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Long IslandTransportation

NICE Bus public hearings, vote to cut routes set for Thursday

Passengers unload from the N19 NICE bus, which

Passengers unload from the N19 NICE bus, which runs from Freeport to the Sunrise Mall in Massapequa, at a stop on Merrick Road in Massapequa Park, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Nassau County will hold a pair of public hearings Thursday before voting the same day on a plan to eliminate 10 bus routes and reduce service on four others.

The county’s Bus Transit Committee, which oversees the Nassau Inter-County Express, or NICE, will hold hearings at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. at NICE’s headquarters at 70 Commercial Ave. in Garden City, regarding the proposal.

To close a $6.8 million budget gap that NICE has said resulted from a reduction in county funding, the agency is proposing to eliminate the N19, N36, N45, N47, N51, N57, N78/79, Rockville Centre Community Shuttle, and Freeport Community Shuttle.

Service would also be reduced on the Elmont Flexi, N27, N70/71/72 and N80/81. The changes would take effect April 9.

“We know that these route reductions and service modifications impact your livelihood, access to jobs and school, and your mobility,” NICE chief executive officer Michael Setzer said in a letter to riders earlier this month. “We are extremely disappointed to have to identify and propose these cuts to the Bus Transit Committee.”

Newly elected Sen. John Brooks (D-Seaford) encouraged county residents to attend the hearings and “express their concerns.”

“I have heard from many members of the community and caregivers about how crucial the NICE Bus is to their community and it would be devastating to see this service eliminated or reduced in many areas across Long Island,” Brooks said in a statement.

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