Mangano, Schmitt & Abrahams Strike Public-Private Partnership for LI Bus
Bi-Partisan Cooperation Results in $32.4 Million Taxpayer Savings Annually
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today recognized Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt and Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams for their bi-partisan cooperation in approving a contract agreement with Veolia Transportation to manage and operate Long Island Bus under a new name – Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) – starting January 1, 2012. The contract maintains current fares, preserves the Able-Ride service area and restores the MTA’s planned route cuts while saving taxpayers over $32.4 million annually, and increasing public transparency and accountability.
County Executive Mangano stated: “Nassau’s public-private partnership with Veolia symbolizes a new, smarter and more efficient way of providing services in Nassau County. Additionally, true cooperation and input from legislators on both sides of the aisle benefited Nassau residents, taxpayers and riders alike and it is this cooperation that I look forward to in 2012. I want to thank Presiding Officer Schmitt and Minority Leader Abrahams for their tireless efforts to strengthen this contract.”
“I am pleased that we are able to continue to provide bus service in Nassau County at a much lower cost to the taxpayer and which freezes current fares,” said Presiding Officer Peter J. Schmitt. “By privatizing bus service we will save our taxpayers over $32 million dollars annually.”
"The entire Democratic caucus is happy to have worked with County Executive Mangano and his administration, as well as the Republican majority, to negotiate a stronger contract with Veolia,” said Minority Leader Elect Kevan Abrahams. “I am especially pleased that the County Executive and Mr. Schmitt agreed with our amendments that provided for better protection for our residents who rely everyday on a quality bus system. Approving the contract with Veolia is a great example of working in a bi-partisan manner and is what the taxpayers expect of us."
Nassau’s NICE Bus plan:
- Saves taxpayers $32.4 million annually when compared to the MTA’s demand. The annual taxpayer direct subsidy will decrease from $9 million to $2.62 million, saving local taxpayers $6.38 million in addition to not having to pay the MTA $26 million a year.
- Maintains current fares for all of 2012. Fares cannot be raised unless approved by a 100% Nassau County Resident Transit Committee rather than the MTA Board with only one Nassau County representative.
- Preserves the Able-Ride service area for 2012, 2013 and 2014, rather than implement the MTA’s proposed cuts.
- Restores the MTA’s proposed route cuts.
- Increases public transparency and oversight through the establishment of a Transit Committee, comprised of public transit professionals accountable to Nassau County, to provide quarterly and annual reviews of the private management and operation of the transit system. The Committee will also hold public hearings on proposed changes to routes and/or fares.
- Insures customer satisfaction through an annual customer scorecard that measures time performance, service reliability, trips that are missed and bus cleanliness.
- Consolidates duplicative work and inefficiencies.