Methods of transportation
Stony Brook University is located about half way down Long Island on the north shore in the Three Village area including the townships of Poquott, Setauket, Stony Brook, Saint James, Head of the Harbor, and Old Field. Getting to Stony Brook University is challenging relative to getting places in New York City (or any other major metropolitan area really). However, there are several reliable ways of getting around or to the Stony Brook area.
Modes of Transportation
Stony Brook Transit (Bus Service)
A free bus service is available on campus. The latest bus to the Chapin Apartments graduate housing area leaves from the center of campus around 11PM. Available resources are a bus schedule, online interactive map, and smartphone apple app and android app.
The Long Island Railroad (LIRR) has multiple lines that reach down Long Island, one of which (the Port Jefferson line) has a station right on campus, near the physics building. The Port Jefferson line has stations in the nearby towns of Port Jefferson Station, Saint James, and Smithtown (all around 6 or so miles from campus, with a number of apartments and houses available in the vicinity of these stations). Quite a few students take the train daily to school from the nearby towns, and some professors and students even arrange to use the train to come to school all the way from New York City (an approximately 2 hour train ride with at least one transfer in Huntington and sometimes in Hicksville or Jamaica in Queens). The LIRR is separate from the subway system, but both are operated by the Metro Transit Authority (MTA). The train costs about $13 for a one way ticket from Stony Brook to Penn Station in Manhattan, and costs $3.50 for a one way ticket to Port Jefferson Station, but the conductors almost never check for this short distance ticket. If you intend to use the train often you can buy package or monthly tickets which can be significantly cheaper.