Long Island Bus May Lose More Than Half Its Lines

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Long Island Bus may put the brakes on 27 of their 48 lines this summer.

MTA chairman Jay Walder said 16,000 people may lose bus service and 200 workers will be laid off because Nassau County is not paying enough toward the service's $134 million annual budget.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said the county is facing a $176 million deficit and can't afford to pay much more than the $9.1 million it contributes annually to Long Island Bus. He said he is exploring ways to privatize the service.

Walder points out that, by comparison, Suffolk County pays about $24 million toward its bus system's $48.6 million budget.

Ryan Lynch, Long Island coordinator and senior planner for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said the cuts could have a broad impact on Nassau's economy.

"MTA mentioned that 200 jobs could be lost, which is terrible," he said. "At same time, no one is talking about job losses created because there is no other transportation option for so many Nassau County residents besides the bus. If you cant get to work, you can't do your job."