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NICE Bus: 8 Years Later

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As we come up on 8 years of Veolia running Nassau's bus system, I thought we could take a look back at what has changed over this time and compare it to MTA Long Island Bus.

This is where the routes are now (each category is in order of total cost per passenger from 2011 Long Island Bus stats):

Discontinued:

N14
N73/N74
N81
N62
N51
N50
N08
N45
N36
N46/N47


Reduced Service:

N80 - Reduced to Weekday, No Midday Service
N26 - 2 additional trips added during morning/afternoon - still Weekday, Rush hour only
N19 - Reduced to Weekday, No Midday Service
N27 - Reduced to Weekday, hourly service (from half-hourly)
N78/N79 - Only between Plainview/Huntington and Hicksville. Sunday service removed. No midday weekday service.
N20/N21 - N20 split in 2 sub-routes (with timing changeS). N21 reduced to weekday rush-hour only.
N02 - Reduced to Weekday Elmont Flexi (Minibus) service
N01 - Jamaica served weekday rush hours only, westbound in the morning and eastbound in the evening.
N23 - Weekday midday service is now hourly (from half-hourly).
N70/N71/N72 - No longer serves Babylon or Newsday in Melville, N70/72 shortened to Farmingdale State College
N54/N55 - No longer serves Amityville. Weekend service reduced to between 45 min and 1 hour.
N33 - No Sunday service anymore. Saturday service reduced from 22 trips each way to 15 trips.
N16 - Reduced to Weekday, some trips operate as express between NCC and Hempstead


Major Service Changes:

N24 - Now serves Old Country Rd between Roosevelt Field/Hicksville. No longer serves East Meadow. Service level about the same as previously.
N22/N22A - N22A discontinued. N22 Limited created in 2012 but replaced with N22 Express. 10 additional trips added on weekdays each way.
N04 - Shortened runs to Rockville Centre have been converted into full runs. Some rush-hour runs converted into new N4 Express.
N06 - N6 Limited replaced with N6 Express service (some with articulated buses). Stop reduction is planned for Hempstead Tpke.
N40/N41 - Now operates on a schedule-less model with frequency of service varying between 10-15 min on weekdays.


Small adjustments if any (includes timing changes without major reduction/addition of runs/stops):

N88 - Similar service levels as LIB during the Summer
N57 - Similar service levels as LIB
N25 - Similar service levels as LIB
N58 - Similar service levels as LIB
N15 - Some weekday trips added. Mineola Intermodal Center only served during rush hours.
N35 - Similar service levels as LIB
N43 - Similar service levels as LIB
N48/N49 - Similar service levels as LIB (a few trips have been added on weekdays/weekends)
N31 - Similar service levels as LIB
N32 - Similar service levels as LIB


NOTES:

- In 2011, the N40/41 was listed as the only profitable route for the 2.25 fare at the time.

- The total ridership in 2011 under Long Island Bus was 101,981 weekday riders. In 2018, the total ridership for Nassau Inter-County Express was 77,333 weekday riders.

- Between 2012 and 2019, all Orion V CNG buses were sold for scrap and replaced with Orion VII 3Gs as well as New Flyer XN40s and XN60s.

- An N17 route was initially created between Rockville Centre and Hempstead. That has since been replaced with a rush-hour only Minibus shuttle.

- The N87 was brought back for Summer 2013 and Summer 2014 between Hicksville and Jones Beach but has since been discontinued again.


Some Data References:

Latest ridership data from NICE: https://www.nicebus.com/NICE/media/assets/2016-TITLE-6-SURVEY-final-Copy.pdf
NICE's Vision: https://www.nicebus.com/NICE/media/nicebus-pdfs/Let-s-Go-V2-Final-May-2018.pdf
NICE 2018 Ridership: https://www.transit.dot.gov/sites/fta.dot.gov/files/transit_agency_profile_doc/2018/20206.pdf


Topics for discussion:

1) Looking back, do you agree with the routes that have been discontinued?
1a) Do you think the money spent for any of the routes could/should have been spent elsewhere by LIB/NICE?

2) Do you think the removal of the lower-performing routes has resulted in improvements within other parts of the system?
2a) Have you seen any improvement in reliability of service (on-time performance, buses running smoothly without breakdowns, etc) with the reductions that have been made? ie. Do the reductions make up for anything?

3) If NICE had to make more service reductions, where would you expect them to make that?
3a) Separately, if reductions had to be made, where would you choose to reduce service costs?

4) Overall, taking into account the reductions versus provided service levels, do you think NICE has proven that they can stretch a dollar more than MTA Long Island Bus could?

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5 hours ago, User said:

As we come up on 8 years of Veolia running Nassau's bus system, I thought we could take a look back at what has changed over this time and compare it to MTA Long Island Bus.


 

1) Looking back, do you agree with the routes that have been discontinued?
1a) Do you think the money spent for any of the routes could/should have been spent elsewhere by LIB/NICE?

2) Do you think the removal of the lower-performing routes has resulted in improvements within other parts of the system?
2a) Have you seen any improvement in reliability of service (on-time performance, buses running smoothly without breakdowns, etc) with the reductions that have been made? ie. Do the reductions make up for anything?

3) If NICE had to make more service reductions, where would you expect them to make that?
3a) Separately, if reductions had to be made, where would you choose to reduce service costs?

4) Overall, taking into account the reductions versus provided service levels, do you think NICE has proven that they can stretch a dollar more than MTA Long Island Bus could?

N14- This route was bound to be eliminated. People in RVC simply gotten richer and no longer took the bus. As recent as 2009 believe it or not this route was full time from 6AM-9PM. Ridership on each bus was never more than 2 person and even lower on the shuttle NICE later brought back.
N73/N74/N81- These routes didn't carry much passengers, but there was always a decent load (5-10 passenger but no more). Never understood what took NICE so long to cut Saturday service on these routes. I always felt like these routes does much better closer to Hicksville than their southern terminus. From what I can tell, the middle class that took the bus back in 73 no longer does in 2017. I however would like the n73 to comeback though, as network coverage.
N62- Never took it personally, but based on observation, not much people rode it, both ARHC and S Freeport Loop
N51- Ridership seems to be declining since MTA days. Towards the end, this bus was mostly used by NCC students. Similar to N80/81/73/74, Middle class stopped riding it to the train station
N50- Half of the route was covered by the n49. I would argue that it also was the busiest part of the route too
N08- Hardly anybody ride this bus, for those who did, they have other choices they could take (n25, n1, Elmont Flexi)
N45- N43 killed this route. Most of its ridership came from Uniondale Ave. No one took it along Camp, Beltagh, to Bellmore. Ironically, n43 service was increased under NICE
N36- Haven't rode on this route, but from what I can tell not much people did either
N46/N47- I always felt like these two routes exist to give Front St more service instead of actually functioning independently. 

