T4America Blog

News, press releases and other updates

New York’s Nassau County could cut bus service in half

Shrinking revenues resulting from the economic downturn has precipitated a crisis in transit funding all over the map. We’ve highlighted some of the painful service reductions at the local level, but also kept an eye on bright spots like St. Louis’ approval of a half-cent sales tax to restore and expand bus and light-rail.

This week’s news out of Nassau County in New York is particularly bleak. Because County Executive Edward Mangano and Metropolitan Transit Authority chairman Jay Walder were unable to reach a deal on funding, the Long Island bus will essentially be cut in half. According to the MTA’s proposed cuts:

  • Twenty-five of 48 routes would be eliminated entirely and weekend service cut from two routes.
  • Nearly 16,000 riders would be left without a transit option and 18% of Able-Ride users stripped of access to transportation.
  • Two hundred LI Bus employees would be laid off — and an untold number of riders could lose their jobs due to lack of access to transportation, which in turn would negatively impact Long Island businesses.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a T4 partner, has called on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and State Senators Dean Skelos and Charles Fuschillo to mediate a deal or develop an aid package. As Ryan Lynch described on Mobilizing the Region, County Executive Mangano has been a significant obstacle:

Mangano has refused to increase Nassau County’s contribution to LI Bus even though it is the only suburban county to receive MTA funding for its bus system, and its contribution to the system is at historic lows. Walder has declined to phase out LI Bus funding gradually, insisting on an overnight cut.

Tr-State Transportation Campaign is encouraging people to get involved in the fight to maintain this crucial service and join the  “Save Long Island Bus” Facebook page. They also urge folks to call County Executive Mangano, State Senators Skelos and Fuschillo, and Governor Cuomo.