A recent letter writer said "privatization" is the cause of the dicey fiscal outlook of Nassau Inter-County Express ["Private buses, sewers ill-advised," Sept. 25]. He's wrong on two counts.

NICE isn't a private company. It is Nassau County's bus system with a very economical private operator. It's the county that is facing a shortfall in transit funds from Albany. The State Legislature gave new money to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and to the upstate systems this year, but none to downstate systems like Nassau County's.

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Before NICE, there was Long Island Bus, a fully "public" operation that demanded an additional $26 million under threat of elimination of more than half its routes. Then it canceled the contract altogether when the county refused. That golden age of transit was just four years ago. Nostalgia is a funny thing.

Michael Setzer, Garden City

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