 

Reductions
N26 - 2 additional trips added during morning/afternoon - still Weekday, Rush hour only- Actually its 6 trips PM added and 4 trip AM added.
N19 - Reduced to Weekday, No Midday Service- A shame really, I felt like the n19 could have been one of NICE's strong routes had they not cut it so much
N27 - Reduced to Weekday, hourly service (from half-hourly)- Most passengers seems to get of in Roslyn/Glen Cove anyways, NICE should've rerouted the 21 along Glen Cove Rd
N78/N79 - Only between Plainview/Huntington and Hicksville. Sunday service removed. No midday weekday service. I think this route should be restored. For network coverage
N20/N21 - N20 split in 2 sub-routes (with timing changeS). N21 reduced to weekday rush-hour only. I actually like this arrangement, I remember the old n20 and how late the buses could be 
N01 - Jamaica served weekday rush hours only, westbound in the morning and eastbound in the evening. With articulated buses on the 6, I could see it going away
N70/N71/N72 - No longer serves Babylon or Newsday in Melville, N70/72 shortened to Farmingdale State College- Farmingdale State College was the big winner here.  Massive service increase Weekday and Weekends. I still think there is potential for an n95 style service for all the office parks around route 110.
N54/N55 - No longer serves Amityville. Weekend service reduced to between 45 min and 1 hour. What sucks the most is that the connection to S1 is now not available anymore. SCT could really extend that route to Sunrise Mall
N33 - No Sunday service anymore. Saturday service reduced from 22 trips each way to 15 trips.
N16 - Reduced to Weekday, some trips operate as express between NCC and Hempstead- NICE has definitely been trying harder to attract NCC kids than MTA has. They tried everything 

 

Major Service Changes:

N24 - Now serves Old Country Rd between Roosevelt Field/Hicksville. No longer serves East Meadow. Service level about the same as previously.- I think its a plus, passengers no longer have to transfer between the untimed n24 to the n78/79.
N22/N22A - N22A discontinued. N22 Limited created in 2012 but replaced with N22 Express. 10 additional trips added on weekdays each way.- I still feel like n22A was the best arrangement, but I guess NICE felt like that those Mineola short terms and Express runs allow them to balance ridership. Saturday service was improved from every 30 under LIB to every 20 min now.

Small adjustments if any (includes timing changes without major reduction/addition of runs/stops):

N88 - Similar service levels as LIB during the Summer - Weekday service was cut back to every 60 min and theater service restored
N58 - Similar service levels as LIB - Service after 9pm was discontinued weekdays and weekends
N43 - Similar service levels as LIB- Service was increased from LIB days of every 45 min to every 15-20 min rush hours in addition to being rerouted along Babylon Tpk. 
N48/N49 - Similar service levels as LIB (a few trips have been added on weekdays/weekends)- I believe weekend service was reduced from every 60 min to every 90 min
 

NOTES:

- The total ridership in 2011 under Long Island Bus was 101,981 weekday riders. In 2018, the total ridership for Nassau Inter-County Express was 77,333 weekday riders.- Its expected. Back in 2011 MTA expected to lose 25,000 from the 2011 service cuts. Now that NICE is mostly done, it should be just right.

Discussions

1) See above

1a) I believe the n17 should be cut. Shouldn't run a whole bus to serve one unique destination.

2) No those those years btw 2012-2017 NICE was in a fight for their life. I think now that NICE have stabilized, I want to see what they will do

2a) Breakdowns have gotten much better this year than prev years dating back to LIB. Some of it because of the new fleet, some because NICE actually spend more money maintaining the fleet

3) n17, Elmont Flexi (isn't much of a flexi), n21, n1 south of Green Acres, the rest of n19 (unfortunately), n57, n80

Service reductions- n70/71/72, n20H, 

Weekend elimination- n33, n1

4) Definitely. MTA received 9 million of discretionary spending in the last years of LIB. NICE I believe still don't have that money. It means that If NICE had the 9 million MTA had, NONE of the service would've been cut.

One of the major losses I think with NICE is clockface scheduling. I guess whether makes them more efficient matters, but it still sucks having to rely on my app to know the schedule

To end, I think NICE Has done a really good job despite both politicians and county residents not giving a damn

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N20: needs to go back to one Full Route one seat ride From Flushing to Hicksville or have them skip Great Neck station, I do not like it as a Split Route. To get of the bus and get on another bus continuing the same route.

N19 and either N70/N71/N72: need to serve Babylon again. 

N78/N79: should restore Midday service do not leave riders stranded during those hours.

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n1: needs to run full time to Jamaica and Five Towns Shopping Center. It's mainly used by people living in Far Rockaway to get to Green Acres and Valley Stream/Elmont bound people to reach the mall. 

n6: Midday Service reduced to 15 minutes since it's not that bus during the midday and needs help in the evening

n22: 24hr service between Hicksville and Jamaica, skipping Roosvelt Field Mall during overnight hours. Incready Weekday MiddayOff Peak Service from 30 to 20.

n54/55: moved to Amityville LIRR for the benefit of N.Amityville residents

n72: restore Babylon Service to all day with hourly overnight service to 110. Make it 24  hrs.

n20: Recombined: Manohraven or Roslyn Industrial Park-Flushing as short turns, Hicksville all times

n21: Flushing Service Restored to help the n20 on Northern Blvd

n3: Make it a Green Acres-Hempstead route via Franklin Ave and Hempstead Turnpike.

n51: Restored as a shuttle with a stop at MSK

n50: Restored to serve Newbridge Road South of NY-24

n45: Restored, use Bablyon Turnpike to reach Bellmore instead of Park Ave

Mercy Medical Shuttle: Extended to Baldwin Silver Lake

n78: Roosevelt Field-PLainview via Westbury Ave/JohnStreet and Old Country Road

These are my suggestions.

