NICE bus to increase service at NCC

A NICE bus makes it route through Nassau

A NICE bus makes it route through Nassau Community College. (July 25, 2013) (Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa)

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Bus service will be increased at Nassau Community College on Sept. 1, with the goal of making it a transit hub.

NICE and college officials outlined plans Thursday for six Nassau Inter-County Express bus routes at the Garden City campus, with the aim of simplifying students' commute to increase use.

All six routes -- N6X, N16, N35, N43, N45 and N51 -- will stop at all nine stops on or around the campus, officials said at a community information forum at NCC. Buses will run every five minutes during rush hour and every 10 minutes midday. Right now, the N45 and N51 do not use all campus stops.


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The changes also include the extended N6X express bus, which will take riders from Jamaica to campus without transferring, and to travel from the Hempstead Transit Center to the college without stopping. The N6X used to end at the Hempstead Transit Center.

On the N6X express line, service begins during morning peak hours and runs through afternoon peak hours.

NICE decided to increase service to the campus because it is a big market, and a "long-term kind of investment" that will convert young people into lifetime riders, said Michael Setzer, NICE chief executive.

"College kids are short on funds and flexible," Setzer said. "They haven't gotten into habits, and they're more interested in green things. It's a good fit for us."

Thomas Jackson, the Student Government Association president, said he thinks the changes will make it easier for students to take the bus.

"I think the best thing is that every bus stops at every stop," he said.

College acting president Kenneth Saunders said he is glad for the changes because faculty have complained about students being late for class because of bus issues.

"Anything that's going to create a greater convenience for students getting to campus, I support it," Saunders said.

NICE is paying for the improvements with about $5 million in new state aid and $3 million in new fare revenue from the recent 25-cent increase on MetroCard customers.The NCC meeting to discuss bus service changes with customers was the last of three sessions this week. In addition to changes at the college, topics discussed included increasing bus frequency on busy routes, restoring some midday and Saturday service, and adding express routes.

The changes at NCC are the last and largest in a three-part plan that began in April to improve bus schedules and restore summer service to Jones Beach State Park, Setzer said.

The plans and schedules will be finalized in the next couple of weeks, officials said.

Nassau Community College has 23,000 students and an additional 14,000 continuing-education students, many of whom take the bus and come from Queens, officials said.

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