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

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I was looking at the schedules for tmr and I want to know why is there going to be so much service tomorrow? It's more than normal rush hour service on the N20

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the 5A should be eliminated since it parallels the s58 and more people take the s58

 

Problem is though, how do you explain the cuts to those retirement villages in Ridge that only the 5A serves. Not to mention the Sound Beach civic association who fought for an earlier 5A run to Port Jefferson Plaza

 

The Parallel with the S62 is only along 25A in Sound Beach to Rocky Point, a Section in Miller Place and from South Columbia to Port Jefferson Plaza. To me not enough to give a parallel a reason.

 

The whole reason the 5A was extended to Port Jefferson in the first place was to give riders in Ridge a better ride to the Port Jefferson medical area in and around Mather Hospital. 

 

Now I'm not saying the route shouldn't be cut if it's not carrying enough passengers, it should be. I'm merely saying it shouldn't be done just because it parallel's another route.

 

Not to mention the S62 use to go the way the 5A does up until the 5A was extended to Port Jefferson. (Now the S62 goes that way once before the 5A starts and once after the 5A ends)

 

Another interesting thing is if it weren't for budget problem SCT wouldn't have the S60 as it is today.

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 Bellone is getting millions to study BRT. 

 

IMO that BRT study is a waste of money. No matter how well intention it is, a BRT route won't ease congestion on Nicholl's road like he thinks. Not to mention with Suffolk always having budget gaps with Suffolk Transit I fail to see how the County could afford it. Especially with the announcement earlier in the year and again much recently that they may have to cut routes or runs.

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So then what serves Gordon Heights & Terryville then?

I'm not sure if it Served Gordon Heights, but the route was called the S64. It went from Smith Haven Mall to at least Coarm Via Saint James and Stony Brook Village. Before the S56 was created by SCT it went to Commack.

 

The S60 was a route that was created before SCT by the Stony Brook University Student government. It went from Smith Haven Mall to Port Jefferson Station.

 

I'm not sure when the merge of the routes happen as I can only confirm that they were like that until 1987, though I'm assuming it was during the 1990 route cuts.

Edited by mac5689

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Found one of those N17 minibuses or whatever.  They're essentially paratransit trucks painted in a neat-looking blue and orange livery.  It was too dark for me to take a pic.

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For all of those attempting to take the Rockville Centre Community Shuttle (n14) or the Mercy Medical Community Shuttle (n17) for free, you better get your rides ASAP. There aren't fareboxes, so they're free for now. I don't know when the fareboxes will be installed, though.

Edited by BM5 via WOODHAVEN BL

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i know that i can be sceptical but you ve noticed that the MTA was the as of 2016 the ONLY bus ageny that didnt have automated announcements and stop requested announcers but the signature PLEASE EXIT THROUGH THE REAR DOOR...when having sense of knowledge the Long Island Bus were the first to adopt the  automated announcemts (in that time based on a GPS system) neither Bee Line Suffolk Transit TOR CT Transit GBTA WHEELS RIPTA PVTA or MBTA had automated announcemts not after 2012+ when all the mentioned bus companies adopted the automated based announcemts and STOP REQUESTED...might assume that SEPTA and NJT have the Automated announcemts

 

Now the MTA  plans to put Wifi and USB adapters on ALL its 5.777 buses please is impossible why waste money on useless things that would make people fight over a USB Conexion and hog it complete waste of money...also Coumo is in Albany maybe put those things on the CDTA and not MTA Knowing that New York City is a city of full fights for little things thats NYC for ya

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i know that i can be sceptical but you ve noticed that the MTA was the as of 2016 the ONLY bus ageny that didnt have automated announcements and stop requested announcers but the signature PLEASE EXIT THROUGH THE REAR DOOR...when having sense of knowledge the Long Island Bus were the first to adopt the  automated announcemts (in that time based on a GPS system) neither Bee Line Suffolk Transit TOR CT Transit GBTA WHEELS RIPTA PVTA or MBTA had automated announcemts not after 2012+ when all the mentioned bus companies adopted the automated based announcemts and STOP REQUESTED...might assume that SEPTA and NJT have the Automated announcemts

