Last week, the office of Sen. Chuck Schumer and Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer organized the first meeting of a task force dedicated to moving the Connect Long Island plan  forward.
Tri-State Transportation Campaign's fantastic Mobilizing the Region  blog has the full scoop  on this positive development.
The plan hinges upon smarter land-use patterns and transit-oriented development in East Farmingdale and along the Route 110 corridor. The area, the largest job center on Long Island, has little room for automobile-centered growth, which is why the plan calls for reactivating the long-dormant Republic Station on the Ronkonkoma Branch of the Long Island Rail Road and implementing an enhanced north-south transit system along the Route 110 corridor.
The movement forward on the Connect Long Island plan followed a recent announcement  that $138 million in additional funding had been included in the MTA's 2010-2014 Capital Program. This funding will be used to begin double track construction along the Long Island Rail Road from Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma, which would drastically improve service on the Ronkonkoma branch, allowing for greater reverse and intra-Island commuting.While the blueprint for growth along the Route 110 corridor-completed in October 2011 when smart growth champion and now-Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was Town of Babylon Supervisor-is still in its initial phases, this task force represents the first step  towards realizing its full potential.