Nassau County Transit’s Salvation

A year ago, Nassau County, N.Y., was threatened with a 50% reduction in bus service by its public operator, New York’s giant Metropolitan Transit Authority, unless it met MTA’s demand for a $30-million fee increase in 2012 and $50 million in 2013. Nassau County’s finances are a disaster, but MTA has a $750-million operating deficit of its own, and it insisted on repricing the operation of Nassau’s 48 bus lines serving Long Island.

This is the Hobson’s Choice most U.S. bus transit agencies face today—cut service to avoid raising fares (80% did last year), and face a death spiral as ridership and revenues fall. What’s most urgently needed to cure the revenue problem are productivity savings, labor cost stability, administrative downsizing, new technology—and a change agent.


About Bill Reinhardt

Editor of Public Works Financing newsletter
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