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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Suffolk raises prospect of $10 million in bus cuts

Suffolk County would cut 10 bus routes if cuts proposed in Steve Bellone's budget aren't made up by the state, the county's public works commissioner told lawmakers Monday.

"Right now, we're not getting funding from the state. It's almost like we're playing chicken with the state. It's like, look, you have to pony up," Public Works Commissioner Gil Anderson said.

County Executive Bellone said he believes the state underfunds Suffolk bus service compared with other counties, such as Nassau and Westchester.

Lawmakers said they'd be looking at the proposed $6 million cut to county bus transit and another $3.8 million in proposed cuts to disabled bus service.

"This seems a major policy issue facing Suffolk County," said Public Works Chair Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue), who suggested the county could consider a general fund property tax or increasing fares rather than cuts.

For the second straight month, two dozen disabled and visually impaired people lobbied the county's public works committee to increase bus service hours for disabled riders.

"This is going in the wrong direction," said Robin Mayr, 61 of Hauppauge, who is visually
impaired. "You can't advocate for more money if Mr. Bellone is advocating
for a $6.2 million cut."

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