NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Democratic lawmakers made a public plea to Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano Monday to avoid a move to privatize Long Island Bus.
Legislator Kevan Abrahams was joined by transportation advocates in calling for negotiations with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the investment of more money into keeping Long Island Bus running.
“We are calling on the county executive to address the shortfall in funding to Long Island Bus,” Abrahams said. “Mr. County Executive we need you to come to the table.”
1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera with anxious Long Island Bus riders
Last week, the MTA announced that it may eliminate over half of its Long Island Bus routes. The agency said the cuts would save $12.2 million a year.
Mangano had responded by saying he hoped to be able to privatize the bus operations and cut ties with the MTA.
RELATED STORY: MTA May Cut Half Of Long Island’s Bus Service
“We own the buses and the terminal,” Mangano said last Wednesday “We’ll need to select an operator that can best provide a service for them.”
Bus rider Lisa Martin told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera she didn’t care how the bus service was saved as long as it was.
“We need the buses to travel. How are we going to get back and forth to different parts of Long Island and the city,” she asked.
Opponents of the privatization plan contend the county should increase subsidies over a five to seven year period.
“We have not seen one shred of evidence that can basically verify that Long Island Bus can be privatized with a subsidy of $9 million,” Abrahams argued. “The proposal strictly does not work.”
Meanwhile, bus rider Sam Wood said he had his skateboard ready just in case.
“Well I mean, seems like it’ll be the only option won’t it,” he said.