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


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But look in the message, it says that the extra n54 will start in Hicksville.

Yeah, a bus was probably finishing up a run in Hicksville or they decided, hey forget a run on the n80/81 or one of the lesser routes, the n54 is more important, so they had a bus deadhead to the breakdown spot.

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The point I took was NICE was sending a spare bus!  If a bus broke down it was too bad, so sad.

 

Now for my NICE fail of the day, (actually this could be the fail of the week): 1602 was running around with a huge (MTA) logo on the front of the bus!

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Saw a SuperShuttle van with Able-Ride stickers today. Interesting...

 

(SuperShuttle is a Veolia operation)

I heard Veolia's plan was to have SuperShuttle (which is franchised out to independent operators) doing Able-Ride work in addition to NICE Paratransit. Which is weird, SuperShuttle's vans definitely don't look accessible, but it's possible they're trying to use the the NICE Paratransit buses for people in wheelchairs and whatnot that need the lifts and have SuperShuttle picking up people capable of using a van without a lift, to reduce costs of course.

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I heard Veolia's plan was to have SuperShuttle (which is franchised out to independent operators) doing Able-Ride work in addition to NICE Paratransit. Which is weird, SuperShuttle's vans definitely don't look accessible, but it's possible they're trying to use the the NICE Paratransit buses for people in wheelchairs and whatnot that need the lifts and have SuperShuttle picking up people capable of using a van without a lift, to reduce costs of course.

With that said I'm wondering if it'd be a break of contract for Veolia to be providing the services of NICE by using vehicles of another organization.

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With that said I'm wondering if it'd be a break of contract for Veolia to be providing the services of NICE by using vehicles of another organization.

It's hard to say with the franchise situation. Veolia owns the brand, but every van is owned and operated under franchises.

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It's hard to say with the franchise situation. Veolia owns the brand, but every van is owned and operated under franchises.

All a bunch of ridiculous red tape bullshit. At any rate, at least service is being provided by making better use of resources.

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I heard Veolia's plan was to have SuperShuttle (which is franchised out to independent operators) doing Able-Ride work in addition to NICE Paratransit. Which is weird, SuperShuttle's vans definitely don't look accessible, but it's possible they're trying to use the the NICE Paratransit buses for people in wheelchairs and whatnot that need the lifts and have SuperShuttle picking up people capable of using a van without a lift, to reduce costs of course.

 

Sounds smart.  Rides Unlimited Nassau Suffolk uses a lot of vans.  Does Super Shuttle have any vans?  Wouldn't they have to have some "accessible"  vans to comply with the ADA?  Not that it matters, I like the idea of using vans for those who can use them.

 

With that said I'm wondering if it'd be a break of contract for Veolia to be providing the services of NICE by using vehicles of another organization.

It's hard to say with the franchise situation. Veolia owns the brand, but every van is owned and operated under franchises.

All a bunch of ridiculous red tape bullshit. At any rate, at least service is being provided by making better use of resources.

 

 

NICE bus is probably just contracting the work out to SuperShuttle.  ;)    Sister & parent companies do this all the time, it's a contract between two businesses...

 

Turbo19, are you asking if Veolia is violating their contract with the County by allowing Supershuttle to do the work?  If so, interesting question, I don't remember if there was anything in the contract to cover this, and i'm not reading it again.  :D

 

If I were a betting man, I'd say no, Veolia is not going to do anything to violates their contract (unless they are looking for a way out).  

 

It is interesting to note that Veolia is technically running the service even under Supershuttle and is running the service as Able-Ride with the sticker.

 

I think this is bad for Supershuttle's brand because as a consumer it makes me wonder if I'm going to be sharing the van with Able-Ride people?  Are we going to be making extra stops at doctor offices and grocery stores along the way to the airport?  Am I going to be 

waiting longer now that they're tied up with Able Ride?

 

I know people here will tell me "No Burrstone, they're obviously running it separately with the Able Ride stickers doing that work..."  I know, but look at how the average consumer is going to look at the stickers on the SuperShuttle vans, especially in Nassau County.  Is the LandRover gang Pine Power goes on about going want to a van to the airport they associate with public transit and able ride?

 

 

I like the idea, I think they need to not have the Super Shuttle logo on the vans, to protect the brand, but that's on SuperShuttle not NICE.

Edited by Burrstone
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Sounds smart.  Rides Unlimited Nassau Suffolk uses a lot of vans.  Does Super Shuttle have any vans?  Wouldn't they have to have some "accessible"  vans to comply with the ADA?  Not that it matters, I like the idea of using vans for those who can use them.

SuperShuttle uses 15-passenger blue Ford vans with no lifts, you see them in Manhattan everywhere. They're a shared-ride airport van service.

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Geez I was on the N74 today and it was empty I took the 5 53 from Wantagh LIRR to Hicksville EMPTY 13 passengers including myself for the whole trip. The N79 I went on after had even less with 7 people at 6 45.

