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NICE Buses Roll Out Mobile Tickets

Hicksville bus riders can save their quarters. Riders of Nassau Inter-County Express, or NICE bus, now have the option of using their smartphones to purchase fares. Upon launching the new GoMobile fare payment app, NICE becomes the first bus-only U.S. transit system to offer mobile ticketing. The app is currently available for Android, and is expected to be available for iPhones soon.

“Mobile ticketing is really taking off in the U.S. and NICE is excited to be at the forefront in bus transit. In the coming months, we look forward to rolling out additional technology initiatives that will help transform the experience of riding transit in Nassau County,” said Michael Setzer, NICE Chief Executive Officer. “Over the decades, fare collection for Nassau’s County’s buses has evolved, however, one area that has not is cash payments. With GoMobile, we’re taking a big step to improve that situation and we expect riders will be very happy with the change.”  

About 4,500 riders get on and off the buses in Hicksville daily.

Customers can go to their app store, download the NICE GoMobile app and follow the instructions for setting up an account by providing their e-mail address and creating a password.  Purchasing fares is also simple: customers open the app, choose their ticket selection and provide payment information (credit, debit or gift card). To use GoMobile, riders open the app, tap “use ticket” before boarding, and show their screen to the driver.

Fares will be available in single tickets or multiple tickets, up to 20 fares, and gomobile is capable of storing customer payment information.  Riders must set up their account and purchase their fare before getting on the bus to use it.  NICE is not eliminating any existing payment options, including cash.  

GoMobile tickets can only be used on NICE buses but riders can use the same mobile ticket to transfer onto two additional NICE buses within a two hour and fifteen minute period. GoMobile is for travel on NICE buses only and does not accommodate transfers to the MTA system. Riders who need to transfer to other transit systems must continue using their current fare payment options.   

Based on extensive customer surveys in late 2013, NICE learned that about 70 percent of all riders have smartphones.

Currently, NICE riders have limited payment options: they can either pay with correct change on the bus or use the MTA-issued MetroCard. However, there is only one location in Nassau County with full-service vending machines, and a limited number of resellers. NICE is working with Masabi Ltd., which offers advanced mobile ticketing and fare collection systems, to develop GoMobile.

The mobile ticketing system will expand toNICE’s paratranist system, Able-Ride, in a few months.

If customers need additional assistance, they can contact NICE by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or by phone at 516-336-6600.

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

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