Friday, 15 April 2011 00:00
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Nassau County and State Senate Republicans announced an agreement to stave off proposed cuts to Long Island Bus that would have affected more than half of the bus routes in Nassau County.
“A number of communities in Nassau County would have lost bus service entirely, leaving riders who live and work in those communities with no alternative way to get to their homes or jobs,” said Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. “Riders are tired of hearing about problems, they want to hear solutions and we were happy to finally achieve a solution. I’m pleased that we were able to work together with the MTA and Nassau County to prevent the harmful service cuts as well as avoid layoffs.”
The MTA proposed cutting 27 of the 48 Long Island Bus routes this summer due to a lack of funding. The cuts would have impacted about 16,000 riders. The MTA was scheduled to vote on service cuts at its April board meeting. Several hundred Long Island Bus riders attended a public hearing at Hofstra University last week to express their concerns over the service cuts.
MTA Chairman and CEO Jay Walder said, “We are grateful to Senators Fuschillo, Skelos [Dean] and Martins [Jack] for their leadership in finding a path forward for Long Island Bus and the customers who rely on its service every day. As a result, we will be able to continue operating service at current levels through the end of the year. We will work with the County to ensure a smooth transition to its private operator by December 31.”
The Senate made $8.6 million in MTA monies available, and will be utilized to run the bus service through the end of the year. This is in addition to the $52.4 million appropriated in the 2011-12 state budget for Long Island Bus.