MINEOLA - Nassau County has announced a plan to delay massive service cuts to keep Long Island Bus running through the end of the year.

The reprieve was granted after state lawmakers managed to allocate an additional $8.5 million in MTA funding, says Sen. Jack Martins (R-7th Senate District).

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano says the move will save taxpayers more than $5 million and provide a smooth transition to privatizing the bus line.

"We want to keep the same level of service that we have right now and it appears in 2012 the only way that will be possible is through a public-private partnership," he says.

Mangano says he's currently in negotiation with several potential bus providers who he thinks will be able to provide cheaper, more efficient service to Nassau County Bus riders.