Nassau County Bus Crash Rate Has Improved Since January 1st [Revised]

Update 2: Tri-State took another look at bus accident data in Nassau County and determined that our initial conclusion, that accident rates were rising after NICE took over Nassau County’s bus system, was not based on the most up-to-date information available, and that it misinterpreted NICE Bus and MTA data on accident rates. We believed that, like the MTA’s presentation of data, NICE bus’ data was representative of accidents per 100,000 miles. Instead, NICE presented their data as an aggregate of the first six months of accidents. In reality, according to the National Transit Database—a tool that allows a more ‘apples to apples’ comparisonit appears that NICE reduced accident rates over their first few months of service in Nassau County. According to the NTD’s safety and security data, discounting a vehicle revenue miles comparison, NICE averaged 5 collisions per month from January to April of 2012, while over the course of 2011, the MTA’s Long Island Bus operations averaged 7.9 collisions per month (Tri-State could not access a breakout of the first four months).

Update 1: Tri-State is currently working to verify these numbers. Tri-State’s initial analysis and anecdotal evidence suggest an increase in accident rates, but differences between NICE Bus statistical reporting and MTA statistical reporting have spurred a reexamination of the crash rate comparison.

A Tri-State analysis of NICE Bus’ June 2012 performance indicators and the MTA’s 2011 year-end data has found that Veolia Transportation’s NICE Bus vehicles’ crash rate is approximately three times the comparable rate from 2011.

NICE Bus data indicates an average rate of 11 accidents per 100,000 miles driven, which is roughly three times higher than last year’s average under the MTA’s operation. In 2011, Long Island Bus, which ran Nassau County’s system until January 1 of this year, had an average crash rate of approximately 3.5 accidents per 100,000 miles driven.

The cause of the apparent increased crash rate is unclear, but this and other issues will be discussed in a forthcoming Tri-State report on NICE’s first seven months of operation. The analysis comes on the heels of the recently released Long Island Bus Riders Union report “Unreliable and Inaccessible: A Report Card on Veolia’s Service for Disabled Riders” and an announcement that 45 new, long-delayed buses will finally be added to the NICE fleet by the end of the year.

12 Comments on "Nassau County Bus Crash Rate Has Improved Since January 1st [Revised]"

  1. Who saw this coming??? Mr. Ed axed the MTA, a company in the business of moving people for Veolia, a company in the business of making money. They hire drivers at 2/3 of what school bus companies are offering, then give them the least amount of training in transit history. Recipe for disaster. Good job Nassau.

  2. Paul Campagna | July 29, 2012 at 10:27 am |

    People who were not hired, washed out or were fired by MTA LI Bus can get hired by Veolia. Training is conducted in a parking lot, not out on real streets. A Veolia big shot from Denver said we don’t need to waste money on a big school building for safety and training (like the MTA’s Zerega Ave. school and maintenance facility in the Bronx) and just shows it’s all about the money and the numbers don’t lie. New drivers are not even given route training – give them a schedule with a map and go. All the wonderful politicians led by “Dick” Mangano have set public transportation back by 50 years in expensive Nassau County. Can’t wait to see the next F-up. After 34 years driving a bus I am ashamed to see what happened.

  3. Agreed Paul. From what I am told, they do not even use a parking lot big enough to drive in. They use the employee lot at their depot and go forward four bus lengths and back! Mass transit is a SERVICE, it should NOT be in the business of making money. Do the guys fixing the streets for cars make the County money? No! Ed should have kept the bus system public. Save the private sector for retail and things like that.

  4. fred mcgullam | July 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm |

    way to go dumbass!!!!!

  5. What a surprise )not)I started back in 1968,was with old Schenk bus company working the R R lines under Huntington coach. Later with the main company in Floral park. Then M S B A Nassau,well im gone from there retired (semi) and looking on at this mess. Transportation in general is in the hybrid mode with what happened to nassau happening in other locals with general same results. In short the industry is a mess and those of us who lived under the old ways (like me) had to give up. A friend of mine who was sup in M T A years ago told me that beam counters were brought in and those who realy cared for the N Y system were chased out–and so it happened here as well.
    I will defer any coments on other countrys till another time

  6. I drove busses for NYCT over 30 years. I agree that local busses are not a money making entity. If you want the region to thrive, It’s the County’s responsibility to provide and ensure a safe, clean reliable bus service. If you want to know why bus crashes are so high at Veolia Bus, think about it. The main objective is to cut expenses. Use used worn parts, duct tape, bailing wire, less scheduled bus maintainence. cut schedules, over crowd busses, less running time, and poor upper management in the former LI BUS region, (who condones this policy) what else can you expect.

    A professional operation shines inside and out, and Veolia’s record of performance and safety proves they don’t shine inside or out due to poor oversight from a profit driven cost cutting mentality. You get what you pay for!

  7. Michael Setzer | August 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm |

    I can’t remember seeing a poorer piece of ‘research” than Sam Handler’s piece about transit safety and private sector operation. He got it perfectly backward. And he achieved that remarkable feat by comparing NICE’s accidents for 3 months with MTA’s acccidents for 100,000 miles. Get the difference? The actual story, as recorded in the Federal Government’s Nation Transit Database is .33 accidents/100k miles for NICE versus .84 for Long Island Bus (MTA) i.e. 2.5 times as high last year as this year. You could look it up.

  8. Rich Mestousis | August 5, 2012 at 7:37 pm |

    when the MTA was around everyone got trained 5 weeks no accidents we are taking the short way out and putting our lives and the passengers lives on the line buses are over crowded and they need to learn to put 44 seated 11 or more standing this is an accident waiting to open during the 35 years we never had this many accidents if we had we got retrained went to zegra and thats a fact jack


    Newsday purports a 60% drop in accidents and that the new driver accident rate is LOWER than the rehired driver rate. He also claims 140 hours of training.

  10. Rich Mestousis | August 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm |

    we are the best we have been with nassau bus so many years and we know how to drive with out us people would not get to work on time so don’t ever say are over paid cause we are the best and don’t ever cut us down

  11. Paul Campagna | August 6, 2012 at 6:05 am |

    Mr. Setzer, it is great to know that numbers can be bent to show almost anything you want them to show. The MTA was not without it’s faults but the training programs they instituted were all first class and top notch. This was accomplished by people who came up through NYCTA/MaBSTOA/MTA Bus system. Sorry, but I can’t drink the Veolia kool-aid. This is not Denver, Las Vegas, Canada or wherever you operate. Veolia’s purpose is to MAKE MONEY, not provide a necessary public service. Unfortunately gutless politicians make these decisions that effect peoples lives and safety, for in today’s times why give contracts for anything to a non-American company (don’t let the Illinois headquarters fool you) they are a French company. That’s enough for now.

  12. Robert Cole | August 7, 2012 at 6:52 am |

    Don’t worry folks, this ain’t over yet!!!!!I will personally set the record straight when I get my meeting with the Nassau County legislators. Veolia is not getting away with outright lies, and misrepresentation of facts like they reported in newsday. I don’t work for Veolia anymore because of their absurd ways of training new bus operators. I got my eye on you guys who call yourselves a higher standard than the MTA. I can’t recall learning how to operate a transit bus in an employee parking lot when it was MTA.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.