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Random Thoughts Thread - Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE)

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I really dislike people like her who make up BS like this.  

Thank you.

She let me on.

I had no choice since I didn't want to miss my connection on n79, S54 and S58 bus because I was heading to Coles Brother Circus Protest in Middle Island which I promised activists I'll be there by 2pm.

Edited by FamousNYLover

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Thank you.

She let me on.

I had no choice since I didn't want to miss my connection on n79, S54 and S58 bus because I was heading to Coles Brother Circus Protest in Middle Island which I promised activists I'll be there by 2pm.

How often do you use NICE and why?

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NG 1811 on the N4 was on the side of the road near the WH tracks on Merrick Road but signed for Jamaica and the engine was still running.  There was a NICE-marked Ford Escape ahead

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Funny story this morning. I get on the n6 bus and its basically full and this lady at the stop doesn't get on she says to the driver "I pay too many taxes to be a sardine". :P

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How much different did RVC and Mitchel Field (garages) look before they were converted to handle CNG buses?  I've seen RVC depot in person and it doesn't look like much of the 1920s garage is left other than the frontmost office (where employees would normally enter).

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Is RVC still M-F or did NICE convert it to a 7 day a week operation?  Is it still the "senior" garage?  LI Operator...?

 

I was thinking if NICE needed drivers they could access new employees with the ease of the RVC station near by...

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Is RVC still M-F or did NICE convert it to a 7 day a week operation?  Is it still the "senior" garage?  LI Operator...?

 

I was thinking if NICE needed drivers they could access new employees with the ease of the RVC station near by...

RVC still M-F. RVC very often has MF drivers sent over to fill runs due to insufficient manpower.

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Lots of overtime then?

Not necessarily. Usually it's covered by spares that just work within their shift times. Even some SQM's(dispatchers) drive runs when drivers aren't available.

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Why is there such a shortage in RVC?  Vacations?  Sick times?  Hows does one go about working at RVC do they have to bid a run out of there?  Can NICE hire extra drivers PT or spares to cover RVC instead of shuttling drivers from MF or having SQM's cover routes?  Are there any union rules as to who may be placed at RVC?

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Be on the look out for the 09:20 Jamaica bound n6 bus from Hempstead Transit Center, clearly that Bus Operator does not feel like doing his job. He does not pick up passengers which is essentially a condition of his employment. 

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Be on the look out for the 09:20 Jamaica bound n6 bus from Hempstead Transit Center, clearly that Bus Operator does not feel like doing his job. He does not pick up passengers which is essentially a condition of his employment. 

 

Was the bus full? I notice that some n6 drivers don't pick up passangers if the bus is crowded and will let the next bus pick up the passanger.

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Was the bus full? I notice that some n6 drivers don't pick up passangers if the bus is crowded and will let the next bus pick up the passanger.

Not only was the bus not full, there were empty seats and no standees and the bus was not late. This has happened more than once with this driver.

Edited by N6 Limited

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Flooding is affecting the area southern area of the Nassau/Suffolk border, the southern state parkway is closed which obviously doesn't have anything to do with NICE fixed route service, although this could make traffic heavy on Merrick & Sunrise...  Speaking of Sunrise, CBS2 is reporting Sunrise is closed in the area of Sunrise Mall, so buses could have a problem getting into the mall.

 

So far the only mention of service alerts from NICE via their facebook page is:

 

#NICEALERT. n70/71/72 Farmingdale
We have road closures due to flooding at route 110 and Conklin. Currently buses are unable to make this stop


Spoke too soon... Click on ‪#‎NICEALERT‬ for updates...

 

‪#‎NICEALERT‬ : Due to flooding and down power lines, we have detours and delays thru out the County. This is a very fluid situation, and is changing rapidly. Here are the current situations

- Warner Ave. in Roslyn is closed in both directions, N23's are using Roslyn Rd.

