NICE bus service to Jones Beach extended thanks to state funding
A new injection of state funding will ensure uninterrupted Nassau County bus service to and from Jones Beach during summer weekends, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Thursday.
Cuomo said he worked with the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Department of Transportation, Empire State Development and Nassau County to reach a deal to provide the Nassau Inter-County Express, or NICE, $120,000 to keep operating its N88 bus, which runs between Freeport and Jones Beach.
The service was originally scheduled to run only over Memorial Day weekend, and then resume on June 22, when the service begins running daily through Labor Day. The new funding will allow the service to continue on weekends uninterrupted, and will also extend it to Sept. 15. Officials said about 16,000 bus riders will benefit from the additional service.
“Jones Beach State Park is one of our most popular and treasured destinations in the state,” Cuomo said in a statement. “If the park is open, it should be accessible without interruptions in the transportation that visitors rely on to get there. Weekend bus service to Jones Beach is essential for visitors, as well as the local Long Island economy that relies so heavily on tourism.”
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said “every day counts” that buses run to Jones Beach, which gets about 4 million visitors during the summer.
“Having daily bus service to the park for the extended season is a gift to our local businesses who depend on tourism,” Curran said.
NICE is also providing special bus service to several concerts at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater this summer. NICE chief executive officer Jack Khzouz said the county bus system is "the best way to get to the beach this summer.”