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Amtrak7

LI Bus: MetroCard will stay

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Newsday article

 

Jan. 1 deadline for Nassau bus operations

 

Aiming to meet a Jan. 1 deadline, Nassau County and the new private operator of Long Island Bus are racing to complete a contract and ensure uninterrupted service for more than 100,000 daily riders.

 

The bus system's new chief, while acknowledging the company is pressed for time, said he is confident that a contract will be signed, a workforce hired and scores of other details worked out in time for the switch.

 

"We have no choice," Michael Setzer, incoming chief executive of LI Bus, said in an exclusive interview. "The MTA is going away on midnight, Sunday, January 1st."

 

Considerable progress has been made, officials said, since Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced in June that he had chosen Illinois -based transit company Veolia Transportation to take over operation of LI Bus from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority .

 

Informational meetings were held this week for LI Bus employees, who Veolia officials expect will make up most of their team. Riders' ability to use MetroCards will continue. And the county has promised no fare hikes or service cuts in 2012.

 

In coming weeks, LI Bus riders may see local "checkers" hired by Veolia to sit on buses and count the number of people who get on and off at different stops and at different times, Setzer said. It will yield the most comprehensive picture of LI Bus ridership patterns ever taken, he said, and will help the company adjust service as needed.

 

But huge hurdles still must be cleared before the new LI Bus hits the road.

 

Lease agreements between Nassau and the MTA have to be worked out for the use of MTA fare boxes and facilities, such as the Mineola Intermodal Center and the bus terminal in Jamaica.

 

And just 16 weeks from the Dec. 31 expiration of the MTA's contract with Nassau, the county has not finalized a contract with Veolia. County officials had said they would have a contract 45 days after picking Veolia to take over LI Bus.

 

That was 99 days ago.

 

"If there's no contract yet signed, it's going to be extremely difficult for all these things to be in place and ironed out and to have a seamless transfer from one group to another," said Joseph Smith, who retired earlier this year as chief of the MTA's bus operations.

 

The contract is to be finalized next week. While progress is being made, it's too slow.

 

I guess the MTA pressured Veolia to meet its deadline of the Board meeting next Wednesday. This month's board materials will be interesting, with the PJ washouts, this, the Weekender launch, plus the backlog from the August vacation.

Edited by Amtrak7

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Score 1 for Long Island, metrocards! I sure hope Veolia fires that security guard that almost got me arrested at Mitchel Field.

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Very good news for LI Bus riders. Hope it also means weekly/monthly unlimited ride metrocards as well.

 

Still got to have an open mind. Veolia has at best a mixed record on running buses across North America. In another thread we say the terrible job that done in a suburan Toronto bus system and also managing a light rail in the LA area. While in San Diego. where they run most of the San Diego MTS bus routes they got positive reviews.

 

Still on a shoestring budget of only a few millions bucks that been allocated by Magano it's doubtful they can achieve the sucess as say Beeline has done running Westchester County buses.We shall see.:confused:

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Great news, now I can still fan LIB without too much of a hassle..

 

Now if only ST would accept Metrocard and shorten the headways lol, the bus fanning in Long Island would be :cool: but the current ST is :tdown:

 

 

I sure hope Veolia fires that security guard that almost got me arrested at Mitchel Field.

 

LMAO!

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Now let's see if Mangano will be willing to give them more than $2.5 million. Where is NYSDOT when you need them (besides foaming over the tiny potholes they have upstate)?

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