NICE reports rising profits amid fare hikes, service cuts
Nassau County's bus service has cut routes and raised fares while at the same time reporting profits.
Nassau Inter-County Express profits have grown from $2.8 million in 2012 to $3.4 million last year. They are expected to reach $3.8 million at the end of this year, but riders say that doesn't sit right.
Preston Jackson, of Hempstead, says his commute has actually gotten worse since NICE took over the county's buses from the MTA.
On top of the rising fares, Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton says that NICE gets more money from taxpayers in subsidies -- which is why she feels NICE should route some of its profits toward providing more service to those who need it most.
"I'd rather see my money go to the handicapped than see larger profits for the company," DeRiggi-Whitton says.
NICE CEO Michael Setzer defends his company's profits by saying officials are still working to correct the "broken" system inherited from the MTA.
"Anyone in business -- any economics professor would say that's a very skinny profit margin," Setzer says.
NICE officials say the company is using money received from Nassau taxpayers to make improvements.
"We've invested the county's money in 52 new buses that will improve comfort and reliability," Setzer says.