- N19 detour: east bound buses are taking a left on Park Ave. and right on Sunrise, due to flooding

- n55 flooding...detour details to come

- N70/72 Conklin St.and RT 110 closed due flooring, no detour set up as of yet.

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N4 – MERRICK RD IS CLOSED AT GUY LOMBARDO AVE IN FREEPORT FOR A POLICE INVESTIGATION. BUSES WILL BE TRAVELING VIA SUNRISE HIGHWAY . SOUTH OCEAN AVE.

N19- MERRICK RD IS CLOSED AT PARK BLVD IN MASSAPEQUA. BUSES WILL TRAVEL VIA PARK BLVD / SUNRISE HIGHWAY.

N19/54/55/80/81-SUNRISE MALL  ***Updated 8:47am***  N54/55/80/81 are now clear north of Sunrise Highway

SUNRISE HWY CLOSED AT OLD SUNRISE HWY. BUSES WILL TRAVEL VIA OLD SURISE HWY / COUNTY LINE RD / LOUDEN AVE

 

N23 – WARNER AVE IN ROSLYN IS CLOSED IN BOTH DIRECTIONS. BUSES WILL BE TRAVELING VIA GARDEN ST.

N31/32 – UPDATE HEMPSTEAD AVE CLEARED.

N54 – WASHINGTON AVE IS CLOSED IN MASSAPEQUA. BUSES WILL TRAVEL VIA THE N55 ROUTE.

N72 – RT 109 IS CLOSED AT GREAT EAST NECK RD. AWAITING A DETOUR TO BE SET UP.

Edited by Burrstone

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Something happened to me yesterday that forced me to come back (that and the suggestions of my friends). I guess others may know me better than I know myself.  :huh:

So on the n35 from Baldwin Harbor, it was the 7:15pm trip, bus 1718. I'm waiting by the LIRR station & he comes at 7:13pm. The bus was very light the whole way up, and after HTC, I was the only one on the bus all the way to Westbury.

So we're on Stewart Ave and he never makes the left into Roosevelt Field. Just keeps going straight. Then when we get to Privado, he hits a curb, then decides to turn around in a parking lot behind one of the office buildings, I then approach him & ask him if he knows where he's going. He told me he never did the n35 before and wasn't shown the route beforehand, and that he left his schedule & map (paddle too?) back at the yard. I told him he missed Roosevelt Field, he confused Roosevelt Field for Nassau Community College and thought they skipped RF on the weekend! Anyway, I told him he was going the wrong way on Privado (he u-turned in one of the lots) and so he had to make another u-turn.

I had to show him the route the rest of the way to Westbury. When Veolia was confronted recently on Facebook about the dropping ridership, they blame the April 2012 service cuts and claim it's going up. They brag about how they are saving Nassau Taxpayers "$30 less than the MTA per service hour", but you can see where they are saving that $30, as their maintanance & driver/route training is of a much lower standard than MTA. Then I also chime in the same thread about all the breakdowns, they said this is why they "eagerly await the new buses". But I see the 3G's breaking down too! All the buses sound terrible, sure the V's get the brunt of it but even the 3G's are in bad shape. I really hope when their contract is up the MTA will come back. They are losing so many riders due to the poor service. I saw a V broke down yesterday on W.John St too. 

And for a couple of weeks Miller Ave was closed between Lot 3 & the west side of NCC, many drivers skipped either Lot 3 or the west side, and some skipped both (on one n35, driver asked if I was going to NCC, I said no, he said good, and skipped all of NCC).

There was no notice on the NICE website & they never got back to me about a detour for NCC. You'll also notice a number of FB complaints about their new mobile ticketing app, apparently some people have lost tickets they already paid for!

These people don't have a clue on how to run a bus system. Their service changes dont make sense (just look at the n87) and they keep losing riders. Nassau County is getting what it paid for, which is very little. I hope Mangano is out in the next election and the bus system is restored to it's "former glory". 

I could see a similar campaign for a restored (MTA) LI Bus as there was for the subways in the late 80s. 

