Nassau County officials choose to balance the budget on the backs of new homeowners with very high mortgage fees that will seriously raise the closing costs of buying a home [“NIFA approves Mangano’s 2016 budget with conditions,” News, Dec. 5].
This is a funny way of showing that they want young people to stay on Long Island. First-time buyers should have been excluded from this increase.
Lillian Rudolph, East Meadow
During the recent Nassau County budget negotiations, County Executive Edward Mangano proposed deep cuts in county funding for the Nassau Inter-County Express bus system, which is already operating on a bare-bones budget [“On the cutting board,” News, Nov. 22]. The proposed cuts have since been restored. However, cutting this bus system would be shortsighted.
In 2013, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign released a report on the economic impacts of bus service on both Nassau and Westchester counties. The report found that every dollar that Nassau County invested in bus service added $73 to the local economy — adding about 1,490 total jobs and $190 million in economic activity. A full 84 percent of NICE ridership uses buses to commute to and from work. The report estimates that the aggregate earnings of Nassau residents is $58 million higher than it would be without the buses.
Nearly 30 percent of greenhouse gas emission comes from vehicular traffic, and our roadways are increasingly congested and unmanageable. We cannot alleviate this by simply requiring more fuel-efficient vehicles and expanding roads. Fifty people driving individual hybrid cars use much more gas and take up much more space than those same 50 on one bus. We need to encourage more people to take the bus, but we cannot do that without major investments in the bus system.
Sylvia Silberger, Hempstead
Editor’s note: The writer founded Car-less Long Island, an alternative transportation advocacy group.