Letter: Nassau bus won't reinstate routes

A Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) bus in Garden A Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) bus in Garden City. (Jan 1, 2012) Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

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Regarding "Invest fare hike in service" [Editorial, Jan. 22], balancing Nassau Inter-County Express bus service levels against system revenue is a complicated endeavor. But, as NICE prepares its proposed 2013 budget, its goal is to offer as much service as financial resources allow.

Newsday's editorial recognized that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's decision to raise fares on MetroCard will result in a fare increase for three-quarters of NICE riders. If NICE does not match the MTA fare increase, the additional revenue would go to the MTA as opposed to coming back to support NICE service.

Our customers need to know that NICE cannot avoid or opt out of the MTA fare increase that will hit MetroCard users. Even rider advocates insist that we must continue to use MetroCard to preserve free or affordable transfers to the MTA.

It was recently revealed that state funds will increase for NICE this year. As a result, NICE is optimistic that funds can be used to enhance both the quantity and quality of service. Given this, NICE's financial picture will not be significantly impacted if the Nassau Bus Transit Committee does not approve the fare increase.

However, it is not time to go backward by reinstating underutilized stops or service that has proved to be wasteful and was eliminated or redesigned in 2012. Any NICE service enhancements must provide the greatest impact for the greatest number of customers.

Michael Setzer, Garden City

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Editor's note: The writer is the chief executive of Nassau Inter-County Express.

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