Edited by NY1635

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15 hours ago, Mtatransit said:

N62- Never took it personally, but based on observation, not much people rode it, both ARHC and S Freeport Loop

Which route eliminations did you take personally?

 

11 hours ago, bwwnyc123 said:

N19 and either N70/N71/N72: need to serve Babylon again. 

You don't think SCT as it stands now covers that gap?

 

11 hours ago, NY1635 said:

n1: needs to run full time to Jamaica and Five Towns Shopping Center. It's mainly used by people living in Far Rockaway to get to Green Acres and Valley Stream/Elmont bound people to reach the mall. 

n6: Midday Service reduced to 15 minutes since it's not that bus during the midday and needs help in the evening

n22: 24hr service between Hicksville and Jamaica, skipping Roosvelt Field Mall during overnight hours. Incready Weekday MiddayOff Peak Service from 30 to 20.

n54/55: moved to Amityville LIRR for the benefit of N.Amityville residents

n72: restore Babylon Service to all day with hourly overnight service to 110. Make it 24  hrs.

n20: Recombined: Manohraven or Roslyn Industrial Park-Flushing as short turns, Hicksville all times

n21: Flushing Service Restored to help the n20 on Northern Blvd

n3: Make it a Green Acres-Hempstead route via Franklin Ave and Hempstead Turnpike.

n51: Restored as a shuttle with a stop at MSK

n50: Restored to serve Newbridge Road South of NY-24

n45: Restored, use Bablyon Turnpike to reach Bellmore instead of Park Ave

Mercy Medical Shuttle: Extended to Baldwin Silver Lake

n78: Roosevelt Field-PLainview via Westbury Ave/JohnStreet and Old Country Road

These are my suggestions.

With all of these suggestions, I'm curious to know your answers to the below questions from the original post:

 

2) Do you think the removal of the lower-performing routes has resulted in improvements within other parts of the system?
2a) Have you seen any improvement in reliability of service (on-time performance, buses running smoothly without breakdowns, etc) with the reductions that have been made? ie. Do the reductions make up for anything?

3) If NICE had to make more service reductions, where would you expect them to make that?
3a) Separately, if reductions had to be made, where would you choose to reduce service costs?

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53 minutes ago, User said:

Which route eliminations did you take personally?

 

You don't think SCT as it stands now covers that gap?

 

With all of these suggestions, I'm curious to know your answers to the below questions from the original post:

 

2) Do you think the removal of the lower-performing routes has resulted in improvements within other parts of the system?
2a) Have you seen any improvement in reliability of service (on-time performance, buses running smoothly without breakdowns, etc) with the reductions that have been made? ie. Do the reductions make up for anything?

3) If NICE had to make more service reductions, where would you expect them to make that?
3a) Separately, if reductions had to be made, where would you choose to reduce service costs?

The n19 gets decent ridership among people going thru Sunrise Mall to get to Babylon. Same goes for n72. SCT don't want to do the transfer at Farmingdale State College and the n72 ends at the Overpass on 110

The n73 and n50 are used by people travelling North to Hickville and don't want to transfer to the n49.

The n36 is used by Freeport and Baldwin residents living near the n35

The Mercy Medical Shuttle can move to Baldwin Silver Lake since it's used by people tired of waiting for the 16 at RVC or along S.Franklin

The n70/72's ridership mainly comes from HTC, NUMC, East Meadow Shopping Center, Newbridge Road, and 110. 

Edited by NY1635

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13 hours ago, bwwnyc123 said:

N20: needs to go back to one Full Route one seat ride From Flushing to Hicksville or have them skip Great Neck station, I do not like it as a Split Route. To get of the bus and get on another bus continuing the same route.

N78/N79: should restore Midday service do not leave riders stranded during those hours.

It's mainly seniors and hosptial workers that take the n78/n79 and are too stubborn to take the n22/24 into Jamaica

The n20 runs express between Bway Mall and Rosyln Clock Tower with only stops at the Colleges. If it's that hard then let the n27 make a stop at NYiT and CWPost for people trying to get down to Mineola or Hempstead. The n20 gets rougly 7000 riders and the n25 gets roughly 3300. The n23 and n27 get the same amount of 1500-1800 among restuarant workers in the North Shore, or Industrial Park. IIRC, TONH had their own shuttle along Port Washington on a Gillig bus before NICE ran shuttle service up there.

 

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33 minutes ago, NY1635 said:

The n19 gets decent ridership among people going thru Sunrise Mall to get to Babylon. Same goes for n72. SCT don't want to do the transfer at Farmingdale State College and the n72 ends at the Overpass on 110

The n73 and n50 are used by people travelling North to Hickville and don't want to transfer to the n49.

The n36 is used by Freeport and Baldwin residents living near the n35

The Mercy Medical Shuttle can move to Baldwin Silver Lake since it's used by people tired of waiting for the 16 at RVC or along S.Franklin

The n70/72's ridership mainly comes from HTC, NUMC, East Meadow Shopping Center, Newbridge Road, and 110. 

Again, I ask. Can you please answer the below questions:

 

2) Do you think the removal of the lower-performing routes has resulted in improvements within other parts of the system?
2a) Have you seen any improvement in reliability of service (on-time performance, buses running smoothly without breakdowns, etc) with the reductions that have been made? ie. Do the reductions make up for anything?

3) If NICE had to make more service reductions, where would you expect them to make that?
3a) Separately, if reductions had to be made, where would you choose to reduce service costs?

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27 minutes ago, User said:

Again, I ask. Can you please answer the below questions:

 

2) Do you think the removal of the lower-performing routes has resulted in improvements within other parts of the system?
2a) Have you seen any improvement in reliability of service (on-time performance, buses running smoothly without breakdowns, etc) with the reductions that have been made? ie. Do the reductions make up for anything?

3) If NICE had to make more service reductions, where would you expect them to make that?
3a) Separately, if reductions had to be made, where would you choose to reduce service costs?