 

Now the MTA  plans to put Wifi and USB adapters on ALL its 5.777 buses please is impossible why waste money on useless things that would make people fight over a USB Conexion and hog it complete waste of money...also Coumo is in Albany maybe put those things on the CDTA and not MTA Knowing that New York City is a city of full fights for little things thats NYC for ya

 

Suffolk Transit first got Automated announcements in 1999 when they ordered the 1999 Orion V's. 

 

By 2012 all bus orders since 1999 were ordered with Automated Announcements. 

 

Suffolk added the automated announcements to the 1996 and 1997 Gilligs before they were retired though I'm not sure exactly when they had done that though I know it was before 2010.

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The Electronic Destination signs are up and running at the Hempstead Transit Center. They display which Bays the routes are supposed to board, and how long till they arrive at the terminal. It makes the terminal look slightly better, but not much.

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I've seen a few more of those RVC community shuttles but I don't know what model they use or how many people are actually using them.

Actually rode one a while ago. The Mercy Shuttle had like 6 riders, and the the RVC shuttle had 4 (they were both the first buses of the afternoon). They use ARBOC of Mobility units.

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Interesting Article on Manhasett Times July 29th Edition:

http://www.theislandnow.com/opinions/readers-write-plaza-bus-routing-a-threat-to-motorists/article_ea48f838-5595-11e6-adbc-93d3e77578b8.html

 

Readers Write: Plaza bus routing a threat to motorists

 

Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender is insistent upon routing station-bound buses up Welwyn Road, past the stores at 4 Welwyn Road, and making them turn around in front of the post office to head back toward the station. 

 

The turn often takes two or three swings for the buses to negotiate the circle.

 

 This part of Welwyn Road is filled with shoppers, pedestrians, bicyclists, trucks and many cars that use the street for access to Thomaston, Community Drive and Northern Boulevard. 

 

There are often three buses at once trying to traverse the street, that is if they can get past the constantly double parked cars in front of Shop Delight, to which the village closes its eyes. 

 

There are frequent accidents; there is always gridlock.

 As you can see in the attached photo taken on July 20, the police were at the scene because the center bus of the three collided with a car. 

 

The accident, as well as the three buses, put traffic at a standstill, backing it up on the south side of the station to Middle Neck Road. 

 

The noise from the horns was deafening. Chaos reigned.

 

Residents, shoppers, pedestrians, shop owners and even the bus company have asked Celender countless times to re-route the buses off Welwyn Road, which could easily be done, but our mayor has closed her eyes and ears to the multitude of requests and has insisted that the buses remain on Welwyn Road.

 

 Several years ago, the MTA came to Celender with money and a plan to build a bus terminal on the north side of the station to help alleviate the chaos. She refused the offer. 

 

The MTA was happy to give its money to another municipality. Celender didn’t care.

 

Now, Celender has received a grant to beautify the Welwyn Road area and build a park in front of the post office. 

 

The plan is to build out the grassy area in front of the post office and narrow the existing street.

 

 We don’t need a park. There are already two parks within a block or two.  And who would want to sit among the fumes, horns and trash that will undoubtedly fill the park?

 

 What we need is more parking and a safe street without buses. Celender doesn’t care. 

Wearing her blinders, she will be credited with beautifying the area instead of making it functional. Stay tuned for the photo op.

 

 Celender almost never responds to constituents’ letters or concerns. 

 

It seems that if she doesn’t receive “credit” from some organization or get her photo in the paper, everything else is not worth her time. 

 

Your “Our Views” headline —“Biz district burns, G.N. officials fiddle”— in the July 15 Great Neck News, hit the nail on the head. 

 

Jean Celender surely must own a Stradivarius.

 

Muriel Pfeifer

Village of Neck Plaza

(We want our “Great” back!)

