Bus riders walk to highlight commuting issues

The walk was from the Roosevelt Field mall to the nearby Nassau Inter-County Express headquarters.

The walk was from the Roosevelt Field mall to the nearby Nassau Inter-County Express headquarters. (8/19/15)

GARDEN CITY - Some Long Island bus riders walked from the bus stop at Roosevelt Field to the headquarters of the NICE bus company Wednesday to emphasize ongoing commuter problems.

Freeport resident John Alexander Grant said he takes the bus to school and to work. He told News 12 that he would like to attend an upcoming bus transportation meeting at the headquarters in Garden City to ask about rising fares, but service does not reach that far.

"There's virtually no way I'm going to be able to get to this public transportation meeting," said Grant.

Organizer Aaron Watkins-Lopez, from the Long Island Bus Riders' Union, said the walk to the headquarters was challenging.

"It's a game of lethal Frogger. You have to pass lanes and lanes of traffic. You have to pass over streets that have no crosswalks, no lights," said Watkins-Lopez.

NICE spokesman Andy Kraus said the county picks the location of the meetings. He also said that fares have risen because "NICE expenses and operational costs have gone up every single year."

Riders also told News 12 that inaccessibility is a problem, including announcements and signs in Braille. Kraus said they're spending $10 million to upgrade communication for passengers, and that 100 percent of the auditory announcements are working on buses.

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