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Nassau: Private company to run LI Bus

 
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B53RICH




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 214

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:42 pm    Post subject: Nassau: Private company to run LI Bus Reply with quote

Newsday article:

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/nassau-private-company-to-run-li-bus-1.2764369

Nassau: Private company to run LI Bus

Originally published: March 16, 2011 10:07 PM
Updated: March 16, 2011 10:12 PM
By ALFONSO A. CASTILLO alfonso.castillo@newsday.com

Nassau County officials say they will turn over Long Island Bus to a private operator and end their relationship with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has run the financially beleaguered county bus system for nearly four decades.

The announcement came as County Executive Edward Mangano Wednesday outlined cost-cutting measures that include slashing the county's annual contribution to LI Bus by more than half, from $9.1 million to $4.1 million.

Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin said the cut is an indication of the county's plan to privatize its bus operation. Nassau will receive "best final offers" from three bidders on Monday and will choose from them over the next few weeks, he said.

"The county has decided that funding the MTA's bloated bureaucracy is simply unaffordable for taxpayers," said Nevin, adding that the county's goal is to turn over its bus system to a company that can offer better service and be more efficient than the MTA.

The county must give the MTA 60 days' notice before ending its agreement with the transit agency. Nevin said the county will request a date to meet with the MTA to discuss the matter.

"The bus system belongs to Nassau County and we respect the county's decision to privatize the system," MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin said.

Earlier this month, the MTA announced plans to eliminate more than half of LI Bus' 48 lines, blaming inadequate funding of the system's $140-million annual budget from Nassau. The proposed cuts to 27 routes would affect about 16,000 of LI Bus' 100,000 daily riders, and come less than a year after the MTA axed 11 lines.

Advocates for maintaining the MTA's operation of LI Bus have said it is unlikely a private company will be able to offer comparable service for less money. But Nevin said one private bidder has said his company would need just $2.1 million to run the county's system. The county owns the fleet of about 300 buses.

Nevin said it is unclear whether privatization would result in fare hikes or service cuts. The base fare now is $2.25.

Because it is not known when a private operator would take over LI Bus, MTA officials said they still plan to hold a public hearing Wednesday at Hofstra University about the proposed service reductions, which would take effect in the summer.Ryan Lynch,
spokesman for the nonprofit Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said he worries about the lack of accountability by a private operator, which could hike fares, cut service and compromise safety without the checks and balances of the MTA.
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Hart Bus



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Several things can be gleamed from the article if the privatization comes to pass.

1 - All MTA bus management personnel will be reassigned including MR. RT.

2 - If true the buses are owned by Nassau County and not the MTA.

3 - No mention of the fate of drivers and mechanics.

PERSONAL OPINION I wonder if it is a political ploy by Mangano to blame NYS for all his troubles and playing the old "I didn't want to raise taxes, but they made me do it".
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GBL Rebel
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hart Bus wrote:
Several things can be gleamed from the article if the privatization comes to pass.

1 - All MTA bus management personnel will be reassigned including MR. RT.


Willing to bet that MR. RT was replaced at MTAB by NYCT. Seems everytime cuts are going to happen NYCT management invades MTAB. I truly hope it all works out for you Mr. RT, with a positive outcome.


Last edited by GBL Rebel on Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:25 am; edited 2 times in total
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S-60 To Smith Haven Mall




Joined: 29 Nov 2007
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Location: Suffolk County, NY

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hart Bus wrote:


PERSONAL OPINION I wonder if it is a political ploy by Mangano to blame NYS for all his troubles and playing the old "I didn't want to raise taxes, but they made me do it".


Well its not a bad move, paint the Democratic State government as a bully beating down on the lone Republican office holder on Long Island.

