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Letter: Nassau must fund NICE to avoid cuts

A new Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) bus is

A new Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) bus is pictured in Garden City on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

As a student at Nassau Community College who relies on public transportation, I've witnessed the blatant inefficiency of Nassau's bus system firsthand ["Nassau gets away with a cheap bus ride," Editorial, April 7].

Since the privatization of the county's public transit system, our commutes have been plagued by overcrowded buses, inconsistent scheduling and extremely long waits. On several occasions I've waited for a bus on a cold winter day, only to have it pass me at the stop because it was too full. Often, buses become packed before they even leave campus, leading to crowded aisles.

Nassau Inter-County Express is woefully underfunded. NICE has said a $3.3-million gap in its $122-million budget will lead to service cuts if more money isn't found.

Over the years, fares have risen and the state has increased funding while the county's contributions have remained stagnant. It's imperative that the Nassau County Legislature and Executive Edward Mangano increase the county allocation for bus transportation to reduce the deficit, improve service and alleviate the aforementioned problems.

Shanice Bailey, Freeport