2017 Bus Service Reductions Due to Decrease in County Funding for Transit
NICE relies on Nassau County for funding. In order to close a County budget shortfall, Nassau County reduced funding for the system. NICE is required to match service levels to available funding. The following are service reductions that went into effect on April 9th, 2017.
BUS ROUTE ELIMINATIONS
Rockville Centre Community Shuttle
Freeport Community Shuttle
Hicksville-Wantagh Community Shuttle
n45 Bellmore-Roosevelt Field
n51 Roosevelt Field-Merrick
BUS SERVICE REDUCTIONS
Service will run every 60 minutes.
n27 Hempstead-Glen Cove
Service will run every 60 minutes.
All n71 trips will end at Sunrise Mall.
All n70/72 trips will end at Farmingdale State University and will not travel to Newsday or Babylon.
n80/81 Hicksville-Sunrise Mall
The n81 will be eliminated and the n80 will run every 60 minutes
Additional Major Service Reductions:
-n16 Saturday service eliminated
-n21 Sunday service eliminated
-n27 Saturday and Sunday service eliminated
-n33 Sunday service eliminated
-n48 Service between Hicksville and Jehricho Quad eliminated
Here are PDF links to our Spring schedules which go into affect on April 9th. Please note, the n25, n26 and Mercy Medical Community Shuttle schedules will not change.
Elmont Flexi April 9th 2017
n1 April 9th, 2017
n4 April 9th, 2017
n6 April 9th, 2017
n15 April 9th, 2017
n16 April 9th, 2017
n19 April 9th, 2017
n20G/H April 9th, 2017
n21 April 9th, 2017
n22 April 9th, 2017
n23 April 9th, 2017
n24 April 9th, 2017
n27 April 9th, 2017
n31/32 April 9th, 2017
n33 April 9th, 2017
n35 April 9th, 2017
n40/41 April 9th, 2017
n43 April 9th, 2017
n48/49 April 9th, 2017
n54/55 April 9th, 2017
n57 April 9th, 2017
n58 April 9th, 2017
n70/71/72 April 9th, 2017
n78/79 April 9th, 2017
n80 April 24th, 2017
New n80 schedule goes into effect April 24th. Schedule is as follows
There will no service reductions on Able Ride.
HOW WE GOT HERE: A LETTER TO NICE RIDERS FROM CEO MICHAEL SETZER
February 17th, 2017
As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency, I wanted to take a moment to give you some background information on why NICE must implement these service cuts.
NICE relies on Nassau County for a part of our annual operating budget. The fares that passengers pay only cover 38 percent of the total cost of the transit system, with the remainder funded by New York State (52 percent), the federal government (5 percent) and the County (5 percent).
Thankfully, our state and federal funding have not been cut for 2017. However, the fiscal crisis in Nassau County has been challenging for County leaders and has resulted in the County decreasing its funding for transit in 2017 by $6.8 million compared to 2016. Given this large funding decrease from the County, NICE has no other option than to reduce service; we must match service levels with the amount of funding we are given. We cannot spend money we are not given from our four funding sources.
We would not be implementing these service reductions if we were not forced to do so by the difficult economic realities the County faces. We know that these route reductions and service modifications impact your livelihood, access to jobs and school, and your mobility. We are extremely disappointed to have to impose these cuts in service.
To do our part to help the tight financial situation of the County, NICE has taken significant actions to cut our costs—such as a hiring and wage freeze and a facility closing. We did this to cover the increased operating costs NICE will face in 2017. Our cost-cutting measures will cover all of the 2017 increases in operating cost increases, which amount to $5 million, and will also protect Able-Ride Service.
We appreciate that several County Legislators are very concerned about the $6.8 million funding decrease for NICE, but we do not know at this time whether they can find additional funding to prevent some of the service reductions.
Going forward, we are encouraging County leaders to find a dedicated source of funding for public transportation. Transit is a vital service that so many rely on and deserves a reliable and predictable method of funding that ensures passengers are free from fears that service will be taken away.
We are dedicated to providing the best service we possibly can with the funding that is available. Over the past five years NICE has become one of the region’s most efficient and well-managed transit systems. We are constantly working to be both highly efficient and very focused on the quality of our operations and our service.
NICE pledges to keep you informed of all potential changes as information becomes available.
Mike Setzer, CEO, NICE
Why are service reductions necessary?
The fiscal crisis in Nassau County has been challenging for County leaders and has resulted in the County decreasing funding for transit in 2017 by $6.8 million compared to 2016. Given this large funding decrease from the County, NICE has no other option than to reduce service; we must match service levels with the amount of funding we are allocated.
How were these routes selected?
We worked tirelessly to minimize the impact of these cuts and reductions. NICE strives to provide a network that offers routes that are both heavily used and provide as much coverage of the County as possible. Routes with fewer riders can be vulnerable to service cuts and reductions in bus networks because it costs significantly more per passenger to operate them.
Will AbleRide be affected by the fixed-route reductions?
No, through a dedicated effort from NICE staff, efficiencies and cuts were made in other areas that prevented AbleRide service cuts. The goal is to ensure that as many people as possible—especially people with disabilities and the elderly—still have access to grocery stores, doctor visit and pharmacies.
Will these routes come back if additional funding is found?
If additional funding is found, NICE is committed to restoring routes that help us serve as many passengers as possible. Additional alternatives are constantly being explored to implement routes that best serve the residents of Nassau County. Please visit our website for future announcements on service additions.
When will cuts take place?
The reductions will be effective as of April 9, 2017. NICE is communicating the reductions in advance to give passengers as much time as possible to find alternate methods of transit.