(MTA) Long Island Bus WE'RE COMING BACK SO YOU COME BACK

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Something happened to me yesterday that forced me to come back (that and the suggestions of my friends). I guess others may know me better than I know myself.  :huh:

So on the n35 from Baldwin Harbor, it was the 7:15pm trip, bus 1718. I'm waiting by the LIRR station & he comes at 7:13pm. The bus was very light the whole way up, and after HTC, I was the only one on the bus all the way to Westbury.

So we're on Stewart Ave and he never makes the left into Roosevelt Field. Just keeps going straight. Then when we get to Privado, he hits a curb, then decides to turn around in a parking lot behind one of the office buildings, I then approach him & ask him if he knows where he's going. He told me he never did the n35 before and wasn't shown the route beforehand, and that he left his schedule & map (paddle too?) back at the yard. I told him he missed Roosevelt Field, he confused Roosevelt Field for Nassau Community College and thought they skipped RF on the weekend! Anyway, I told him he was going the wrong way on Privado (he u-turned in one of the lots) and so he had to make another u-turn.

I had to show him the route the rest of the way to Westbury. When Veolia was confronted recently on Facebook about the dropping ridership, they blame the April 2012 service cuts and claim it's going up. They brag about how they are saving Nassau Taxpayers "$30 less than the MTA per service hour", but you can see where they are saving that $30, as their maintanance & driver/route training is of a much lower standard than MTA. Then I also chime in the same thread about all the breakdowns, they said this is why they "eagerly await the new buses". But I see the 3G's breaking down too! All the buses sound terrible, sure the V's get the brunt of it but even the 3G's are in bad shape. I really hope when their contract is up the MTA will come back. They are losing so many riders due to the poor service. I saw a V broke down yesterday on W.John St too. 

And for a couple of weeks Miller Ave was closed between Lot 3 & the west side of NCC, many drivers skipped either Lot 3 or the west side, and some skipped both (on one n35, driver asked if I was going to NCC, I said no, he said good, and skipped all of NCC).

There was no notice on the NICE website & they never got back to me about a detour for NCC. You'll also notice a number of FB complaints about their new mobile ticketing app, apparently some people have lost tickets they already paid for!

These people don't have a clue on how to run a bus system. Their service changes dont make sense (just look at the n87) and they keep losing riders. Nassau County is getting what it paid for, which is very little. I hope Mangano is out in the next election and the bus system is restored to it's "former glory". 

I could see a similar campaign for a restored (MTA) LI Bus as there was for the subways in the late 80s. 

(MTA) Long Island Bus WE'RE COMING BACK SO YOU COME BACK

 

I don't see the (MTA) coming back to fix Nassau's Bus Network anytime soon. Unless some parts of Nassau goes from pro car to pro transportation in a couple of years, or redevelop to justify an increase in bus service (which probably won't happen), Nassau will have a crappy bus system regardless of who is in charge and what bus company runs the newtork. I suspect that Ed Manago didn't care about the buses and only privatized the buses because most of the (MTA) cuts were going to affect his district.

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Are the salaries for NICE drivers higher or lower than LI bus operators?

 

The wage is higher, before NICE took over they agreed to a wage increase off the bat that the first wage increase had seen in 3-4 years (another wage increase happen in April and will continue throughout the contract which I think is up with the union in 2016).

 

People like Hound can say NICE sucks, but a class B driver isn't going to see better, not even when it was the (MTA) considering the wages are higher for new drivers...

 

For senior drivers (MTA) was better, because the days of senior drivers milking overtime and making $80,000, $90,000, $100,000+ are over.  It is far more productive to hire new drivers.

 

People like Hound are angry but this is better IMO for newer drivers, it means more drivers, more jobs, and more opportunity to get your foot in the door.  

 

Yea NICE might hire part time, but so did LIB, NICE has also hire full time drivers off the bat?  When was the last time LIB hired full time drivers off the bat? 

