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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Press Conference Huge Success

Long Island Bus Riders Union’ Calls for Better Bus Service in Nassau County

Garden City, NYWorried about the future of Nassau County’s bus service and in light of recent announcements of service cuts and a budget deficit, the newly formed Long Island Bus Riders’ Union gave their take on how Veolia can provide better bus service in Nassau County. They released a critical set of demands for better bus service in a report entitled “From Privatization to Discrimination,” which pointed to Veolia’s Federal Transit Administration violations in regards to multi-lingual and audible communications. The report made a list of changes that must be implemented immediately for Veolia to follow federal guidelines, and also detailed a long-term plan for public transportation in Nassau County.

The Press Conference was held the day before NICE will have two days of public hearings on service cuts, which Veolia claims is due to a budget shortfall of $7.3 million dollars.

Bus riders were upset that NICE is considering additional service cuts, considering that late-night service already has been cut for several popular routes.

As one bus rider and Hicksville resident, Richard Clolery, stated, “When I leave work at Stop and Shop in East Meadow, there is no bus service late at night. It costs me $11 dollars to take a cab back home.”

The Bus Riders’ Union wants to see Nassau County work with Veolia in order to ensure that bus riders do not have to worry about potential cuts to their service and drastic increases in their monthly bills as a result.

Prioritizing Nassau County bus riders will require increased subsidies from Nassau County, otherwise a future of drastic service cuts and fare increases will be inevitable,” said Charlene Obernauer, Executive Director of Long Island Jobs with Justice.

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