 

Sounds like a typical n74 trip, lol. Now the N79 I'm surprised about, perhaps the bus before it was running late.

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Sounds like a typical n74 trip, lol. Now the N79 I'm surprised about, perhaps the bus before it was running late.

 

The one before it is supposed to come at 5 50 i dont know if within that 5 mins a train comes and a lot of people take the N79 then. 

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SuperShuttle uses 15-passenger blue Ford vans with no lifts, you see them in Manhattan everywhere. They're a shared-ride airport van service.

 

Unfortunately, I'm very unfamiliar with SuperShuttle. lol

 

I did find out (as I expected) that SuperShuttle has "accessible" vans.  I figured they'd be required to, and if not required they'd probably have them anyway to put on a ADA friendly face.

 

http://www.supershuttle.com/AccessibleService.aspx

 

 

What is Rides Unlimited Nassau and Suffolk anyway? I see their buses all the time.

I think its just another handicapped service. Maybe this will help:

 

http://www.newvillageofislandia.com/pages/releases/030612.html

 

They are "associated" or owned by some sort of foundation or company dealing with mentally handicapped adults.  The people who need this service live in group home or shared apartment and go to day programs.  The company/foundation helping these people farms the transportation work out to Rides Unlimited.  They have a section of their site dealing with Rides Unlimited saying they created the service to help, blah blah blah...  In reality they are not a non profit organization, Rides Unlimited is incorporated not only do they handle their own work they farm out to themselves they bid on other work all around, nassau, suffolk, and the city (under bidding other companies).

 

I actually called them about a job over 2 years ago, without knowing it was them.  I called up about a job I saw in the paper and they explained the job driving a  van around Queens & Brooklyn doing this sort of work.  So you'd have to go out to their yard in Islandia pick up the van drive to brooklyn or queens, run around brooklyn or queens for 4 hours taking the pax from their residence to the day program, have a mid day break pick the pax up at their day programs and bring them back to their residence.  

 

I was told it was $10/hr lmao you have to be kidding me!  The problem I have with them and why I mentioned they underbid other companies in the area is they low bid the job just to get it and in return pay their drivers shit because of it.

 

I kinda laughed when I heard $10/hr and said that was kinda low for a job they require a CDL job (you could probably make more at Walmart).  The women said "we have that rate of pay because the drivers are covered by a union, and unfortunately that's the pay the union dictated."  Yea right, I'm sure they wanted to pay a fair wage and the union wouldn't have, you know how unions like the employees they represent to make as little as possible.  I wouldn't be surprised if this scumbag company wanted to pay less but this was all they could squeeze out of Rides Unlimited.

 

I said I saw they had school buses they painted blue, and asked if they needed drivers for them?  Oh no, everyone starts at a van, when you've been their long enough you could work your way up to the mini buses like Brett posted after you passed a test, then after driving a mini bus, you could earn your way up to a "big bus".  You had to earn the right to drive a school bus which is funny because anyone could earn at least $5/hr more driving a school bus anywhere else on the island.

 

The only people I could see working at this place is people who were trained at (MTA) LIB (this was when LIB was still around) who only had a P endorsement and no S endorsement, no S endorsement and you can't drive a school bus.

Edited by Burrstone
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I think when NICE first started, there were quite a few former school bus drivers around as they'd do the whole "open the door at railroad crossings" thing that I always see actual school buses do... but how do they get those endorsements on their CDL?

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I think when NICE first started, there were quite a few former school bus drivers...

 

 

I know for a fact NICE hired quite a few former school bus drivers...  From what i heard I think a lot of them came from a certain company, word of mouth got around that Veolia was hiring.

 

 

 

I think when NICE first started, there were quite a few former school bus drivers around as they'd do the whole "open the door at railroad crossings" thing that I always see actual school buses do..

 

It doesn't matter the type of bus all buses are supposed to come to a complete stop at RR crossings and open the door even all many don't.   (there are some crossings that are exempt but that's a different topic).

 

When I'm delivering buses (transit or school) I'm still required to stop at RR crossings which is ironic because the buses have a transporter license plate and you're not aloud to transport passengers in any vehicle with a transport tag on it.

 

 

 

... but how do they get those endorsements on their CDL?

 

If you don't have a CDL you'd have to take the general knowledge written test, written test on school buses and written test on passenger vehicles.  If you pass these tests you get your CDL permit with P&S endorsements.  If you don't take or don't pass the airbrakes test you'll have a restriction on your permit not allowing you to drive vehicles with airbrakes.