The buses are on time and running smoothly thanks to dispatch at HTC and Freeport, even more so after PinePower stopped reporting on them.

I would reduce the n48 to Weekdays Only. Its mainly used by people getting to the Correctional Facility and Family Court, both aren't open in Weekends and everyone goes to the First District Court in Hempstead. Hempstead is government center where everyone does business. 

I would also reduce the n54 to Weekdays Only since People use the n55 more and take the n71 as an alternative to Hempstead of the n54 sped off. Saw nurses at Sunrise Mall complain about the n54 speeding away and not turning around back at the Mall. I think they came from Southside Hospital.

The only other route I can think of to reduce is the n78 since nobody uses it. People want the n79 during midday and weekends to get into Huntington, Mineola, and Syosset and not pay the cab fare. All Island charges $20 to get from Mineola to Hicksville.

The reductions helped the n40/41 and n43 immensely. Both are running smoothly and don't see much cabs waiting outside. I'd do away with that n43 short turn at Bab Turnpike/Nassau Road and extend it over to MSK at Uniondale for hospital workers and UPS Workers.

Would also make the n16 24 hrs since it's the baby mama express. Just have it run between HTC and RVC since there's a lack of routes traveling South of HTC after dark. The county don't want to do it cause S.Franklin with where a lot of OGs living off the MLK houses and Projects near Graham. 

Edited by NY1635

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3 hours ago, User said:

Which route eliminations did you take personally?

I took all the routes except for n14, 62 and 36, some more than others. 

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1 hour ago, NY1635 said:

The buses are on time and running smoothly thanks to dispatch at HTC and Freeport, even more so after PinePower stopped reporting on them.

I would reduce the n48 to Weekdays Only. Its mainly used by people getting to the Correctional Facility and Family Court, both aren't open in Weekends and everyone goes to the First District Court in Hempstead. Hempstead is government center where everyone does business. 

I would also reduce the n54 to Weekdays Only since People use the n55 more and take the n71 as an alternative to Hempstead of the n54 sped off. Saw nurses at Sunrise Mall complain about the n54 speeding away and not turning around back at the Mall. I think they came from Southside Hospital.

The only other route I can think of to reduce is the n78 since nobody uses it. People want the n79 during midday and weekends to get into Huntington, Mineola, and Syosset and not pay the cab fare. All Island charges $20 to get from Mineola to Hicksville.

The reductions helped the n40/41 and n43 immensely. Both are running smoothly and don't see much cabs waiting outside. I'd do away with that n43 short turn at Bab Turnpike/Nassau Road and extend it over to MSK at Uniondale for hospital workers and UPS Workers.

Would also make the n16 24 hrs since it's the baby mama express. Just have it run between HTC and RVC since there's a lack of routes traveling South of HTC after dark. The county don't want to do it cause S.Franklin with where a lot of OGs living off the MLK houses and Projects near Graham. 

n78 is used during rush hours to alleviate loads along Old Country Rd. I wouldn't say it isn't used

 

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1) From firsthand experience, splitting the n20 into n20G/H (does this count as a reduction?) and truncating the n21 to Great Neck-Glen Cove seems to have helped out the Northern Boulevard corridor a lot. A 20-minute combined frequency on the n20/21 pre-2016 was enough to get everyone on-board, but any slight lateness in departing out of Flushing, the bus was guaranteed to be SRO out of the first stop. Splitting the route so that Flushing to Great Neck could have one frequency & Great Neck to Hicksville having a different frequency helped balance out the route quite well, by not having one route cover too much distance, having sensible run-times put into each half of the route split, and better distributing service where it's needed.

Once every 15 minutes between Flushing & Great Neck feels a lot less stuffy than the previous 20-minute headway (that probably might also be because splitting the route in half drove some of the ridership away). The unbalanced 20/40 minute spacing in n20 buses between Roslyn & Hicksville (due to needing to fit in the 60-minute headway n21 so that combined they had a 20-minute headway west of Roslyn) created bunching in the n20 buses (and that's not even considering the insufficient runtime).

Discontinuing the n20L (because of the split) most likely drove previous riders away (presumably having them gravitate more towards the n22/24), since not having to serve Great Neck LIRR or downtown Roslyn saved precious runtime, and particularly helped buses to/from Hicksville avoid traffic backups that tend to accumulate downhill going past Roslyn Clock Tower during the PM Rush (now the n20H has to suffer instead).

2) From what I've heard, effectively "eliminating" the n72 supposedly has had people flocking towards the n71, since they would now need to take that route to Sunrise Mall, then transfer to an SCT route to continue eastwards towards Babylon.

2A) Reiterating the point earlier about splitting the n20, doing so improved reliability on both splits (plus more trips going later into the night have gradually been added over the years on the n20G/H from what I've noticed).

Eliminating the n22A was probably for the best. I've taken it a few times out of RF, and those trips never get crowded, since they avoid two major ridership generators: Hicksville & Mineola Intermodal. As long as the buses freed up from eliminating the n22A have been put to good use elsewhere, I don't see the harm.

3) All these years, seeing route after route get eliminated throughout 2016 & 2017, I expected the n26 to go at some point. The fact that it's held on for this long impresses me. I have to imagine eliminating the route now would probably result in the n20G, n22, n24, and n25 getting overwhelmed.

3A) I've ridden the n20H enough times over the years to say this much. It really does not need 30-minute headways. By the time the n20H gets past Manhasset/Plandome, there's maybe 20 (if that) people on the bus at most. Weekday evening trips get even less people than that. Older schedules on the n20/21 (dating about 2014 or so) show hourly headways on weekdays between Roslyn & Hicksville on the n20 back then. I probably wouldn't want to inconvenience the many college students that need the n20H during the school year, but considering NICE can easily have one service pattern/schedule during the Summer, then a new one in the Fall after, I would consider cutting the n20H to hourly headways outside of weekday rush hours during the Summer, then reverting back to half-hourly headways once the new school year kicks in.

4) It's honestly a mixed feeling for me. I feel like because the cuts have become pretty much a norm in NICE bus, people are losing faith in getting around in Nassau County period, and thus general ridership continues to dwindle (thus warranting more cuts; see the snowball effect here?).