 

Another Article

 

 

Readers Write: Legislator right to back new buses

Nassau County Democrat Legislature member Laura Curran made sense when placing Nassau Inter County Express Bus riders needs above partisan politics by crossing party lines and joining Republicans in supporting a $6 million dollar bond for purchase of badly needed replacement buses. 

NICE Bus, along with predecessors Long Island Bus and Metropolitan Suburban Bus Authority, have benefited by over $500 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (previously known as the Urban Mass Transportation Administration), going back to the 1970s.  All of these grants were made possible by a 10 percent match from both Nassau County and the state Department of Transportation.  

 

It is a four-way dance between fares paid by riders (know as farebox revenues) along with funding provided by Nassau County, New York State and the federal government in financing public bus transportation operated by NICE. 

 

They operate a fleet of 308 buses out of the Rockville Center and Mitchell Field bus garages.  NICE also operates a fleet of almost 122 Able Ride paratransit vehicles out of the Stewart Avenue facility.  

 

All three facilities were constructed by federal capital grants with local matching funds provided by Nassau County and the state Department of Transportation.  

 

It was the same funding sources for both construction of the Hempstead Multi-Modal Bus Terminal and Mineola Intermodal Bus Terminal/Commuter Parking Garage.  

 

All five of these initial investments combined cost almost $100 million.  In today’s dollars, it would be far higher.

 

 NICE attempts to schedule bus replacements on a 500,000 mile or 12-year cycle,  which ever comes first, is based upon Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration guidelines. 

 

Since 1973, buses operated by NICE under contract to Nassau County are now on the fourth replacement cycle.  

 

Most buses operated by NICE are several years under 12 years old.  This was not the case decades earlier when the average age of the fleet was closer to 12 years and older.

 

 Over time, there have been other capital investments, including compressed natural gas fueling stations, facility modifications to accommodate CNG buses inside garages, new fare collection equipment, automatic vehicle locator equipment, real time communications systems to notify riders for anticipated arrival of the next bus, shelters, bus stop signs and other support equipment necessary to run the system.  

 

Just like a homeowner, what is new today requires constant maintenance, periodic upgrades and eventual replacement years later.   

 

Capital physical assets of any bus system (including revenue vehicles along with bus facility components such as HVAC, bus washers, paint booths, engine shops, bays, pits, lifts, doors, fueling stations, lighting, security systems and many others) eventually reach the end of their useful life based upon straight line depreciation and/or manufactures warranty. 

 

Significant changes in technology may also require replacement of outdated equipment.

 

 Without providing 10 percent in matching funds, Nassau County would be unable to apply for $48 million in federal funding to pay for 28 replacement buses, replacement of underground CNG fueling storage tanks and other capital improvements. Albany matches Nassau County dollar for dollar.  

 

Uncle Sam provides eight dollars for each Nassau County dollar. You can’t find a better return on these investments for public transportation.

 

Larry Penner

Great Neck

(Larry Penner is a transportation advocate and historian who previously worked 31 years for the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office.)

Edited by FamousNYLover

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Didn't NICE move a few of the buses to the North Station Plaza when they split up the n20 and 21?

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Didn't NICE move a few of the buses to the North Station Plaza when they split up the n20 and 21?

 

Yes, n25 and n26 buses. But sometimes when there are too many n20G, n20H and n21 buses layover, they have to drop passengers off on north side where n20 riders had to cross pedestrian bridge to south side for their n20G/H or n21 bus connection.

Sometimes after n20G, n21, n20H drop off passengers on south side, some buses goes to north side to take break.

I sent news story regarding n20 bus should be return to way it was because it didn't interfere with traffic too much since only three bus routes layover.

I use Print-Scan and picture is here.

13667974_10208134212446042_4487854455071

Edited by FamousNYLover

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Yes, n25 and n26 buses. But sometimes when there are too many n20G, n20H and n21 buses layover, they have to drop passengers off on north side where n20 riders had to cross pedestrian bridge to south side for their n20G/H or n21 bus connection.