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Something happened to me yesterday that forced me to come back (that and the suggestions of my friends). I guess others may know me better than I know myself.  :huh:

So on the n35 from Baldwin Harbor, it was the 7:15pm trip, bus 1718. I'm waiting by the LIRR station & he comes at 7:13pm. The bus was very light the whole way up, and after HTC, I was the only one on the bus all the way to Westbury.

So we're on Stewart Ave and he never makes the left into Roosevelt Field. Just keeps going straight. Then when we get to Privado, he hits a curb, then decides to turn around in a parking lot behind one of the office buildings, I then approach him & ask him if he knows where he's going. He told me he never did the n35 before and wasn't shown the route beforehand, and that he left his schedule & map (paddle too?) back at the yard. I told him he missed Roosevelt Field, he confused Roosevelt Field for Nassau Community College and thought they skipped RF on the weekend! Anyway, I told him he was going the wrong way on Privado (he u-turned in one of the lots) and so he had to make another u-turn.

I had to show him the route the rest of the way to Westbury. When Veolia was confronted recently on Facebook about the dropping ridership, they blame the April 2012 service cuts and claim it's going up. They brag about how they are saving Nassau Taxpayers "$30 less than the MTA per service hour", but you can see where they are saving that $30, as their maintanance & driver/route training is of a much lower standard than MTA. Then I also chime in the same thread about all the breakdowns, they said this is why they "eagerly await the new buses". But I see the 3G's breaking down too! All the buses sound terrible, sure the V's get the brunt of it but even the 3G's are in bad shape. I really hope when their contract is up the MTA will come back. They are losing so many riders due to the poor service. I saw a V broke down yesterday on W.John St too. 

And for a couple of weeks Miller Ave was closed between Lot 3 & the west side of NCC, many drivers skipped either Lot 3 or the west side, and some skipped both (on one n35, driver asked if I was going to NCC, I said no, he said good, and skipped all of NCC).

There was no notice on the NICE website & they never got back to me about a detour for NCC. You'll also notice a number of FB complaints about their new mobile ticketing app, apparently some people have lost tickets they already paid for!

These people don't have a clue on how to run a bus system. Their service changes dont make sense (just look at the n87) and they keep losing riders. Nassau County is getting what it paid for, which is very little. I hope Mangano is out in the next election and the bus system is restored to it's "former glory". 

I could see a similar campaign for a restored (MTA) LI Bus as there was for the subways in the late 80s. 

 

the GPS system should prevent things like that

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Something happened to me yesterday that forced me to come back (that and the suggestions of my friends). I guess others may know me better than I know myself.  :huh:

So on the n35 from Baldwin Harbor, it was the 7:15pm trip, bus 1718. I'm waiting by the LIRR station & he comes at 7:13pm. The bus was very light the whole way up, and after HTC, I was the only one on the bus all the way to Westbury.

So we're on Stewart Ave and he never makes the left into Roosevelt Field. Just keeps going straight. Then when we get to Privado, he hits a curb, then decides to turn around in a parking lot behind one of the office buildings, I then approach him & ask him if he knows where he's going. He told me he never did the n35 before and wasn't shown the route beforehand, and that he left his schedule & map (paddle too?) back at the yard. I told him he missed Roosevelt Field, he confused Roosevelt Field for Nassau Community College and thought they skipped RF on the weekend! Anyway, I told him he was going the wrong way on Privado (he u-turned in one of the lots) and so he had to make another u-turn.

I had to show him the route the rest of the way to Westbury. When Veolia was confronted recently on Facebook about the dropping ridership, they blame the April 2012 service cuts and claim it's going up. They brag about how they are saving Nassau Taxpayers "$30 less than the MTA per service hour", but you can see where they are saving that $30, as their maintanance & driver/route training is of a much lower standard than MTA. Then I also chime in the same thread about all the breakdowns, they said this is why they "eagerly await the new buses". But I see the 3G's breaking down too! All the buses sound terrible, sure the V's get the brunt of it but even the 3G's are in bad shape. I really hope when their contract is up the MTA will come back. They are losing so many riders due to the poor service. I saw a V broke down yesterday on W.John St too. 

