County Comptroller Tries To Keep Buses Rolling On L.I.
NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880) – A plan to save Long Island Bus was put forth Wednesday by Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos.
He is calling on both the county and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to reach a compromise to keep the buses running.
Maragos chided both sides for a stalemate which could end bus service in Jan 2011.
“Both the County as well as the MTA are underfunding and treating our Long Island Bus commuters unfairly,” Maragos said.
The MTA wants to stop paying $27 million in subsidies for the bus but the county is refusing to pick up the tab.
Adam Garfield, who represents a group of Nassau Community College students, said thousands of students can be displaced if an agreement is not reached.
Maragos is suggesting that both sides keep the current subsidies and cut operating expenses by four percent.
A local community activist hailed the plan. “We are the bus riders and we need that bus,” she said.
Long Island Labor leader John Durso also called for a deal.
“There’s 110,000 people that go to work everyday on the Long Island Bus,” he said.
The MTA released the following statement:
“While we’ve offered to allow the County to fulfill its obligation by increasing its contribution in a graduated way over time, the bottom line is that funding LI Bus is the County’s responsibility, and we can no longer afford to bear the County’s responsibility.”