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What's up with LI Bus

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Long Island Bus serves over 100,000 riders every day. They are working people who rely on the bus to get to work, the students who need the bus to get to school, and the elderly and the disabled who need the bus to get to their doctor appointments. 

Like many other transit agencies across the country, the Long Island Bus has faced the threat of service cuts, fare hikes and privatization. Over the past year, we teamed up with the riders of LI Bus, transit advocates, and community and business groups to protect the rights of both the riders and employees. We called upon county and state officials to work together toward a sustainable solution to LI Bus’ funding crisis. We asked that the MTA not abruptly end its subsidies in the middle of a financial crisis and that Nassau County take greater ownership of its bus system. Our combined efforts helped to garner additional state funds that allowed the MTA to operate LI Bus through the end of the year.

Nassau County chose to privatize the system and on January 1 Veolia, an international Paris-based company, took over the bus and renamed it Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE). The process of privatization lacked transparency and raised questions for both the riders of LI Bus and its employees. Members of our coalition and others raised several concerns over the initial contract presented before the legislature during a public hearing. Rider and employee concerns included fare hikes, service cuts and the status of collective bargaining rights. Read our statement here. The Democratic caucus proposed amendments addressing many of our concerns and an amended contract was adopted unanimously on December 14.

The amended contract stipulates:

  • No fare increase in 2012
  • No cuts to Able-Ride service for three years
  • No fare increases or service cuts without public hearings before the Transit Advisory Committee (TAC)
  • Enumerates the powers of the TAC protecting it from the County Executive weakening its authority

Read the adopted amendments and contract below.

In January, Long Island Jobs with Justice launched a bus riders’ union to ensure that the voices of riders are heard. To join the union or to find out more please visit their website, Long Island Bus Riders' Union.

Read more

Amendments to Contract
Contract Part 1
Contract Part 2
Contract Part 3
Read our Statement to the Nassau County Legislature Regarding the Agreement Between Nassau County and Veolia (Dec. 5, 2011)
Read our report with LI JWJ & Tri-State: Protecting Riders, Workers & Taxpayers in Nassau County (Nov. 2011)
Read our op-ed: "Nassau has Boarded the Wrong Bus," Long Island Business News (Oct. 6, 2011)
Immigrants will Disproportionately Suffer from Long Island Bus Privatization, LI Jobs with Justice (July 8, 2011)
Why Privatizing Long Island Bus Could Cost Taxpayers More, Tri-State Transportation Campaign (June 2011)
The Privatization of Nassau County Bus: A Dangerous Operation, LI Jobs with Justice (May 11, 2011)
Nassau County Bus Service: A Comparison of Systems in the Metropolitan Region, Tri-State Transportation Campaign (May 2011)
Read our op-ed: "We Can't Afford A LI Bus Stalemate", Long Island Business News (Nov. 23, 2010)
MTA LI Bus: A Financial Review, Regional Comparison, & Brief Discussion on Privatization, Nassau County Comptroller (Nov. 2010)
Read our Statement to the Public Hearing of the MTA, Garden City, New York (September 16, 2010)