Personal Opinion: Yeah, yeah Levy is said to be a Republican, but i bet he's still a Democrat, he just switched because the Democrats wouldn't run him in a primary against Cuomo (even though Levy would have still lost), and is to scared to switch back because it would show that he only thing he wanted was to be governor.
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upperharlemline4ever




Joined: 26 Oct 2007
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Location: New York State

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't the ownership of the buses a bone of contention? I remember reading on this forum that the MTA owned the new Orion VII's that title documents show ownership by the MTA and not Nassau County. Also, when LI Bus firs started, didn't the MTA assign many NYCT buses to LI Bus so that many older buses could be taken out of service as quickly as possible. Can someone enlighten me?
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S-60 To Smith Haven Mall




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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no idea who owns the LIB's Orion VII's, and i gave up trying to find out, because everyone says something different.

As far as when the MTA first took over LIB, i have no clue at all, my guess would be that they brought in buses from the city to add more service, but your reason for why they brought in those buses sounds like a good reason, and could be right.
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RailBus63
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Federal funds were used to buy most, if not all, of the 1700's and 1800's. Those funds tie the use of these buses to Nassau County.
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timecruncher



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is precident for this in other states, notably NCTD in Oceanside, California, all transit in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Reno and large chunks of service in Denver as well as other cities.

Yes, a private company can run the routes, employ whichever operators and mechanics it wishes to keep, and likely does not have to honor union contracts with MTA-employed personnel.

If tiny NCTD (120 buses) can save 600k annually letting First Group run their buses, I'd guess that a private firm running Long Island Bus might save a million or two at best. The only way money is saved in privitization is to slash wages and service, and possibly raise fares.

The contractor(s) don't care. They get a pre-determined amount of money to run the service they bid on. Simple as that.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Everybody in transit is reeling from the double-whammy of stagnant or declining revenues, exploding fuel and benefit costs, as well as unbelievable and unsustainable absenteeism on the part of operating personnel (20% unexpected absenteeism is not unusual in the world of mass transit -- pretty pitiful IMHO). Add to this the fact that many transit management personnel are inexperienced in operations (lots of political appointees) and blissfully unaware that funding just isn't available any more, and you have a formula for disaster!

I predict that we will be seeing more and more of this as time goes on.

timecruncher
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RailBus63
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

$8.6 million to keep MTA operation in 2011 - Nassau to take LI Bus private in January 2012
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timecruncher



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

$8.6 million pulled out of the state's a##, I guess!

Funny how the money was "found" at the last minute. That amounts to $8.6 million more than many states provide for transit state-wide! Does New York actually have this money, or is it simply a matter of "we still have checks left in our checkbook -- we can't be overdrawn..."

Glad to see Nassau is going to try and go through with this.

If they do, more time to smooth out the transition is a good thing, and all of the details can be worked out over a period of time.

The transit industry has no one to blame but itself when ridiculous collective bargaining rules along with high absenteeism and poor operational efficiency combine to make the service unsustainable.

timecruncher
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S-60 To Smith Haven Mall




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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

timecruncher wrote:
$8.6 million pulled out of the state's a##, I guess!

Funny how the money was "found" at the last minute. That amounts to $8.6 million more than many states provide for transit state-wide! Does New York actually have this money, or is it simply a matter of "we still have checks left in our checkbook -- we can't be overdrawn..."

Glad to see Nassau is going to try and go through with this.

If they do, more time to smooth out the transition is a good thing, and all of the details can be worked out over a period of time.

The transit industry has no one to blame but itself when ridiculous collective bargaining rules along with high absenteeism and poor operational efficiency combine to make the service unsustainable.

timecruncher


How much do you want to bet that the MTA says that they used up all that 8.6 Million BEFORE the end of the year.
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RailBus63
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

timecruncher wrote:
$8.6 million pulled out of the state's a##, I guess!



It probably wouldn't have happened if the majority leader of the state senate wasn't from ... yep, Nassau county.
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S-60 To Smith Haven Mall




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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RailBus63 wrote:
timecruncher wrote:
$8.6 million pulled out of the state's a##, I guess!



It probably wouldn't have happened if the majority leader of the state senate wasn't from ... yep, Nassau county.


They probably would have still bailed out the MTA in the majority leader didn't come from Nassau, it just would have probably happen alot closer to when the cuts were to have happen. Though that's just my opinion.
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