 

When you take your road test you'd have to take the road test in a school bus to get your CDL with a P&S endorsement, if you take it in any other bus (transit, coach/greyhound sort of bus) you'd only get a P endorsement.  You must have a passenger endorsement with the school bus endorsement.  During the road test you also have to do a test on the airbrakes, which is not hard but is a process and if it's new to you or your nervous so if you fail it you'll get an airbrake restriction.  Most jobs advertise you must have an airbrake endorsement, there is no endorsement for airbrakes in NY but a restriction is put on your license if you fail the test ( or didn't take the written test).

 

The drivers you see driving a full size school bus or transit bus have a CDL B because the vehicle is over 26,001 pounds (anything over that requires a B), most of these  vehicles also have airbrakes.

 

Tractor Trailer drivers have a Class A CDL...  They can drive a vehicle 26,001+ with a trailer weighing over 10,001.

 

Someone with a Class B can also drive straight trucks as well as well as bobtails (the tractor w/o the trailer).

 

If someone with a class A wants to get their P/S endorsements they must take the written tests and take the road test a second time, with a school bus.  I have a CDL B P/S if I wanted to drive a tractor trailer I'd have to take the written test for "combination vehicles" and take the road test again in a tractor trailer. 

 

So, if someone has a CDL A with P or P&S they had to have taken and passed two road tests, one with a tractor trailer, one with a bus.  

 

They also have a CDL C because the mini buses like school and airport shuttles are under 26,000 and don't require a CDL so they are "under weight" but the requires the driver to have a P or a P/S, thus the need for a CDL C where the driver doesn't drive a a CDL because of the weight but does because of the passenger and school bus requirements.

 

BTW I think a vehicle designed to carry 15+ people including the driver requires the driver have a P endorsement.

 

IMHO anyone driving dollar vans, "supershuttles," or any other service where you'll be cramming people into a van should require a CDL C/ P!

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Given what I've heard about some buses skipping stops, including stops at colleges/universities, I've been wondering about one thing:

 

How reliable is service to/from Nassau Community College & SUNY Old Westbury? Starting at the end of this month, and over the course of at least one year, I plan to take courses at these institutions, and I wonder what is the possibility that I would be stranded? My family currently has two cars, and both my parents might need to use them on demand, so would it be better for my family to acquire a third car instead?

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Of course it would be better to have your parents buy you a car or one you can use whenever you want.  lol  You are not going to get the same level of service from public transportation, that's a no brainier.

 

As far as your concerns about being stranded, you need to give more info...  Will you be going to NCC or Old Westbury?  What line will you be using?  When will you get to school?  When will you leave?  I don't think you'll have a problem unless you're relying on the last bus of the night.  I've never heard of a bus skipping NCC, much less every bus on a line skipping a major stop like NCC, so really what are odds you'd be "stranded" (unless you're waiting for the last bus).  

 

If you're parents could afford to "family to acquire a third car" I'm sure they could afford to cough up cab money for their child in college to take a cab home in the rare event they were stranded.  

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OW has an express shuttle (albeit only once an hour) from 7:45 to 3:30 and then a slower full-size bus that acts as a shuttle (and leaves campus) after 3:30.  I'd definitely say that you're more likely to get stranded at OW than you are at Nassau as the N20 only comes by once an hour.  The on-campus shuttle is quick but doesn't always meet the N20.  At least with Nassau there are 6 routes (though two of them only go through the former AFB roads).

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OW has an express shuttle (albeit only once an hour) from 7:45 to 3:30 and then a slower full-size bus that acts as a shuttle (and leaves campus) after 3:30.  I'd definitely say that you're more likely to get stranded at OW than you are at Nassau as the N20 only comes by once an hour.  The on-campus shuttle is quick but doesn't always meet the N20.  At least with Nassau there are 6 routes (though two of them only go through the former AFB roads).

 

Out of curiosity, what makes it slower (does it make more stops or something)? And when it leaves campus, does it go to Hicksville or something, or do you mean it connects with the N20 at a stop outside the campus?

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Out of curiosity, what makes it slower (does it make more stops or something)? And when it leaves campus, does it go to Hicksville or something, or do you mean it connects with the N20 at a stop outside the campus?

It goes to Broadway Mall and Hicksville LIRR.

 

Example schedule: http://www.oldwestbury.edu/pdfforms/Fall-2012-Bus-Schedule.pdf

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The on-campus shuttle is just a converted Ford E-series (basically, it's a school bus painted dark green to match the school's colors) but the full-size (35', I think) buses are a decade old and their engines seemed to be geared for torque more than speed.  Both shuttles connect with the N20 at the stop right at the entrance but the night shuttle will drop people off at the same N20 stop then travel down Route 107, stopping by the Jericho FD's firehouse and then stopping in front of On The Border before going to the LIRR station, where it'll either drop people off near the Penn Station eagle or it will pull into the lot parallel to the waiting room.

 

There's also an express shuttle (an International HC, similar to what LIB/NICE use for paratransit) which will bring students ONLY to and from the station.  This is the fastest way off campus but it only runs once an hour.

Edited by Joel Up Front
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