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2017 Bus Service Reductions Due to Decrease in County Funding for Transit

NICE relies on Nassau County for part of its funding. The County has reduced funding for the NICE bus system by $6.8 million dollars for 2017. Since NICE is required to match service levels with available funding, we have identified service reductions to respond to this funding deficit.

The Nassau County Bus Transit Committee approved the following service reductions at two public hearings, held on February 16th, 2017.  These service reductions will go into effect on April 9th, 2017.

BUS ROUTE ELIMINATIONS

Route
Rockville Centre Community Shuttle
Freeport Community Shuttle
Hicksville-Wantagh Community Shuttle
n19 Freeport- Sunrise Mall
n36 Lynbrook-Freeport
n45 Bellmore-Roosevelt Field
n47 Hempstead-Bellmore
n51 Roosevelt Field-Merrick
n57 Great Neck Loop
n78/79 Hicksville-Plainview-Walt Whitman Mall

 

 

 


 
 

 

 

 


 
 

 

 

 


 
 



BUS SERVICE REDUCTIONS

Route Changes
Elmont Flexi Service will run every 60 minutes. 
n27 Hempstead-Glen Cove Service will run every 60 minutes. 
n/70/71/72 Hempstead-Newsday All n71 trips will end at Sunrise Mall.

All n70/72 trips will end at Farmingdale State University  and will not travel to Newsday or Babylon.
n80/81 Hicksville-Sunrise Mall These two routes will be combined into a new route, and will run every 60 minutes in a van-sized vehicle.

 

 

 


 
 

 

 

 


 
 

 


 


ABLERIDE


There will no service reductions on Able Ride.
 

HOW WE GOT HERE: A LETTER TO NICE RIDERS FROM CEO MICHAEL SETZER

February 17th, 2017

As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency, I wanted to take a moment to give you some background information on why NICE must implement these service cuts.

NICE relies on Nassau County for a part of our annual operating budget. The fares that passengers pay only cover 38 percent of the total cost of the transit system, with the remainder funded by New York State (52 percent), the federal government (5 percent) and the County (5 percent).

Thankfully, our state and federal funding have not been cut for 2017. However, the fiscal crisis in Nassau County has been challenging for County leaders and has resulted in the County decreasing its funding for transit in 2017 by $6.8 million compared to 2016. Given this large funding decrease from the County, NICE has no other option than to reduce service; we must match service levels with the amount of funding we are given. We cannot spend money we are not given from our four funding sources.

We would not be implementing these service reductions if we were not forced to do so by the difficult economic realities the County faces. We know that these route reductions and service modifications impact your livelihood, access to jobs and school, and your mobility. We are extremely disappointed to have to impose these cuts in service.

To do our part to help the tight financial situation of the County, NICE has taken significant actions to cut our costs—such as a hiring and wage freeze and a facility closing. We did this to cover the increased operating costs NICE will face in 2017. Our cost-cutting measures will cover all of the 2017 increases in operating cost increases, which amount to $5 million, and will also protect Able-Ride Service.

We appreciate that several County Legislators are very concerned about the $6.8 million funding decrease for NICE, but we do not know at this time whether they can find additional funding to prevent some of the service reductions.

Going forward, we are encouraging County leaders to find a dedicated source of funding for public transportation. Transit is a vital service that so many rely on and deserves a reliable and predictable method of funding that ensures passengers are free from fears that service will be taken away.

We are dedicated to providing the best service we possibly can with the funding that is available. Over the past five years NICE has become one of the region’s most efficient and well-managed transit systems. We are constantly working to be both highly efficient and very focused on the quality of our operations and our service.

NICE pledges to keep you informed of all potential changes as information becomes available.


Sincerely,

Mike Setzer, CEO, NICE



 

FAQs


Why are service reductions necessary?
The fiscal crisis in Nassau County has been challenging for County leaders and has resulted in the County decreasing funding for transit in 2017 by $6.8 million compared to 2016. Given this large funding decrease from the County, NICE has no other option than to reduce service; we must match service levels with the amount of funding we are allocated. 

How were these routes selected?
We worked tirelessly to minimize the impact of these cuts and reductions. NICE strives to provide a network that offers routes that are both heavily used and provide as much coverage of the County as possible. Routes with fewer riders can be vulnerable to service cuts and reductions in bus networks because it costs significantly more per passenger to operate them.

Will AbleRide be affected by the fixed-route reductions?
No, through a dedicated effort from NICE staff, efficiencies and cuts were made in other areas that prevented AbleRide service cuts. The goal is to ensure that as many people as possible—especially people with disabilities and the elderly—still have access to grocery stores, doctor visit and pharmacies.


Will these routes come back if additional funding is found?
If additional funding is found, NICE is committed to restoring routes that help us serve as many passengers as possible. Additional alternatives are constantly being explored to implement routes that best serve the residents of Nassau County. Please visit our website for future announcements on service additions.

When will cuts take place?
The reductions will be effective as of April 9, 2017. NICE is communicating the reductions in advance to give passengers as much time as possible to find alternate methods of transit.


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