GARDEN CITY - County Executive Ed Mangano (R-Nassau) announced today that Veolia Transportation Corporation of Illinois will be taking over the operation of Long Island Bus. The county executive says the privatization of the bus system, which was expected to be defunded by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Dec. 31, will save taxpayers money. However, some commuters are concerned, as are many employees of Long Island Bus. Critics of privatization fear that there could be cuts in customer service, cuts in bus routes, and possibly even fare increases. In a 10-page study, The Tri-State Transportation Campaign says "privatization will be more costly to Nassau County taxpayers in the long run." The study goes on to state that Mangano's proposal to operate a system using $4 million in county subsidies is "unrealistic." Mangano is promising there will be no fare increases on Long Island Bus this year.The final approval of the takeover is subject to contract negotiations. Veolia Transportation will take over Jan. 1 if the move is approved by the county's Legislature.

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