MTA holds public hearing on LI Bus

HEMPSTEAD - Bus riders in Nassau County got a chance today to have their say on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) plan to eliminate more than half of Long Island Bus' routes. The Long Island Bus public hearing was held at Hofstra University, lasting for six hours as more than 250 people demanded the MTA take bus cuts off the table. Protesters who weren't allowed inside stood with their signs in the rain while police struggled to control the crowd.Protester Kay Moore, a Long Island Bus mechanic, says he could lose his job if the MTA makes good on its threat to cut 25 out of 48 bus routes in Nassau County. "Some of our most economically challenged communities will be affected the most by these cuts," says John Durso, of the Long Island Federation of Labor. Long Island Bus carries 100,000 passengers a day. County Executive Ed Mangano (R-Nassau) says instead of paying more into Long Island Bus, he wants to privatize the county-owned system. Many labor activists, however, say it's a bad idea that could result in layoffs.Mangano says in a few weeks, he will release information on the proposed public-private bus partnership. No decision on the Long Island Bus privatization is expected to be reached before July. MTA proposes putting the brakes on many LI Bus routes

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