-----

Misc. Thoughts & Suggestions

n1 -- I feel like this is more or less a Nassau County-owned competitor to the Q5/Q85 (both of which I've seen pretty packed at the height of rush). I think, if this route were to be extended back to Jamaica full-time (possibly extended even beyond 165th Street terminal), it would be able to steal some of the Q5/85 load, once people realize it's closed-door behavior in Queens is arguably faster (or not, the route's pretty lengthy at needing an hour plus to go from Jamaica to Hewlett via Elmont, Valley Stream, and Green Acres), and possibly relieve the n6 along their shared routing from Jamaica to Elmont.

Now, chiming in with NY1635's suggestion for the n1...perhaps the n1 could be rerouted away from Hewlett, by having it cross Gibson LIRR, and follow the Q111's Cedarhurst-bound routing on Mill Road & Peninsula Boulevard towards Five Towns Shopping Center. The question now is, where would be a good place to terminate the n1 (to at least maintain a connection to the n31/n32, in addition to having a new connection to the Q113/Q114) out there?

n2 -- If something like a Flexi has a higher ridership than full-blown bus routes (i.e.; n78/n79), I feel like this may as well be reverted to the former bus route it once was. I would personally not do any sort of loop-route configuration, but I would at least have it start/end in Jamaica (which iirc the Flexi currently does not).

n19 -- With much of the southeast portion of the NICE Bus Network no longer around, the n19 is currently the only route going anywhere near Merrick, Bellmore, and Wantagh, all of which used to have as much as NINE routes combined back in the day (n45, n46, n50, n51, n52, n53, n73, n74, n87). Clearly NICE Link has failed (NICE has silently phased it out). Something needs to return. Midday/evening service on the n19 (possibly reinstating service to Babylon) would be a good start.

n20 -- In the hopes of rekindling some of the lost ridership on the Northern Boulevard corridor, I would pitch the idea of bringing back some semblance of an unsplit n20...at least where it would be most fitting: Bringing back the n20L during weekday rush hours for one-seat service between all points west of Great Neck & all points east of Great Neck. The purpose of having it be exclusively n20L is to balance out the runtime/distance covered to compensate for how apart Flushing & Hicksville are for terminii (compared to Jamaica to Hicksville). Making it go through Great Neck & Roslyn, especially in the height of rush hour, would probably make the route/trip/runtime too long to run sensibly without issue.

n27 -- I've heard usage of this route on weekends was pretty decent, so having no weekend service on this route may probably not be in the best of interests.

n45 -- It's funny, the n45 was around long before the n43 came in & pushed the n45 into obsolescence. Would I bring this back? No clue...

n48/n49 -- The current headways on this routing pair looks pretty barren & barebones, considering it goes from one vital transfer hub to another. I think when the n46/n47 were eliminated, the right course of action should've been to increase service on the n48 or n49 to compensate. It's never too late to start.

n54/n55 -- Comparing against other routing pairs (n31/n32, n48/n49, n70/n71), the amount of service here just feels so unevenly distributed, particularly during late mornings. I would at least redo the schedules to balance out departures on this pair of routes.

n50/n73 -- Right now, there is no direct way to go straight down south from Hicksville to anywhere along the southern shore (as it stands, going from Hicksville to let's say Jones Beach takes three buses nowadays, when back then, it used to only require one when the n87 was still around). I wouldn't bring back everything, but at least one of the Hicksville-South Shore routes does need to make a comeback, even on just hourly headways. Key phrase: "Network Coverage"

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2 hours ago, NY1635 said:

It's mainly seniors and hosptial workers that take the n78/n79 and are too stubborn to take the n22/24 into Jamaica

The n20 runs express between Bway Mall and Rosyln Clock Tower with only stops at the Colleges. If it's that hard then let the n27 make a stop at NYiT and CWPost for people trying to get down to Mineola or Hempstead. The n20 gets rougly 7000 riders and the n25 gets roughly 3300. The n23 and n27 get the same amount of 1500-1800 among restuarant workers in the North Shore, or Industrial Park. IIRC, TONH had their own shuttle along Port Washington on a Gillig bus before NICE ran shuttle service up there.

 

I feel like having the n27 having to sidetrack east to NYIT/LIU (while possibly helpful, since Glen Cove Road/Northern Boulevard is a well-used transfer point when timed correctly) seems kinda out of the way. If anything, I'd probably consider extending the n35 (which at least operates everyday unlike the n27) northward from it's current terminus in Westbury (at Rockland Street) up Post Avenue, then Wheatley Lane, and through Whitney Lane to help it reach NYIT/LIU.

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15 hours ago, NY1635 said:

n1: needs to run full time to Jamaica and Five Towns Shopping Center. It's mainly used by people living in Far Rockaway to get to Green Acres and Valley Stream/Elmont bound people to reach the mall. 

n3: Make it a Green Acres-Hempstead route via Franklin Ave and Hempstead Turnpike.

n1 -- This could help a lot, since the Q114 tends to pick up a lot of people at the Five Towns Shopping Center to go to Far Rockaway (assuming the dollar vans don't get there first), and is bombarded by traffic along Rockaway Turnpike. Plus, having a route to/from Far Rockaway that traffic issues along the narrow Central Avenue & busy Lynbrook Five Corners (both of which hurt the n31/n32's on-time performance). The only thing is, the n1's current run-time between Jamaica & Hewlett already stands at a touch above one hour. The extension would be a miracle...but the new routing might possibly become too long.

n3 -- I think many years ago (the MSBA days possibly), the n3 actually did??? go from Green Acres to Hempstead via Franklin Square. I've seen a few old maps here & there, but the information isn't too clear/memorable. Is there a demand for it nowadays? Who knows?

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5 hours ago, Mtatransit said:

n78 is used during rush hours to alleviate loads along Old Country Rd. I wouldn't say it isn't used

 

the n78/79 had a combined ridership of roughly 1,200-1,600 according to Newsday. 78/79 got restored cause there's no alternative into Suffolk aside from the Main Line.

the n36 had 420 riders daily

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On 12/10/2019 at 12:58 AM, Axis said:

 

n54/n55 -- Comparing against other routing pairs (n31/n32, n48/n49, n70/n71), the amount of service here just feels so unevenly distributed, particularly during late mornings. I would at least redo the schedules to balance out departures on this pair of routes.

