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N6 Limited

Rockville Centre Depot Closing?

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http://www.liherald.com/stories/A-costly-depot-closing,86961?

 

Nassau County would have to repay roughly $1 million to both state and national transportation agencies if Nassau Inter-County Express proceeds with its plan to close the Rockville Centre bus depot, but county officials said there could be a way to keep the facility open. According to former Federal Transit Administration employee Larry Penner, Nassau County would have to repay both the New York State Department of Transportation and the FTA if it moves ahead with plans to close the depot.

 

Penner, who worked for the FTA for 31 years, said that the then Bee Line Bus Garage was renovated around 1988, at a cost of $10 million. Of that, $8 million was provided by the FTA’s predecessor, the U.S. Department of Transportation Urban Mass Transportation Administration, and $2 million in local matching funds was split by the state and county. “Should NICE bus attempt to close this depot in April 2017, Nassau County will be on the hook with both the FTA and NYSDOT,” Penner said in a letter to the Herald. “This shut down could result in the FTA requesting reimbursement by Nassau County based upon straight line depreciation for the remaining value of this investment, which was never achieved.” All capital improvements have a useful life requirement. The Rockville Centre depot’s life expectancy was roughly 36 years.

 

An unidentified FTA agent said in a statement that the agency had received no official notice from either Nassau County or NICE about the status of the depot. “The Federal Transit Administration has not been officially notified by Nassau County and the Nassau Inter-County Express of a final decision to move the bus operation from its current location at the Rockville Centre Bus Depot,” the statement read. “Upon official notification, the FTA will work with Nassau County and the New York State Department of Transportation to identify the value of any federally funded assets and make a decision regarding the amount of any possible reimbursement.”

 

County Comptroller George Maragos confirmed Penner’s assessment on Dec. 30 and said that the depot, on Banks Avenue, could remain open if sales tax revenues remain ahead of budget projections and state representatives come up with additional money from Albany. Maragos said that sales tax revenues were up about 3.4 percent, compared with the 1.7 percent that was budgeted. “Every percent is about $12 million,” he explained. “So, if we’re looking at maybe 2 percent higher sales tax revenues, that will give us about $20 million more, so [the county executive and the Legislature] may decide to increase the funding, rather than reduce it by the approximate $6 million that they took away in the budget. They may decide to restore it. So that is good news, actually. “That would be our recommendation,” he added. Maragos said that getting additional funds from the state “has happened in the past.” Asked about the possibility that that might happen again to save the depot, he paused for several seconds before answering, “Reasonable.” The fate of the depot, he said, could be decided by the second week of January.

 

NICE spokesman Andy Kraus said that “no official announcement has been made about closing the Rockville Centre depot,” but that it was an option that could save the county $1.5 million in operating costs. He added that NICE has had no contact with Maragos about the closing. Kraus said that NICE would propose its 2017 budget in February, and that it has not yet decided whether to close the depot. He noted that this year’s county budget is $6.8 million less than 2016. “Saving the facility is less important to NICE than saving the service for its customers,” he added. But garage manager Michael Bivona said on Monday that closing the depot was a “definite thing.” He planned to have an “operation change” meeting with TransDev, NICE’s management company, on Wednesday, after the Herald went to press.

 

There are roughly 400 employees at the Rockville Centre depot, including mechanics, maintenance and utility workers, drivers and engineers. NICE’s plan was to combine those workers with the ones at its Garden City facility. But Rockville Centre garage employees said they believed the space in Garden City was too small to fit all of its employees and service vehicles, which would likely lead to layoffs. “I sent four workers and a manager over there,” Bivona said of a recent transfer. “The rest of the people are going in April. I have a 50-50 chance of having a job in April.” Bivona, who said in December that NICE had announced the closing without warning, dismissed Maragos’s claims of possibly saving the building. “They would have to come up with $7 million to save the depot,” he said of the county, which owns the building. “and they don’t have it.”

 

The news comes weeks after Nassau County’s financial control board accepted the county’s second try at a balanced budget, after legislators approved a $130 hike in the tax map verification fee. In the revised budget, however, NICE will still see $3.8 million in cuts. In early December, NICE proposed canceling nine bus routes, but the plan was rejected after the Nassau County Bus Transit committee split its vote during a meeting on Dec. 8. NICE had hoped to close a $12 million budget gap by eliminating bus routes that were deemed to have low ridership, including shuttles in Rockville Centre, Freeport and Wantagh, as well as the Elmont Flexi. But at that meeting, the transit committee only considered January reductions affecting nine routes.

