Committee votes against NICE Bus service cuts

The committee that oversees Nassau's bus system voted Thursday against proposed service cuts.

The committee that oversees Nassau's bus system voted Thursday against proposed service cuts.

The committee that oversees Nassau's bus system voted Thursday against proposed service cuts. (12/8/16)

MINEOLA - The committee that oversees Nassau's bus system voted Thursday against proposed service cuts.

The Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) Bus company says it is facing a $12 million budget shortfall, and CEO Michael Setzer on Thursday told the Nassau County Bus Transit Committee that service cuts would be necessary due to a decrease in funding from the county.

The vote was 3-3, meaning it did not pass.

Setzer says the nine routes on the chopping block were the same ones that were cut earlier this year, before the county found additional funding to reinstate them. Those routes include the Elmont Flexi, Mercy Shuttle, Rockville Shuttle, Freeport Shuttle, Hicksville-Wantagh Shuttle, N51 Roosevelt Field-Merrick, N80/81 Hicksville-Sunrise Mall, N6X Midday NCC College Shuttle, and N48 Shuttle Hicksville-Jericho Quad lines.

Next year, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano's budget provides just about $2.5 million for NICE, which is down from the $9 million the bus company received this year. The decrease in funding comes as the county contends with its own $36 million budget deficit.

Setzer says NICE's contract states that it must maintain a balanced budget, leaving service cuts as the only way to offset the significant decrease in funding from the county. His proposal staggered the service cuts in hopes that the county could provide additional funding like it did earlier this year.

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