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Lawmaker: State aid helps, but not enough to save 7 NICE bus lines

A Nassau Inter-County Express bus in Garden City

A Nassau Inter-County Express bus in Garden City on Jan. 1, 2011. Credit: Barry Sloan

ALBANY

The New York State budget earmarks a $1.3 million boost for Nassau County bus service to help it restore three routes but leaves another seven facing elimination.

“It didn’t help my bus line,” said Assemb. Brian Curran (R-Lynbrook). “The n36 is still on the elimination list, leaving riders in Lynbrook, Rockaway, Oceanside, Baldwin and Freeport without bus service. It’s disappointing.”

Curran and other state officials said the state budget, expected to get final passage in the state Legislature Sunday, will provide about $68 million in aid given to the Nassau Inter-County Express, or NICE – a $1.3 million increase.

Combined with country matching funds, the increase will help the county restore three of 10 lines targeted for elimination: n19, n57 and n78/79.

Separately, the state added $2 million for NICE capital projects.

County officials, NICE and riders have been wrangling over possible service cuts. NICE earlier this year said it would eliminate 10 routes but recently announced plans to restore three.

The state Assembly was expected to approve the state’s $163 billion budget Saturday. The state Senate planned on follow suit Sunday. Once it does, County Executive Edward Mangano plans to discuss a restoration plan for the three lines with the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, an aide said.

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