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Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE or NICE Bus)) is the name of the local bus that provides bus service throughout Nassau County and some stops along the western border of Suffolk County and the eastern border of Queens in New York City.


HistoryEdit

Founded in 1973 under the name Metropolitan Suburban Bus Authority by the combination of ten privately-chartered bus companies, including Bee-Line, Inc. (founded 1922) and its subsidiaries, Rockville Centre Bus Corp., (started 1927) Utilities Lines, Inc. (started 1926, under Bee Line since 1952), and Stage Coach Lines; Schenck Transportation Co., Jerusalem Avenue Bus Line, Hempstead Bus Corp. (started 1926), Roosevelt Bus Line, Branch Bus Corp. (started 1949), and Hendrickson Bus Corp. (started 1949, its only route from Glen Cove to Oyster Bay has been abandoned, but the name Hendrickson survives today as a charter carrier) Earlier, Semke Bus Line had been absorbed into Hempstead Bus Corp. in 1970, Nassau Bus Line and Universal Auto Bus (organized 1921) had been acquired by Schenck in the 1960's, Checker Bus Corp. had been reformulated into Stage Coach Lines in the 1960's. Star Bus became Mid-Island Transit in 1966, and then became part of Stage Coach Lines. The system now consists of 417 buses running 54 routes covering 995 miles (1,601 km).

According to MTA figures in 2005, an average of 104,750 weekday riders use Long Island Bus to commute around Nassau County and parts of western Suffolk county. Many continue their trip into New York City by utilizing the system's five connections to the New York City Transit subway system or the 46 connections to the MTA Long Island Rail Road. Since 1998, with the use of MetroCards, transfers are free between NYCT and Long Island Bus.

The bus system serves seven major shopping malls in Nassau and western Suffolk (including Green Acres Shopping Mall in Valley Stream, Roosevelt Field Shopping Mall in Garden City, Broadway Mall in Hicksville, Sunrise Mall in Massapequa, and Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington). It also serves numerous colleges such as Nassau Community College, New York Institute of Technology (Old Westbury Campus), SUNY Old Westbury, SUNY Farmingdale (it in fact travels onto campus, and Hofstra, as well as the popular summer destination Jones Beach, theaters, parks, and government agencies.

In keeping with the MTA bus system for New York City, all bus routes carry the N route desginator.


In 2010, the future of MTA Long Island Bus became uncertain, as the MTA threatened drastic cuts due to Nassau County's disproportionately small contributions to the operation. For the past decade, the MTA has provided a unique subsidy (of $24 million in 2011 and over $140 million since 2000) to the Nassau County bus system that the other New York City suburban county bus systems have not received.[3] The county's contribution was $9.1 million per year out of a total budget of $133.1 million, and the MTA desired that this contribution increase to $26 million.[3]Critics have noted that Westchester County subsidized its similarly-sized Bee-Line Bus System service by $33 million/year, and that Suffolk subsidizes its substantially smaller Suffolk County Transit system by $24 million/year.[3] The county hoped to reduce its contribution from $9.1 million to $4.1 million by using a private contractor;[4] the planned county contribution was later decreased to $2.5 million/year.[5]

By March 2011, the MTA proposed a set of major service reductions which will eliminate over half of the routes, with the greatest impact on southeastern Nassau County, eliminating all routes operating south of Hempstead Turnpike and east of the Meadowbrook State Parkway (except for the N71), citing Nassau's refusal to pay its contracted amount.[6] After reviewing the service cut plans, County Executive Ed Mangano considered severing ties with the MTA and privatizing the Long Island Bus system.[7] A temporary reprieve, via additional state funding, would sustain service through the end of 2011.[8] However, on April 27, 2011, the MTA voted to cease all bus service in Nassau County after the end of 2011. Mangano then announced that he had retainedVeolia Transportation to operate the system beginning in 2012 through a public-private partnership pending legislative approval.[9][10] On November 10, 2011, Veolia and Mangano announced that the service was going to be renamed Nassau Inter-County Express (or NICE), upon Veolia's takeover of the system. All buses, including Able-Ride vehicles, will be painted into a new paint scheme to reflect the change.[2] On December 12, 2011, the legislature unanimously approved the Veolia contract, which was subsequently approved by the state-controlled Nassau County Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) on December 22, 2011. Veolia began operations January 1, 2012. This Veolia privatisation plan was the subject of heated county public hearings in which Long Island Bus riders and employees criticized the plan.[11][12]

In February 2012, Veolia announced planned service cuts and adjustments to take effect in April. While there are no route cancellations planned, just over $7 million in cuts to existing routes are planned, with service reductions and route concentrations planned for routes primarily serving northern and eastern Nassau County, beginning in spring 2012, with resources redirected towards busier routes.[5] These planned cuts have been criticized as occurring too soon, only six weeks after starting service.