Sometimes after n20G, n21, n20H drop off passengers on south side, some buses goes to north side to take break.

I sent news story regarding n20 bus should be return to way it was because it didn't interfere with traffic too much since only three bus routes layover.

 

According to the article that you linked, it's the mayor's fault for not allowing MTA to construct an off street bus terminal on the north side of the train station when they were in charge of the buses. If it had been built then Great Neck wouldn't have this congestion nightmare. The n20 reverting back to it's original routing won't solve the problem because the route will still be prone to delays and traffic on the streets., I personally think it should go as far as C.W.Post and skip the clock tower.

Edited by NY1635

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So I took the 9:50pm N20G from Great Neck into Flushing today and the bus makes a right on to Union to only end up having the road blocked due to construction. So the bus driver circles back and heads down Sanford again using the old route this time. I love the old route, but it's so inefficient

 

Photo for your viewing pleasure (Taken at the "last stop")

IMG_1580_zpshjbnnp5a.jpg

Edited by IAlam

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According to a comment made by NICE on their facebook page, the Elmont Flexi will make five stops in addition to it's usual routing: Fletcher Avenue and Dutch Broadway, Hendrickson Park, Wheeler Avenue and Rockaway Parkway, Valley Stream Blvd and and I'm assuming Franlklin Hospital (LIJ Valley Stream). I still wonder how the reserving stops part is going to work, or if it even will work.

Edited by NY1635

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Did NICE have a lot of brand new drivers (either permanent or substitutes) on the road today?  An N35 driver kept hesitating before she finally found the correct bus bay at Roosevelt Field.  A different driver was on the N15 that I usually catch (who seemed surprised that I wanted to get on the bus until I flagged him).  And a mid-day N27 driver surprisingly chose to take the N35 route to Hempstead after leaving Roosevelt Field.  But I must say all of these drivers were either on (or very close to) schedule which was impressive considering the long routes.

Edited by RtrainBlues

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According to a comment made by NICE on their facebook page, the Elmont Flexi will make five stops in addition to it's usual routing: Fletcher Avenue and Dutch Broadway, Hendrickson Park, Wheeler Avenue and Rockaway Parkway, Valley Stream Blvd and and I'm assuming Franlklin Hospital (LIJ Valley Stream). I still wonder how the reserving stops part is going to work, or if it even will work.

you have to call 2 hours in advance in order for it to stop at one of the flexi stops.

 

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you have to call 2 hours in advance in order for it to stop at one of the flexi stops.

 

So it looks like you can't have it pick you up at your house or anything, only at the fixed stops, or those 5 flexi stops.

 

It looks like they cut the schedules really tight, with the intention that not all the flexi stops would actually be made (Hopefully the bus will leave the terminal a little late if nobody reserved those Flexi stops, so it doesn't leave early from the following timepoint, especially heading southbound)

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How will it turn at Hempstead Turnpike? Are they planning to use side streets, or what?

 

Personally, I believe that the route could have been ran as a flexi on the old route, so that only two flexi stops would be needed. The flexi bus is a bit faster than the local bus, so the extra minutes saved would go for the additional flexi stops.

 

IDK, but I would have given the flexi midday service too, since when I've used the old n2 and n8, they actually had a noticeable amount of riders (for a flexi bus, it would probably mean that there would be standees on some occasions), but not enough to warrant a full bus.

Edited by BM5 via WOODHAVEN BL

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How will it turn at Hempstead Turnpike? Are they planning to use side streets, or what?

 

Personally, I believe that the route could have been ran as a flexi on the old route, so that only two flexi stops would be needed. The flexi bus is a bit faster than the local bus, so the extra minutes saved would go for the additional flexi stops.

 

IDK, but I would have given the flexi midday service too, since when I've used the old n2 and n8, they actually had a noticeable amount of riders (for a flexi bus, it would probably mean that there would be standees on some occasions), but not enough to warrant a full bus.

I think that small bus could turn around at parking lot.

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