A Christmas Miracle for Long Island Bus Riders?

In an editorial over the weekend, Newsday says the Long Island bus situation is finally “lurching toward reality.” Last week, the paper reported on a letter from MTA Chairman Jay Walder to Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano that acknowledges Nassau’s fiscal difficulties and offers to keep LI Bus running if the County meets certain preconditions. The County Executive has now offered an additional $5 million in 2011 as well as a concession “that Nassau is responsible for funding LI Bus in the long run but only if the parties can agree on fair billing practices.”

This development is a tremendous step forward after a contentious six months of negotiations between the MTA and Nassau County.  But this progress must not stop here.

It remains unclear if the County’s offer will be enough for the MTA to forestall its proposed withdrawal of all funding to LI Bus, set to take place next Wednesday (the agency would have to give 60 days notice before canceling service, however).  Hopefully these new developments serve as the catalyst needed to save the service that over 100,000 riders a day depend upon, and put LI Bus on firm financial footing moving forward.

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