The n54/55 is used more by people living off Jerusalem Avenue and N.Amityville Residents. The only way to balance out the departure is to revert it back to it's own routing: n54-Amityville LIRR, n55 Amityville Part Time-Sunrise Mall off peak. 

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Definitely agree with making some n20 trips unsplit and run as an express to Flushing, it would increase some reliability because when one part of the line fails to show which happened to me recently...about 2 weeks ago, you don't just leave passengers stranded. The current N20G frequencies back to Flushing around 6-8 PM are also lackluster to be honest, especially when comparing it to the opposite directions service at 15 min intervals. Saw at least 5 Not in Service buses passing by on Middle Country while waiting for an N20G back to Flushing. The way it's working currently during rush hours is N20H dumps almost all of its passengers at the gas stations and the N20G takes around 5 mins, pulls out and makes a right turn onto Northern with the bus already AT LEAST half full to seated capacity. 

One person got so infuriated that NO BUS CAME WITHIN THE SPAN OF 6:30-8:00PM that she threw herself not once but TWICE in front of a bus to get it to stop. The first guy was not in service but the second guy was in service but was gonna pass us up cause his bus was SRO. Police had to be called but everything was resolved peacefully (no arrests made) and 5 mins later, the third bus showed and ended up passing the second guy a few stops down the line.

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On 12/17/2019 at 3:59 PM, danielhg121 said:

Definitely agree with making some n20 trips unsplit and run as an express to Flushing, it would increase some reliability because when one part of the line fails to show which happened to me recently...about 2 weeks ago, you don't just leave passengers stranded. The current N20G frequencies back to Flushing around 6-8 PM are also lackluster to be honest, especially when comparing it to the opposite directions service at 15 min intervals. Saw at least 5 Not in Service buses passing by on Middle Country while waiting for an N20G back to Flushing. The way it's working currently during rush hours is N20H dumps almost all of its passengers at the gas stations and the N20G takes around 5 mins, pulls out and makes a right turn onto Northern with the bus already AT LEAST half full to seated capacity. 

One person got so infuriated that NO BUS CAME WITHIN THE SPAN OF 6:30-8:00PM that she threw herself not once but TWICE in front of a bus to get it to stop. The first guy was not in service but the second guy was in service but was gonna pass us up cause his bus was SRO. Police had to be called but everything was resolved peacefully (no arrests made) and 5 mins later, the third bus showed and ended up passing the second guy a few stops down the line.

It takes the n20 two hours to travel between Hicksville and Flushing.

The n22 takes 90 minutes and n24 takes 98 minutes between Hicksville and Jamaica.

NICE would have to bring the n20x run time to 90 minutes to work.

I found that new trip planner from the MTA website and used it to look up the travel time for NICE routes.

The n6's runtime now clocks 70 minutes

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21 minutes ago, NY1635 said:

It takes the n20 two hours to travel between Hicksville and Flushing.

The n22 takes 90 minutes and n24 takes 98 minutes between Hicksville and Jamaica.

NICE would have to bring the n20x run time to 90 minutes to work.

I found that new trip planner from the MTA website and used it to look up the travel time for NICE routes.

The n6's runtime now clocks 70 minutes

N20 - Main St is further west than the Jamaica Bus terminal, and the route's longest segment is in Queens, the worst part of any NICE route due to the numerous signals,  intentionally timed to stop traffic every 3 signals, 25 mph speed limit that the numerous TLC plated vehicles make sure to adhere to and throttle the entire thoroughfare.  Double parking, motorists making slow right turns and slow left turns blocking thru lanes, it's horrible. 

N6 - run time used to be about 55 mins right?

 

 

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2 hours ago, NY1635 said:

It takes the n20 two hours to travel between Hicksville and Flushing.

The n22 takes 90 minutes and n24 takes 98 minutes between Hicksville and Jamaica.

NICE would have to bring the n20x run time to 90 minutes to work.

Not necessarily, the only reason someone would ride the full n20X would be to go to Flushing. The 22 and 24 only go to jamaica, so if you want an accurate comparison, add in the walking transfer + ride time of the q44+ (or q17 if you prefer) up to flushing...

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On 12/19/2019 at 3:31 PM, N6 Limited said:

N20 - Main St is further west than the Jamaica Bus terminal, and the route's longest segment is in Queens, the worst part of any NICE route due to the numerous signals,  intentionally timed to stop traffic every 3 signals, 25 mph speed limit that the numerous TLC plated vehicles make sure to adhere to and throttle the entire thoroughfare.  Double parking, motorists making slow right turns and slow left turns blocking thru lanes, it's horrible. 

N6 - run time used to be about 55 mins right?

 

 

In the n6's case, it gets slowed down by traffic on Cross Island Parkway and the sheer amount of people getting off around Belmont Park and Meacham. 

The n20 just has a lot of mileage between Roslyn Clock Tower and Hicksville where it doesn't pick up any passengers till Broadway Mall in both directions. 

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On 12/10/2019 at 12:58 AM, Axis said:

1) From firsthand experience, splitting the n20 into n20G/H (does this count as a reduction?) and truncating the n21 to Great Neck-Glen Cove seems to have helped out the Northern Boulevard corridor a lot. A 20-minute combined frequency on the n20/21 pre-2016 was enough to get everyone on-board, but any slight lateness in departing out of Flushing, the bus was guaranteed to be SRO out of the first stop. Splitting the route so that Flushing to Great Neck could have one frequency & Great Neck to Hicksville having a different frequency helped balance out the route quite well, by not having one route cover too much distance, having sensible run-times put into each half of the route split, and better distributing service where it's needed.

Once every 15 minutes between Flushing & Great Neck feels a lot less stuffy than the previous 20-minute headway (that probably might also be because splitting the route in half drove some of the ridership away). The unbalanced 20/40 minute spacing in n20 buses between Roslyn & Hicksville (due to needing to fit in the 60-minute headway n21 so that combined they had a 20-minute headway west of Roslyn) created bunching in the n20 buses (and that's not even considering the insufficient runtime).