And for a couple of weeks Miller Ave was closed between Lot 3 & the west side of NCC, many drivers skipped either Lot 3 or the west side, and some skipped both (on one n35, driver asked if I was going to NCC, I said no, he said good, and skipped all of NCC).

There was no notice on the NICE website & they never got back to me about a detour for NCC. You'll also notice a number of FB complaints about their new mobile ticketing app, apparently some people have lost tickets they already paid for!

These people don't have a clue on how to run a bus system. Their service changes dont make sense (just look at the n87) and they keep losing riders. Nassau County is getting what it paid for, which is very little. I hope Mangano is out in the next election and the bus system is restored to it's "former glory". 

I could see a similar campaign for a restored (MTA) LI Bus as there was for the subways in the late 80s. 

(MTA) Long Island Bus WE'RE COMING BACK SO YOU COME BACK

 

Let it be known that no one cares.

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Something happened to me yesterday that forced me to come back (that and the suggestions of my friends). I guess others may know me better than I know myself.   :huh:

 

Welcome back!

 

 

I could see a similar campaign for a restored  (MTA) LI Bus as there was for the subways in the late 80s. 

(MTA) Long Island Bus WE'RE COMING BACK SO YOU COME BACK

 

Let's get this out of the way right off the bat.  The (MTA) is not coming back to Nassau County, if they did the riders would be in a worse situation.  The problem is not Veolia and the solution is not the (MTA) the problem is funding.  Have you forgotten that Veolia does more with the money (while making a profit) than the (MTA) so given proper funding Veolia is better for Nassau County and the rider than the(MTA). 

 

During the glory days you look back to that you compare NICE to now had much funding than NICE!  ...If Nassau didn't give into the MTA's demands of greater funding the (MTA) was only going to offer a skeleton system.  A fraction of the routes, people would be out of work,and you wouldn't be able to rely on the transit system.

 

And about this campaign the the general public doesn't care if it's the (MTA) Veolia, First Transit, MV, or National Express.

 

 

blah blah blah <summarizing>The driver got lost, doesn't normally do this route</summarizing> blah blah blah the (MTA) trained better..

 

When (MTA) was sending drivers in from the city because they didn't have enough drivers in the months leading to the takeover I was very impressed with one of the drivers...  I think it was on the N45 at the first stop, I got on and he asked me and a couple of other passengers if we knew the route well enough to help him.  I apologized and told him not for that route, other passengers he asked told him the same thing, he did the entire route (after never doing it before) with the map on the schedule, watching the street signs very carefully.    

 

As far as drivers getting lost that would be my biggest fear and it's happened to me driving a school bus, not a fun feeling.  When I was driving for a district we were expected to ride all the routes when we were fist hired and weren't paid for it.  But it was union free district so they could get away with that.  Would the Union not allow new drivers to learn the routes for free?  During (MTA) LIB they learned all of the city bus routes (what a waste of money) while the (MTA) training and all (MTA) LIB drivers and city drivers spent the day learning LIB routes, new (MTA) drivers "rode" LIB routes for a while too, they had like a week or two to learn what they wanted/needed to learn...

 

Obviously, the most cost productive way of learning a route would be to have the drivers learn the route. I have no idea how many drivers they hire a year but last August they were hiring 30 drivers... (a new driver said training pay is $9/hr) let them ride the buses for a week to learn the routes at training pay and that breaks down to $9/hr x 40 hours = $360 x 30 drivers = $10,800...  (assuming they hire 30 drivers a quarter bc of turnover and the new schedule) $10,800 x 4 quarters = $43,200 that is 5.4% of the budget deficit this year. That might not seem huge adding 5.4 to the debt is huge, where is this $43,000 going to come from?  Either cut service, go one driver short for the year, or have the County kick in more funding...

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Welcome back!

