NICE Bus cuts to leave many NCC students stranded
County legislators and members of the New York Public Interest Research Group urged the Mangano administration Thursday to reconsider NICE Bus route cuts that would leave hundreds of Nassau Community College students stranded.
NICE Bus is set to eliminate seven routes on Sunday to deal with a nearly $7 million drop in funding from Nassau County. Two of those routes stop at Nassau Community College. NICE Bus says the routes service a total of 200 riders, including those going to the Roosevelt Field Mall. Currently, six routes have stops at NCC, two of which will be eliminated on Sunday.
Bus advocates said during a news conference at NCC that money to save the routes could come from a sales tax surplus and a new surcharge on traffic tickets.
"It make sense because it has to do with transportation," says Legislator Laura Curran (D-Baldwin).
County Executive Mangano's office says the county's fiscal watchdog agency, NIFA, would not agree to such a plan until the extra revenue actually comes in. Mangano says he blames the Legislature for rejecting his original budget proposal, which he claims fully funded the bus system.
The proposed, but stalled state budget does include money to restore some of the NICE Bus routes slated to be chopped.
Diego Mirisol says he takes three buses each day to get to classes and can't afford to switch to taxis or the Long Island Rail Road.
"If the bus was taken away right now, it would be likely that I wouldn't be able to graduate and head over to a four-year school," he told News 12.