New LI JWJ Report Shows High Number of Voter Engagement for Bus Riders

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Bus Riders’ Union Releases Report Showing High Numbers of Voter Engagement for Nassau County Bus Riders

Mineola, NY—The Long Island Bus Riders’ Union released a report today entitled “Bus Riders Vote: A Report on Voter Engagement for Nassau County Bus Riders” showing that bus riders have high numbers of engagement in Nassau County. The report’s key findings showed that 55% of bus riders voted in the past two years, and that 58% plan to vote in the November 2013 elections. Additionally, the report showed that 69% of voting riders say that public transportation is a “very important” issue to them when voting in an election.

The research involved 284 in-person interviews with bus riders at Nassau County’s bus terminals, and had a margin of error of +/- 6%. The reports objectives were to “determine the number of Nassau County bus riders that are politically active and understand how important public transportation is in the voting habits of bus riders.”

The report follows months of advocacy on behalf of the Bus Riders’ Union to improve the bus system, including a recent push to fix erroneous Metrocard machines and increase the County’s funding to the buses.

“This report conclusively shows just how important public transportation is to voting bus riders, and we hope that elected officials will work with us to continue to improve our County’s bus system,” said Aaron Watkins-Lopez, an organizer with Long Island Jobs with Justice and a researcher on the report.

The report concludes with four recommendations for elected officials, asking them to:

  • Take notice of service problems in their districts by attending Transit Advisory Committee meetings and keeping up-to-date with transit advocates’ recommendations, including calls to fix broken Metrocard machines.
  • Regularly meet with disability rights organizations to understand problems unique to disabled bus riders.
  • Ride the buses themselves after quarterly changes are implemented to gain an understanding of problems riders might be experiencing.
  • Speak with bus riders at bus terminals to advocate not only for better bus service in their district, but for better bus service as a whole.

“The goal of this report is to showcase the importance of bus riders to Nassau County’s electoral system, and to gain traction for additional improvements to the bus system through the end of the year,” said Charlene Obernauer, founder of the Bus Riders’ Union and author of the report.

Find report online here:

Bus Riders Vote: A report on Voter Engagement for Nassau County Bus Riders

*** The Long Island Bus Riders’ Union (LI BRU) is an organization of Long Island bus riders and public transit advocates that supports affordable, equitable, and accessible mass transportation. The Bus Riders’ Union originated with the Coalition to Save Long Island Bus and is a project of Long Island Jobs with Justice.

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