Streams

Long Island Bus May Face End of the Line

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WNYC

The future of the Long Island Bus line is the subject of a public hearing at Hofstra University Wednesday afternoon.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority said the county needs to pay an additional $24 million a year to keep the bus line going. But county officials, facing a $176 million budget gap, have proposed privatizing the service instead.

"We believe we operate a good bus system and a good service out in Nassau County," MTA chairman Jay Walder said. "But if the county decides that they want to go a different way, we will be fully cooperative with them to facilitate the transfer, if that's what they want."

The county's fiscal situation is so dire that it was taken over in January by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority. Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said one cost-saving measure might be to turn over the bus system to a private operator.

If privatization doesn't happen by July, the MTA said it will cut costs by laying off 200 workers at Long Island Bus and eliminating 25 of 48 lines.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano didn't let Nassau's financial problems prevent him from going on the offensive at the Hofstra hearing, where he ripped the MTA for mismanagement and budgetary waste.

"It is these lavish spending habits that have caused the MTA to cut Long Island Bus service in the past and have caused this hearing to take place today," he said. "Let me be clear. The MTA is putting bus drivers out of work, not Nassau County."

He said a private company could operate Long Island Bus without resorting to most of the service cuts the MTA is proposing.

 

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Comments [2]

Dave A. from Merrick, LI

body

38 years ago Long Island Bus was private and it didn't work. The MTA came into the picture and bailed them out, providing us reasonalble reliable transportation the community can count on.
We have over 600 operators that serve us each year and their pay and pensions are on the line with possible takeover. Their jobs are very stressful, yet professional with the MTA at their helm providing that training. We have 14 years or more operators on the job. Seasoned because there is an incentive to stay and provide us with that level of service. If you change that with a private company where's that incentive for life long operators who really care about the work they do each day ? When they leave to find other work, all we will have left is a huge turn over rate of operators who really don't give a hoot about the service they are providing to us each and every day, and that means the quality of operations too will go down. Bringing us with them in the process. So I think you we need to rethink the long term and keep MTA running the show. Otherwise we may be calling them back like we did 38 years ago.

Dec. 05 2011 09:25 PM
Shawn Qureshi from Babylon, New York

"Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano didn't let Nassau's financial problems prevent him from going on the offensive at the Hofstra hearing, where he ripped the MTA for mismanagement and budgetary waste." - sorry to inform you but Ed Mangano was Not at the hearing, he bailed out, and all of us were outraged that he did not show up, in fact dozens of speakers were pointing this fact out - were you At the hearing? Where did you get this information from, because it's bad data.

Mar. 24 2011 01:52 PM

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