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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Long Island Bus Riders’ Union Speaks Out Against Bus Cuts to Vital Social Services and Health Centers



Mineola, NY—Bus riders and advocates spoke out against bus cuts to vital social services and health centers, which will take place on Easter Sunday.
The Long Island Bus Riders’ Union highlighted that service to the United Cerebral Palsy Center, the Nassau County Department of Health, the New Cassel/Westbury and Freeport-Roosevelt Health Centers, and the Nassau County Department of Social Service will be cut on many lines.
Additionally, the Union complained that the announcements of service adjustments on the website were very unclear; and that riders were confused about how exactly their routes will be impacted.
“When we talk to riders, they have no idea that service changes are even happening, or they can’t understand the website. NICE needs to get on the buses and into the community, talk to riders, hand out schedules, and be more transparent so riders know what’s happening,” said Charlene Obernauer, Executive Director of Long Island Jobs with Justice.
With a service adjustment plan that will decrease service on 60% of all routes, and weekend and off-peak service cuts equaling a nearly 25% cut in service hours on certain routes; NICE needs to better communicate with bus riders, especially those who will no longer have access to social services and health centers.
“Many of the NICE bus service cuts appear to be in low income communities where more people rely on buses to get to work and to access the few available health care centers that serve their needs. Reducing bus service could lead to unintentional costs for Nassau County if people lose access to employment, or if cuts force more people to use hospital emergency rooms for their health care. Unfortunately, the lack of available information makes it very difficult or impossible to evaluate the full economic consequences of the cuts,” said Dr. Niev Duffy of the Center for Social Policy and Community Engagement at SUNY Old Westbury.
The Union pointed out that cutting midday and weekend service on the N16, N45, and N51 will hurt students and workers who do not work or go to school on typical hours.
“Students have varied schedules, and cutting service in the middle of the day is going to hurt those of us who have morning classes and then go to work or home to our families,” said Christen Rieger, a Sophomore at Nassau Community College.
Finally, the Union urged Veolia Transportation to bring these service cuts to a vote on the Nassau County Transit Advisory Committee; and once again demanded that the Company release ridership data to show how many people will be impacted.
“The complete disregard with how these changes are going to impact riders, particularly those who regularly utilize social services, is worrisome,” concluded Obernauer.

36 comments:

  1. I'm already tired of the Long Island Bus Rider's union. You aren't even clear of what the service changes entail. You are just here to make unnecessary noise. If riders don't know about changes then they need to pay attention to their surroundings, NICE has been talking about them since February. YOUR site is in English only, ironic. These changes are on routes that get little to no ridership. The routes that have their mid day service cut are literally EMPTY, it affects no one. They're reducing frequency on other routes to fill up more seats and get more utilization out of their existing buses. Their duty is not to make sure 4 people per trip get a bus ride, their duty is to be efficient and spend their funding in a responsible manor. Stop the scare tactics, do some research and talk to informed riders such as myself.

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  2. Sonic. T,

    If you'd like to talk instead of just posting inflammatory messages on our website, get in touch with me. My contact information is charlene.obernauer@gmail.com or 631-348-1170 ext 304. I'd be interested in hearing your perspective, as well as presenting research (from the MTA and Veolia) on how many riders take the buses that you are calling empty (over 2,000 riders on the N21 on Saturdays), and how much of the service is being cut on given routes (between 21%-24.11%).

    Get in touch with me, I'd be happy to set up a meeting.

    - Charlene Obernauer

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    Replies
    1. Good one Charlene. See you on the third

      Richard Clolery

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    2. The number of riders alone don't mean anything if you don't know which stops their using and their destinations, especially if they're combined routes or travel on the same path's as other routes.

      The N45 may get a certain number of riders, but if they're only trying to travel to/from stops on Uniondale Ave and NCC/Roosevelt Field, then those same people can use the N43. If you notice, the N43 is getting an increase in service middays when the N45 will not be running.

      A slight reduction in service frequencies means more utilized buses, less gas wasted,less money wasted, which means fares can be stabilized longer.

      Delete
    3. hey sonic, the n73/n74 is a route that is scheduled for cuts, and i use it everyday. I depend on it to get me to the railroad and other places. What would happen if it gets cut completly

      Delete
    4. Blackstar go to nicebus.com, as you can see they didn't cut it completely like the MTA wanted to do, they reduced frequencies between buses. Have you looked at the new schedules? How does it affect you now?

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  3. Charlene those 2,000 riders on the N21 are on the section along Northern Blvd, where the N21 isn't needed. The N20 can handle that on it's own, and if you check the schedule, they replaced those N21 runs with N20's to NYIT.

    ReplyDelete
  4. hey charlene, who is this sonic t?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Blackstar, I'm a NICE bus rider who has seen the "Long Island Bus Riders Union" crying out in various media outlets against making the system more efficient so that my fare doesn't get raised to pay for empty buses riding around Nassau County. I've also seen the LIBRU make claims about certain cuts and don't understand the reasoning about them, nor the routes involved and where they travel to.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. We understand the reasoning, but @Sonic T, you will see fare increases despite these service "adjustments", because a "for-profit" corporation will never represent the interests of bus riders, they represent the interests of the mighty dollar. Maybe you'll join us when you see fares increase or you see YOUR route cut. What buses do you take, anyway?

    And again, I repeat my offer of asking you to set up a meeting with me. If you don't want to meet, than find something else to do other than posting propaganda on our blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It appears that their service adjustments are for the riders, as they have added service where there is demand, and extended the N24 so that riders can access the businesses along Old Country Road easier. They're also trying to attract more ridership with Express service, etc. Long Island Bus simply ran service because they had tax dollars to spend so with no care on how efficiently it was spent, without trying to increase ridership. Propoganda? You mean what you seem to be doing with misinformation every time I hear something about NICE?

      A "for-profit" corporation will never represent the interest of bus riders? How did these Chinese bus companies grow, how does MegaBus and Bolt Bus continue to gain ridership over Amtrak?

      Delete
    2. Again, if you'd like to meet, the offer still stands..

      Delete
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