Discontinuing the n20L (because of the split) most likely drove previous riders away (presumably having them gravitate more towards the n22/24), since not having to serve Great Neck LIRR or downtown Roslyn saved precious runtime, and particularly helped buses to/from Hicksville avoid traffic backups that tend to accumulate downhill going past Roslyn Clock Tower during the PM Rush (now the n20H has to suffer instead).

2) From what I've heard, effectively "eliminating" the n72 supposedly has had people flocking towards the n71, since they would now need to take that route to Sunrise Mall, then transfer to an SCT route to continue eastwards towards Babylon.

2A) Reiterating the point earlier about splitting the n20, doing so improved reliability on both splits (plus more trips going later into the night have gradually been added over the years on the n20G/H from what I've noticed).

Eliminating the n22A was probably for the best. I've taken it a few times out of RF, and those trips never get crowded, since they avoid two major ridership generators: Hicksville & Mineola Intermodal. As long as the buses freed up from eliminating the n22A have been put to good use elsewhere, I don't see the harm.

3) All these years, seeing route after route get eliminated throughout 2016 & 2017, I expected the n26 to go at some point. The fact that it's held on for this long impresses me. I have to imagine eliminating the route now would probably result in the n20G, n22, n24, and n25 getting overwhelmed.

3A) I've ridden the n20H enough times over the years to say this much. It really does not need 30-minute headways. By the time the n20H gets past Manhasset/Plandome, there's maybe 20 (if that) people on the bus at most. Weekday evening trips get even less people than that. Older schedules on the n20/21 (dating about 2014 or so) show hourly headways on weekdays between Roslyn & Hicksville on the n20 back then. I probably wouldn't want to inconvenience the many college students that need the n20H during the school year, but considering NICE can easily have one service pattern/schedule during the Summer, then a new one in the Fall after, I would consider cutting the n20H to hourly headways outside of weekday rush hours during the Summer, then reverting back to half-hourly headways once the new school year kicks in.

4) It's honestly a mixed feeling for me. I feel like because the cuts have become pretty much a norm in NICE bus, people are losing faith in getting around in Nassau County period, and thus general ridership continues to dwindle (thus warranting more cuts; see the snowball effect here?).

-----

Misc. Thoughts & Suggestions

n1 -- I feel like this is more or less a Nassau County-owned competitor to the Q5/Q85 (both of which I've seen pretty packed at the height of rush). I think, if this route were to be extended back to Jamaica full-time (possibly extended even beyond 165th Street terminal), it would be able to steal some of the Q5/85 load, once people realize it's closed-door behavior in Queens is arguably faster (or not, the route's pretty lengthy at needing an hour plus to go from Jamaica to Hewlett via Elmont, Valley Stream, and Green Acres), and possibly relieve the n6 along their shared routing from Jamaica to Elmont.

Now, chiming in with NY1635's suggestion for the n1...perhaps the n1 could be rerouted away from Hewlett, by having it cross Gibson LIRR, and follow the Q111's Cedarhurst-bound routing on Mill Road & Peninsula Boulevard towards Five Towns Shopping Center. The question now is, where would be a good place to terminate the n1 (to at least maintain a connection to the n31/n32, in addition to having a new connection to the Q113/Q114) out there?

n2 -- If something like a Flexi has a higher ridership than full-blown bus routes (i.e.; n78/n79), I feel like this may as well be reverted to the former bus route it once was. I would personally not do any sort of loop-route configuration, but I would at least have it start/end in Jamaica (which iirc the Flexi currently does not).

n19 -- With much of the southeast portion of the NICE Bus Network no longer around, the n19 is currently the only route going anywhere near Merrick, Bellmore, and Wantagh, all of which used to have as much as NINE routes combined back in the day (n45, n46, n50, n51, n52, n53, n73, n74, n87). Clearly NICE Link has failed (NICE has silently phased it out). Something needs to return. Midday/evening service on the n19 (possibly reinstating service to Babylon) would be a good start.

n20 -- In the hopes of rekindling some of the lost ridership on the Northern Boulevard corridor, I would pitch the idea of bringing back some semblance of an unsplit n20...at least where it would be most fitting: Bringing back the n20L during weekday rush hours for one-seat service between all points west of Great Neck & all points east of Great Neck. The purpose of having it be exclusively n20L is to balance out the runtime/distance covered to compensate for how apart Flushing & Hicksville are for terminii (compared to Jamaica to Hicksville). Making it go through Great Neck & Roslyn, especially in the height of rush hour, would probably make the route/trip/runtime too long to run sensibly without issue.

n27 -- I've heard usage of this route on weekends was pretty decent, so having no weekend service on this route may probably not be in the best of interests.

n45 -- It's funny, the n45 was around long before the n43 came in & pushed the n45 into obsolescence. Would I bring this back? No clue...

n48/n49 -- The current headways on this routing pair looks pretty barren & barebones, considering it goes from one vital transfer hub to another. I think when the n46/n47 were eliminated, the right course of action should've been to increase service on the n48 or n49 to compensate. It's never too late to start.

n54/n55 -- Comparing against other routing pairs (n31/n32, n48/n49, n70/n71), the amount of service here just feels so unevenly distributed, particularly during late mornings. I would at least redo the schedules to balance out departures on this pair of routes.

n50/n73 -- Right now, there is no direct way to go straight down south from Hicksville to anywhere along the southern shore (as it stands, going from Hicksville to let's say Jones Beach takes three buses nowadays, when back then, it used to only require one when the n87 was still around). I wouldn't bring back everything, but at least one of the Hicksville-South Shore routes does need to make a comeback, even on just hourly headways. Key phrase: "Network Coverage"

1) I agree, the former N20 was completely unreliable. Buses will routinely come 30-60 min late and bunch together. Ever since they split it, reliability went up.

I would bring back the former n20L as the only service between Hicksville to Flushing and have the local cover Roslyn to Great Neck via Clock Tower during rush hours.

2A) NICE eliminated n22A and replaced it with n22 Short turns ending at Mineola. While I feel like NICE is trying to keep a balance of ridership on local/express. I still feel like most people along Hillside and Willis would prefer Roosevelt Field vs Mineola

3) n26 was actually expanded under NICE. I would expect more service increases in the future.

