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New York: Why Privatizing Long Island Bus Could Cost Taxpayers More

Posted by Content Coordinator on Thursday, June 23rd, 2011


Executive Summary

The failure of Nassau County to fund LI Bus has led to an annulment of the operating agreement between the County and the MTA and the County’s pursuit of a private operator to run the bus system. Throughout this process, the County has refused to participate in an open process, rejecting requests for details of the private bidder’s plans to run the bus system. These details would allow a thoughtful analysis of the pro’s and con’s of particular operators and how those operators would compare to the current system operated by MTA. Without this detailed information, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign took it upon itself to research the three known private operators seeking to run Nassau County’s bus system. While many more variables will be included when deciding who will run Nassau County’s bus system, looking at what the three private operators being considered; Veolia Transportation; MV Transit; and First Transit; are charging taxpayer’s in other parts of the country is important especially in light of the County’s lack of transparency.

Summary of Key Findings

  • Every operator being considered by Nassau County to run LI Bus receives much more funding, or disproportionately more based on the size of the systems, from government than what County Executive Mangano is proposing to contribute to Nassau County’s system.
  • Every operator Nassau County is considering provides fewer hours of service, or disproportionately fewer hours of service, than what MTA currently provides.
  • The County’s proposal to contribute $4 million a year and maintain the same level of service, fares and safety, is unrealistic.
  • The County’s failure to disclose information on the potential bidders, even after numerous Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests, should give County Legislators, NIFA and Nassau County taxpayers pause over privatization plans.

Graph 1: Contribution to LI Bus over time

Download full version (PDF): Why Privatizing Long Island Bus Could Cost Taxpayers More

About Tri-State Transportation Campaign
“The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to reducing car dependency in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Leading environmental and planning organizations formed the Campaign in the early nineties as a response to the mounting economic and environmental costs of automobile and truck dependence and promising reforms in federal transportation policy.”

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