Don’t Cut Public Bus Service

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I am a member of the Long Island Bus Riders Union, a nonprofit organization that fights for better bus service in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

On Thursday, Feb. 16, at 3 and 6 p.m., at NICE Bus public hearings, dozens of bus riders, senior citizens, village officials and county legislators from Great Neck, Freeport, Hicksville, Plainview, Wantagh, Bellmore, Baldwin, Merrick, Farmingdale, West Babylon and Babylon, including a New York State Assembly member, showed up to testify against NICE Bus service cuts.

One of the proposed service cuts in your village will be the n57 Great Neck Loop bus, which only operates during rush hour, and will be completely eliminated as of April 9, 2017.

I don’t agree with the elimination of the n57 bus route, because parts of Great Neck don’t have street lights, they’re completely dark at night and pedestrians could get hit by speeding cars. The n57 is a lifeline for Great Neck residents.

In addition to this service cut, I expressed my concern to NICE Bus representatives that the n20 bus needs to be restored. We either need direct n20 bus service or have a 10-minute transfer time between the n20H and n20G bus at Great Neck Station, because a 4- to 5-minute transfer time is not enough, and sometimes passengers on the Great Neck–bound n20G bus have to get off at the extremely dangerous intersection of Middle Neck Road and Northern Boulevard, forcing riders to play frogger at a red light to connect to the Hicksville-bound n20H bus, which is already waiting to make a left turn onto Northern Boulevard, as you can see on this video, https://youtu.be/sjkWxAfUMoc.

I also do not support the elimination of the n19, n79 and n72 buses in Suffolk County, because this will make it harder for bus riders who travel between a NICE Bus and Huntington Area Rapid Transit or Suffolk County Transit Buses, including those using paratransit services.

The n79 bus runs between the Hicksville Train Station in Nassau County to the South Huntington Walt Whitman Mall in Suffolk County.

If the n79 bus is eliminated, there will no longer be a direct connection to HART Bus, and NICE Bus Able-Ride wouldn’t be able to connect to HART Paratransit service.

If these buses are cut, including the n45, n51, Hicksville-Wantagh Shuttle (formerly n73) and n36, many businesses, including gas stations, auto-repair shops and car dealerships, across Long Island will be impacted.

Imagine if a resident of Great Neck drove his or her car to auto-repair shop in Plainview, but finds out that the shop is closed because employees cannot get to work without the n78 and n79 buses. This makes a difficult situation for everyone.

Also, major restaurants and fast-food chains will offer slower service if buses are cut, and longer cashier lines will be common at Best Market, Uncle Giuseppe’s, King Kullen, Whole Foods Market, Key Food, C-Town, Associated Market, Trader Joe’s and Fairway Market, due to the lack of employees, because some depend on the bus to get to work.

NICE Bus brings lots of revenue to Long Island villages and towns, helping with growth development across Nassau and Suffolk Counties. We need to tell Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and New York State lawmakers in Albany how important public bus service on Long Island is to everyone. I created this petition, which I hope you will sign at www.petitions24.com/nassau_county_and_albany_stop_nice_bus_service_cut_april_2017.

—Yuki Endo

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