Few Clouds 44° Good Evening
Few Clouds 44° Good Evening

Letter: Nassau needs to support bus too

A NICE bus makes it route through Nassau

A NICE bus makes it route through Nassau Community College. (July 25, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Nassau Inter-County Express bus riders needed some good news, and they finally got it ["NICE expanding its bus service," News, July 20]. The bus agency's announcement that it will increase service to Nassau Community College and restore some of the service cuts last year helps take the sting out of the recent fare increase. That and reduced service has certainly not helped grow system ridership.

In fact, the NICE ridership in 2012 was the lowest since 1998, with ridership on track this year to be even less, according to the National Transit Database. NICE should be applauded for using this year's $5 million in additional state funding and the $3 million in revenue from March's fare hike for increased service.

Hopefully, these services will begin to reverse this ridership drop. But even with this investment, the bus system remains woefully underfunded. State officials and bus riders have both contributed more this year. Now it's time for Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and the legislature to do more as well.

Ryan Lynch, Manhattan

Editor's note: The writer is the associate director for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a nonprofit policy watchdog.