Nassau County Names New Firm To Run Long Island Bus As Critics Protest Move

MINEOLA, N.Y. (1010 WINS) —  The choice to run Long Island Bus is Veolia Transportation, a global firm with ties to former Republican Sen. Alfonse D’Amato.

The plan is for the company to take over Long Island Bus from the MTA next January.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said the goal is to keep fares and bus routes the same — at least for the first year.

“Fares and the routes are the same for, as I understand, for 2012,” he told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.

However critics of the move to privatize are not happy.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera Reports From Mineola

“What happens in 2013? I mean, we don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Ryan Lynch, of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

The organization wants Long Island Bus to stick with the MTA.

County consultant Mark Aesch said Veolia Transportation runs bus networks all over the United States and Canada.

“2.7 billion customers a year. These people know how to do public transportation,” Aesch said.

However, Lynch argued that the deal would mean higher fares and fewer bus routes for Long Island Bus.

“This is an unrealistic plan and it’s been unrealistic since day one,” he said.

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