Home Asides LI Bus cut from MTA budget, for now

LI Bus cut from MTA budget, for now

by Benjamin Kabak

After months of public posturing and closed-door negotiations with Nassau County, the MTA Board voted this morning to cut all subsidies for the Long Island Bus. As the battle over funding has dragged on through the fall, the vote was not a surprise, and negotiations will continue into the spring. For now, Nassau County riders won’t be left without buses as the MTA must give 60 days’ notice before suspending service, but the urgency to find a solution to the funding woes is very much there.

Essentially, the debate is one of dollars. The bus system costs over $130 million to operate, and while the state picks up $45 million in costs, the county pays just $9 million. The MTA pays the rest even though Nassau County originally agreed in the 1970s to foot the bill. “I think Nassau County has an obligation to fund bus service in Nassau County, just as every other suburban county has an obligation,” MTA CEO and Chair Jay Walder said after the vote today.

Eventually, I expect the county and authority to reach a funding agreement that will gradually phase out MTA contributions while Nassau County increases theirs. Still, Nassau County is moving forward with a request for proposals should they need to privatize the system, and advocates are awaiting the resolution of this political drama with bated breath. “We’re disappointed,” TSTC’s Ryan Lynch said to Newsday. “They’re negotiating, so we have some hope.”

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Nesta December 15, 2010 - 8:27 pm

Why is this clown Walder not standing up to Bloomberg for the city to pay there fair share also? NYC doesn’t pay close to what they should be paying into the system!

Benjamin Kabak December 15, 2010 - 8:28 pm

The issues between LI Bus and New York City Transit aren’t nearly comparable.

Nesta December 16, 2010 - 7:58 am

I disagree! Walder doesn’t have the balls to stand up to Bloombergs billions of dollars that he has shown he will use to get his own way whether right, wrong, legal, or ILLEGAL!

Al D December 16, 2010 - 9:09 am

I look at it differently. The state controls the MTA. Bloomberg made his play to ‘help’ out the MTA with congestion pricing. Of course it would have helped the City, too, but the point here is that the state said no thanks to Mikey without any form of counteroffer, so Mayor Mike said see ya, don’t wanna be ya. Go drown in your own glass of water. Until Mayor Mike is granted more control over the MTA, specifically the city’s subway and buses, don’t expect anything more from him.

Nesta December 16, 2010 - 9:56 am

The city is paying less for the system than they did 20 years ago. How is that acceptable? NYC should hae to pay there fair share for the system that benefits them more so than any other area.

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