4) Its the unreliability that killed NICE more than the cuts. Those tight schedules and interlining guarentee drivers would be late. 

 

Regarding rerouting the n1 is there ridership along Pen/Mill Rd? I understand serving Five Town Shopping Center, but is there ridership on the n1 south of Green Acres currently for the transfer to the n31/32?

n19 used to have decent ridership, I feel like the Merrick Rd corrider have potential for every 20 minutes service.

n27 in general most people are going from Roosevelt Field to Glen Cove/Greenvale. There isn't much ridership along Roslyn Rd compared to Willis Ave. I would suggest rerouting n21 via Glen Cove Rd and extending n23 to Roosevelt Field via n27. Transfers would be at Roslyn Clock Tower.

n48/49 I agree. Front St needs more service.

n73/50- I think that should be the n73, the n50 has half the route duplicative with the n49

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3 hours ago, Mtatransit said:

1) I agree, the former N20 was completely unreliable. Buses will routinely come 30-60 min late and bunch together. Ever since they split it, reliability went up.

I would bring back the former n20L as the only service between Hicksville to Flushing and have the local cover Roslyn to Great Neck via Clock Tower during rush hours.

2A) NICE eliminated n22A and replaced it with n22 Short turns ending at Mineola. While I feel like NICE is trying to keep a balance of ridership on local/express. I still feel like most people along Hillside and Willis would prefer Roosevelt Field vs Mineola

3) n26 was actually expanded under NICE. I would expect more service increases in the future.

4) Its the unreliability that killed NICE more than the cuts. Those tight schedules and interlining guarentee drivers would be late. 

 

Regarding rerouting the n1 is there ridership along Pen/Mill Rd? I understand serving Five Town Shopping Center, but is there ridership on the n1 south of Green Acres currently for the transfer to the n31/32?

n19 used to have decent ridership, I feel like the Merrick Rd corrider have potential for every 20 minutes service.

n27 in general most people are going from Roosevelt Field to Glen Cove/Greenvale. There isn't much ridership along Roslyn Rd compared to Willis Ave. I would suggest rerouting n21 via Glen Cove Rd and extending n23 to Roosevelt Field via n27. Transfers would be at Roslyn Clock Tower.

n48/49 I agree. Front St needs more service.

n73/50- I think that should be the n73, the n50 has half the route duplicative with the n49

n1- It picks up at Gibson RR and Broadway at Sheridan. The route goes thru houses south of Green Acres. Five Towns would be an improvement

n27- Send it to Mineola RR. Nobody wants to use Roosevelt Field as a Transfer point. It's more for workers and shoppers.

n19- It needs midday service for people who can't access the RR. It's just that Massapequa hates people from Freeport

n48/49- n48 is getting extra service on the 31st to serve the Correctional Facility. n49 needs to be 40 minutes for E.Meadow Residents on Newbridge Road

n45- needs to use Nassau Road and Bab Turnpike. Park Ave is useless

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On 12/9/2019 at 9:35 PM, User said:

You don't think SCT as it stands now covers that gap?

SCT doesn't have anything along Route 109. Also, even if a rider took the n19/71 to Sunrise Mall for the S20, that ends a lot earlier than the N19/72 used to

On 12/17/2019 at 5:11 AM, NY1635 said:

The n54/55 is used more by people living off Jerusalem Avenue and N.Amityville Residents. The only way to balance out the departure is to revert it back to it's own routing: n54-Amityville LIRR, n55 Amityville Part Time-Sunrise Mall off peak. 

I don't see a point in having them terminate at separate terminals a few blocks away. For all this tight running time and NICE B/Os being known for flooring it, I'm surprised the runtime is 10 minutes just to go a few blocks from Amityville to Sunrise Mall.

On 12/19/2019 at 3:31 PM, N6 Limited said:

N20 - Main St is further west than the Jamaica Bus terminal, and the route's longest segment is in Queens, the worst part of any NICE route due to the numerous signals,  intentionally timed to stop traffic every 3 signals, 25 mph speed limit that the numerous TLC plated vehicles make sure to adhere to and throttle the entire thoroughfare.  Double parking, motorists making slow right turns and slow left turns blocking thru lanes, it's horrible. 

N6 - run time used to be about 55 mins right?

I haven't the N6 in a while, but I don't recall a single trip that took over an hour from Jamaica to Hempstead. 55 minutes sounds about right (if anything, that's still a little on the high side. I've had a decent amount of trips that took around 40 minutes, though that was from 179th Street instead of 165th).

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1 hour ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

SCT doesn't have anything along Route 109. Also, even if a rider took the n19/71 to Sunrise Mall for the S20, that ends a lot earlier than the N19/72 used to

I don't see a point in having them terminate at separate terminals a few blocks away. For all this tight running time and NICE B/Os being known for flooring it, I'm surprised the runtime is 10 minutes just to go a few blocks from Amityville to Sunrise Mall.

I haven't the N6 in a while, but I don't recall a single trip that took over an hour from Jamaica to Hempstead. 55 minutes sounds about right (if anything, that's still a little on the high side. I've had a decent amount of trips that took around 40 minutes, though that was from 179th Street instead of 165th).

IIRC, the S20 uses a smaller arboc buses while the S33 uses a larger bus to carry passengers. Service ends early because Suffolk Transit has less service hours than NICE. 

The n54/55 is the only route that I ever see flooring it from Sunrise Mall to Hempstead Transit Center. To answer your question, Amityville has a Railroad Station while Sunrise is just a mall used as a transfer point.

n72 still exists in the form of Conkin at Route 110. Nassau Patrons are more concerned with connecting with the S1 while Suffolk Patrons don't want to do the transfer at Farmingdale State College. It only takes 40 minutes to travel between Hempstead and Farmingdale, and another 20-30 to get from Farmingdale to Babylon. 

NICE acknowledge that the commute is getting worse on Long Island, which is why they are doing stop rebalancing along Hempstead Turnpike to speed up the n6. They love to remind people that the n6 carries roughly 14,000-18,000 people daily.

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