 

In a presentation by NICE CEO Michael Setzer to the board, however, Setzer presented a scenario for additional service cuts that would take place in April: If additional operating funds are not available, seven other bus lines would be in jeopardy, while 11 others would have adjusted schedules. Setzer cited rising operating expenses and declining revenues as the reason for the budget shortfall.

 

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Judging by plans to close down RVC, which, if they are true, effectively means that NICE plans to shrink the fleet size significantly and will almost certainly make the post-April network the one Nassau County will see from here on out.

 

I do wonder, however, if NICE could earn some money by selling some extra buses to other transit agencies...

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Judging by plans to close down RVC, which, if they are true, effectively means that NICE plans to shrink the fleet size significantly and will almost certainly make the post-April network the one Nassau County will see from here on out.

 

I do wonder, however, if NICE could earn some money by selling some extra buses to other transit agencies...

Nope there not gonna sell any buses to other transit agencies.They just got rid of 10 2003 Orion v CNN buses the highest being 1692

Also rvc is all Orion 7 ng and 3g

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It reeks of politics.  There's been a lot of development going on around that area since the Rockville Racquet Club building came down a few years ago.

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It reeks of politics.  There's been a lot of development going on around that area since the Rockville Racquet Club building came down a few years ago.

I wouldn't be surprised if Avalon was trying to buy the property to build some Apartments. It's like one block from the LIRR.

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It would be cool if they could build an el-like structure above the existing current tracks rather than pave new tracks but that has its consequences as well.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using NYC Transit Forums mobile app

This is about bus depot in Nassau County, not train depot or yard depot.

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6 minutes ago, James Goodwin said:

Is there any future plans for RVC depot? Could NICE or MTA reactivate at a later date and are there any buses their now?

The county would have to give NICE the funding to reopen the Rockville Center Depot, and use it to store their buses. I don't see that happening because the depot is located near the Avalon Apartments, and they're going to whine about the buses coming out the depot. MTA isn't coming back to Nassau either, Mangao severed the contract in such an unprofessional manner that the MTA won't be back on the island anytime soon. Even if he's voted out of office this November.

Edited by NY1635

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5 hours ago, James Goodwin said:

That also begs the question, if NICE does get the funding from the next county executive, could they consider building another depot in the future? There have been talk recently of NICE potentially launching a commuter bus system to go into Manhattan (presumably using MCIs of some kind).

I've heard that it was Hampton Bus Lines running commuter buses into Manhattan, NICE wants to focus mostly within Nassau. I honestly don't know the future because one of the candidates running for County Executive wants to end the contract with NICE.

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13 minutes ago, James Goodwin said:

Did they say why they want to end the contract?

 

 

According to him, NICE isn't doing a good job of running the buses. Ridership and service are mainly dropping within Nassau while the City Lines are the only ones with stable, or moderate improvements.

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1 minute ago, James Goodwin said:

What's his solution? Go with another private operator? 

I don't know since it's an election year, and the candidates aren't revealing their details days before Nassau voters head to the polls to decide who gets to be County Executive.

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10 minutes ago, James Goodwin said:

Is he a pro Mangano, or anti Mangano person?

Everyone is anti Mangano, including his own party.

  • Like 1

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On 10/24/2017 at 6:48 PM, James Goodwin said:

Is there any future plans for RVC depot? Could NICE or MTA reactivate at a later date and are there any buses their now?

Orion v buses on the side of building go see for yourself if there still there.

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Oh btw aren’t you 2004 orionv aka Sylvester the truther yea I thought it was you know why don’t you go back and cry to Whiney piney so he can make 32 minute useless vid.

  • LMAO! 1

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56 minutes ago, James Goodwin said:

Well, it's not like NICE has been that responsible either with the money. But Ed Mangano should be in jail for life for starving the bus system like this! >:(

The County Executive of Nassau technically makes cuts to funding based off what NIFA recommends to balance the budget. He just interpreted their decisions badly. A lot of the charges of corruption has less to do with NICE and more to do with usual Long Island Shenanigans.

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welp seeing I just exposed you and my suspicions were correct I don’t think your gonna last very long on here now.

Edited by Tom Meadow

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