York." Linda Carini-Rosenbluth, a volunteer at a Long Island Visitor Center and mother of two current Penn students, believes the route will be a valuable resource even to Penn affiliates who are not from the island suburbs of New York.

"My son — he's in the College, by the way, and very handsome, his name is Nathaniel — he tells me that everybody thinks Long Island is just the Hamptons," Carini-Rosenbluth said. "But that's actually not true. Long Island has much more to offer. For example, we have fabulous bagels, convenient access to Manhattan if you don't mind traffic, a lively Mafia subculture, scenic 7-Eleven parking lots, about seven deer, plentiful doctors' offices, and even Billy Joel!"

Although the University has never released official statistics on what proportion of the student body hails from the island, several students we interviewed said that "it feels like at least a solid third," and "definitely more than is needed." Nonetheless, the PennBus will serve a critical sector of the Penn population.

Until the new direct route is put into effect next month, Long Islanders at Penn will have to continue traveling via Amtrak Business Class, as they did previously.