 

 

Let's get this out of the way right off the bat.  The (MTA) is not coming back to Nassau County, if they did the riders would be in a worse situation.  The problem is not Veolia and the solution is not the (MTA) the problem is funding.  Have you forgotten that Veolia does more with the money (while making a profit) than the (MTA) so given proper funding Veolia is better for Nassau County and the rider than the(MTA). 

 

During the glory days you look back to that you compare NICE to now had much funding than NICE!  ...If Nassau didn't give into the MTA's demands of greater funding the (MTA) was only going to offer a skeleton system.  A fraction of the routes, people would be out of work,and you wouldn't be able to rely on the transit system.

 

And about this campaign the the general public doesn't care if it's the (MTA) Veolia, First Transit, MV, or National Express.

 

 

When (MTA) was sending drivers in from the city because they didn't have enough drivers in the months leading to the takeover I was very impressed with one of the drivers...  I think it was on the N45 at the first stop, I got on and he asked me and a couple of other passengers if we knew the route well enough to help him.  I apologized and told him not for that route, other passengers he asked told him the same thing, he did the entire route (after never doing it before) with the map on the schedule, watching the street signs very carefully.    

 

As far as drivers getting lost that would be my biggest fear and it's happened to me driving a school bus, not a fun feeling.  When I was driving for a district we were expected to ride all the routes when we were fist hired and weren't paid for it.  But it was union free district so they could get away with that.  Would the Union not allow new drivers to learn the routes for free?  During (MTA) LIB they learned all of the city bus routes (what a waste of money) while the (MTA) training and all (MTA) LIB drivers and city drivers spent the day learning LIB routes, new (MTA) drivers "rode" LIB routes for a while too, they had like a week or two to learn what they wanted/needed to learn...

 

Obviously, the most cost productive way of learning a route would be to have the drivers learn the route. I have no idea how many drivers they hire a year but last August they were hiring 30 drivers... (a new driver said training pay is $9/hr) let them ride the buses for a week to learn the routes at training pay and that breaks down to $9/hr x 40 hours = $360 x 30 drivers = $10,800...  (assuming they hire 30 drivers a quarter bc of turnover and the new schedule) $10,800 x 4 quarters = $43,200 that is 5.4% of the budget deficit this year. That might not seem huge adding 5.4 to the debt is huge, where is this $43,000 going to come from?  Either cut service, go one driver short for the year, or have the County kick in more funding...

 

The County needs to kick in more funding, that is the problem in the 1st place. MTA never would have left if Mangano just paid up. Suffolk County does. So does Westchester. So what makes Nassau so special?

Lets see if there would be so many breakdowns & missing buses if the funding was raised alot. But if they still were, then (MTA) should come back. (MTA) has higher standards, they knew it couldn't be done on the budget Nassau was providing. Veolia saw an opportunity to prove itself and stepped in, offering to run the service for much less money. But I think even they are realizing that trying to run the bus service on this budget isn't do-able. It sure will be interesting what happens when their 5 year contract is up.

For now I do not want to rely on the buses. And am trying to move next year to a good area on the Babylon line (Bellmore, Merrick, Wantagh, Seaford,etc) where there is frequent train service so I dont need to use NICE to get around much.

There isn't that much in Westbury and the train service isn't great either. Despite that I've been noticing alot more folks using the LIRR between Westbury & Hicksville. And that is NOT a coincidence, I do it as well, I dont want to deal with the n22.

How else can you explain how the nearly 50% drop in ridership? Mangano would like to do away with buses altogether, and I'm sure he's happy less are riding. It will give him more of a reason to cut bus funding entirely.

If he did truly care about the bus system, he'd be upset about the dropping ridership (means less revenue for the county), and the loss to the economy as those riders may be moving or doing business elsewhere.

Hey, I'm definitely no fan of the (MTA) and how it favors NYC, but we would've been better off if Nassau coughed up the money (one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, we CAN afford it..gimme a break) and (MTA) stayed.

I bet ridership would've been going up instead of down.

Edited by PinePower
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