Jun
10

Veolia chosen for LI Bus contract

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Veolia Transportation will take control of operations for Long Island Bus beginning in 2012, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced today. The Illinois-based subsidiary of a French company bested MV Transit and First Transit in the bidding, and they have promised to “keep existing fares and levels of service through the end of 2012,” Newsday reports. After 2012, it’s anyone’s guess what Nassau County’s bus service and fare structure will look like.

The decision, of course, is not without controversy. While transit advocates and local politicians do not believe that Veolia will be able to maintain service levels and fares, the company apparently has close ties to Nassau County’s politicians. As Newsday notes, “Veolia hired D’Amato’s firm, Park Strategies, as consultant during the county bidding process. Park Strategies vice president Robert McBride, a well-known GOP lobbyist who hosted a fundraiser for Mangano in McBride ‘s home in January, headed the effort locally.”

Meanwhile, Veolia does not have a stellar safety record, and Nassau Country representatives do not believe that the company can provide the same service as the MTA without a greater subsidy from the county or higher fares. “This is going to end up costing us so much more money,” County Legislator Kevan Abrahams said. “One way or the other, we’re going to have to put money into this. And I hate to think that it’s going to come from the riders.” What a mess.



Categories : Asides, Buses

12 Responses to “Veolia chosen for LI Bus contract”

  1. The king says:

    I can’t believe Nassau County went down this road. Veolia Transportation is known for bad press, both here in the United States and overseas.

    The Chatsworth collision in 2008 is a perfect example of bad press, when a distracted MetroLink train engineer passed a signal at danger and collided with a Union Pacific freight train, killing 25 people, including the engineer. As a result of this and another train accident a few years earlier, the Southern California Regional Rail Authority stripped Veolia of the contract to operate MetroLink and awarded in to Amtrak.

    Overseas, Veolia operated trains in Southern England under the name Connex South Eastern and Connex South Central. Neither of them lasted long because passengers complained about late trains and cut backs in train service throughout Southern England.

    Today, both Connex South Eastern and Connex South Central are operating under different names.

    Finally, from 1999 to 2009, Veolia Transporation operated trains in Melbourne, Australia, also under the Connex brand. Commuters there had a love-hate relationship with the company, that prompted the South Australian government to yank the contract after 10 years and award it to the MTR Corporation, the operators of the Hong Kong Metro and the Kowloon–Canton Railway.

    Today, MTR operates the trains system in the Melbourne metro area under the name of Metro Trains Melbourne.

    Nassau County made a bad choice in awarding a contract to a company with a bad reputation, and they’re going to know about that in the near future.

    • SEAN says:

      The same company has the contract for the bus system in Fairfax County, VA. What is interesting is the busyest suburban bus routes inFairfax are mostly Metrobus lines. Fairfax Connector have only a handful of high volume lines.

      Lets see what happends once the Silver Line opens, I’m sure that the new service will kill several of those routes including the transfers at West Falls Church as stated in Metro documents. WFC usage is estimated to drop by half once the Silver Line goes into service.

    • Phil says:

      Veolia’s pretty bad, but the MTR Corporation hasn’t done well in Melbourne either. There are a lot of factors including underinvestment and route complexity that are involved as well.

  2. BDavinci says:

    Hmmm…. How much you want to bet that in the not too distant future that we find out how Mangano was very close to Veolia and this was a reward to them if he got elected into office because Veolia wanted to enter into the NYC area market (I know Veolia operates NJT routes by the Jersey Shore) in some sort or way. This is after we find out Mangano’s LI Bus scheme has bad service, poor maintenance and terribly unqualified drivers and higher fares! It will get to the point that people would be clamoring for the MTA to comeback!

    • Donald says:

      “How much you want to bet that in the not too distant future that we find out how Mangano was very close to Veolia and this was a reward to them if he got elected into office..”

      I bet that will happen. When we read the article about it, it will surely include the words “prosecutors allege.”

      • BDavinci says:

        Only time will tell. We just have to wait and see for the train wreck to come. I will also bet if and a big IF the MTA returns to take back LI Bus the will take full control of it to make sure what Mangano’s doing never happens again

  3. JohnThomas says:

    MTA suppose control ALL with out nassau and megano power.MTA is state own why they can control them self without mengano.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] officials have said little about how Veolia, which hired a lobbying firm that employs a Mangano campaign fundraiser, was picked to run the […]

  2. […] officials have said little about how Veolia, which hired a lobbying firm that employs a Mangano campaign fundraiser, was picked to run the […]

  3. […] officials have said little about how Veolia, which hired a lobbying firm that employs a Mangano campaign fundraiser, was picked to run the […]

  4. […] officials have said little about how Veolia, which hired a lobbying firm that employs a Mangano campaign fundraiser, was picked to run the […]

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