Ever since the Nassau County bus system was taken over by Veolia, from the MTA, and rebranded NICE, service has been going downhill. The service changes in April have resulted in a loss of mainstream ridership, which the system was weak to begin with. Many U.S. Citizens have gotten fed up with the poor bus service. Not only have the service changes made buses more crowded, many are now also late or don't even show up at all. The result is angry riders and a net loss of ridership, rumors say ridership is actually down by 20,000 riders a day. Those workers in retail, industry, and nursing have sought transfers to other locations in NYC, or have lost their jobs altogether. What's left riding the bus is those who have no standards and will put up with poor conditions and lousy bus service, day laborers who work in landscaping and construction, many of whom are not in the country legally.
Ed Mangano has stated that privatizing the bus contract means less money spent by the county. But the fact is the change has driven away mainstream riders, businesses who employ legal workers are now at an even greater disadvantage, and choice riders who may choose the bus to shop in local stores and malls, now spend those dollars in the city, since the LIRR is far more reliable and pleasant to ride. The only people left riding the buses don't contribute to the economy, because they dont pay taxes and send most of the money they earn back to their home countries, instead of spending it here, while they live in squalor in illegal homes with 20 or more people in them.
Ed Mangano, Peter Schmitt, and the Nassau County government have shown little regard for anyone except the rich. They will brag about keeping their taxes low, while reducing bus service, and still allowing the rich to use cheap, illegal labor for stuff like landscaping, which they could easily do on their own.
This makes the bus ride for the rest of us, citizens with lower wage jobs who can't afford cars, students, and the disabled quite an unpleasant experience. If Ed Mangano was actually serious about reducing Nassau County's budget, he'd enforce US immigration law by removing those who are undocumented and arresting those who hire them. Think of how much money the county would save, by not having to provide health and welfare services to these people. But until then we're going to have to deal with ever more unpleasant bus rides, and the buses get less and less frequent and more crowded with drunk rude day laborers, many of whom are also tagging up buses with gang tags. The facts are bus riders are unhappy, and the lies that NICE and Nassau County are spewing are anything but the truth.
In: Citizen Journalism
Tags: NICE Bus, Veolia, Nassau County, Long Island, Ed Mangano, Peter Schmitt, politics, illegal immigration, day laborers
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