This morning Long Island Jobs with Justice and the Long Island Bus Riders’ Union were joined by Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Vision Long Island, TWU 252, Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) and other transportation advocates in a call for New York State to increase it’s contribution to non-MTA transit systems all across the state, especially on Long Island. Non-MTA transit systems, both up-and-down state, will once again see little or no additional state assistance if the proposed budget goes through; due to rising operations costs, pensions and healthcare Long Island buses cannot survive at the current state funding levels, we NEED more funding!
Bus Riders Union’ Releases Report Calling for Improved Service for People with Disabilities, Reduced Wait time for Buses, and a Fix to the N6
Mineola, NY—The Long Island Bus Riders’ Union released a report today that outlined changes that need to be made to the bus system, according to the bus riding public. The report comes from a public forum that the Union hosted in late February, where bus riders shared their experiences on the buses with legislators and the community at large.
Bus riders have had a variety of experiences, from being stuck on the lift of an Able-Ride bus for a half-hour to Nassau Community College buses overcrowding and threatening the safety of the riders. With experiences like these, on top of a $.25 cent fare hike for Metrocards and a 10% reduction in service hours from 2012-2013, bus riders were concerned.
As one bus rider and member of the Bus Riders’ Union, David O’Donnell said, “We pay among the highest taxes in the country, but our bus system has gotten worse and worse. We talk about low ridership. Why? It’s dysfunctional.”
The report concludes with four recommendations for better bus service in Nassau County:
- Improve service for people with disabilities by honoring pickup times, fixing audible and visual announcements on buses, and testing wheelchair lifts before they go out.
- Fix glitches with Metrocards, provide more places for riders to buy them, and allow for riders to pay cash on board.
- Reduce the 20 minute window for buses
- Fix the N6!
“The goal of this report is to share bus riders’ experience with legislators and the general public, who might not know what the bus service has been like for riders on a day to day basis. We hope that NICE Bus will work together with us to fix some of these problems, and ultimately look forward to an improved bus system,” said Charlene Obernauer, founder of the Long Island Bus Riders’ Union.