ALBANY — A $200,000 state allocation will give thousands of New Yorkers bus service during the week to visit Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh this summer.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano had included funding for weekday service in his 2017 budget in November, but the Nassau Interim Finance Authority ordered more cuts to balance the budget.
NIFA, the state board that controls Nassau’s finances following years of fiscal crisis, approved the budget in December but only after Mangano made $36 million in cuts to the $2.9 billion budget. Mangano’s cuts included the funding for the weekday bus service.
Beginning Thursday through Labor Day, the Nassau Inter-County Express will run seven days a week. The buses will leave the Long Island Rail Road’s Freeport station 30 minutes past the hour, and leave the beach at 55 minutes past the hour.
On Saturdays and Sundays this summer, buses will run on the half-hour. More buses will be added as needed. They will leave the Freeport station on the hour and half-hour. They depart the beach at 25 minutes and 55 minutes past the hour.
The NICE Bus service begins at 8:30 a.m. in Freeport. The last bus leaving the beach departs at 8:55 p.m.
A round-trip ticket to Jones Beach State Park from the Freeport LIRR station will cost $5.50. More information is at nicebus.com.
People make about 4 million visits to the historic beach during the summer and the bus service relieves the massive strain created by car traffic as well as reduces air pollution, state officials said.