EnvironmentEdit

Long Island Bus began replacing its diesel bus fleet in 1991 with buses operating on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) technology.

Now, the NICE fleet is made up entirely of clean air, CNG Orion V 05.501s and CNG Orion VII Next Generation 05.501s. Combined with the efforts of the New York City Transit division of the MTA, New York has the cleanest public transportation system in the United States outside of California. Some diesel buses, however, remain on property as a backup fleet.

Currently Operated Bus DepotsEdit

NICE Bus FleetEdit

Nassau Inter-County Express runs a 100% Orion CNG bus fleet for fixed route service. All of the buses below are 102 inches (2.59 meters) wide and are fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Pictures shown are of buses in NICE livery or in Nassau County's stripe colors of blue-and-orange. Most of the 1700s and 1800s still are in the MTA's blue stripe paint scheme and have not been re-decaled at this time. In the near future, NICE will be taking delivery of about 50 new Orion VII 3G CNGs and eventually plans to buy New Flyer articulated buses.


Active fleetEdit

Photo Builder andmodel name Year Length Numbers(Total ordered) Powertrain

(Engine and transmission or propulsion system

Notes
Orion Bus Industries

Orion V (05.501 CNG)

2000 40 ft (12.19 m) 1526-1632(107 buses)
  • 60 buses active from this fleet.
  • Being replaced.
DaimlerChrysler
Commercial Buses

Orion V (05.501 CNG)

2004 40 ft (12.19 m)

1633-1635, 1637-1699 (66 buses)

1636 (1 bus)

  • Detroit Diesel series
    50G EGR (CNG fuel)
  • Allison B-400R WTEC
    • Deere 6081 (CNG fuel)
    • Allison B-400R WTEC
  • As delivered, all buses had a Detroit Diesel series 50G EGR engines;
    1636 was repowered with a Deere engine in 2007.
  • All 67 buses from this fleet are active.
Daimler Commercial Buses

Orion VII Next Generation/3G (07.501) (semi-low floor, CNG)

2008-2013 41.2 ft (12.56 m)

1700 (1 bus)

1701-1799

(99 buses)

1800-1839 (40 buses

  • All of the 1700s are active.
  • 38 of the 40 1800s are active.
  • 1700s have frameless windows.
  • 1800s have framed windows.
  • All buses from this order arrived in the MTA blue stripe paint scheme, identical to the paint scheme of the MTA's New York City bus fleet, and were the first in the Long Island Bus fleet to have this paint scheme. The 1700s do feature the blue stripe across the front of the bus while the 1800s have this stripe on the sides of the bus only.
  • 1700 is a 2008 bus, while the rest are 2009 buses.
  1. 1800-1839 were delivered between 2010-2011.
  2. 1804 is now retired due to a severe 2011 accident.
  3. 1840-1884 were delivered between 2012-2013.
  • Last Orion VII CNG buses built for MTA/NICE.
  1. 1840-1884 3G CNGs are built to MTA standards.
Fleet total: 311

RoutesEdit

The following is a listing of routes run by MTA Long Island Bus. At bus stops in the Queens and Suffolk County, the routes are prefixed with a "N" to signify "Nassau County" to fall in line with other nomenclature used by the MTA. They also documented as such in various MTA and New York City Government media. There is only one 24 hour route, the N6 in the entire system. In addition, buses run "closed-door" in Queens, meaning that no intra-boro travel (trips begin/end in Queens) is permitted. In order to get around this, many passengers get off at the stop closest to the City Line, and often double back in the opposite direction.

Local serviceEdit

  • N1 Hewlett - Elmont - Jamaica, Queens
  • N2 Green Acres - Floral Park - Jamaica, Queens
  • N3 Green Acres - Franklin Square - Jamaica, Queens
  • N4 Freeport - Jamaica, Queens
  • N6 Hempstead - Jamaica, Queens
  • N8 Franklin Square - Green Acres Mall
  • N14 Rockville Centre Loop
  • N15 Long Beach - Roosevelt Field Mall
  • N16 Roosevelt Field Mall - Rockville Centre - Silver Lake
  • N17 Hempstead - Rockville Centre LIRR station
  • N19 Freeport - Babylon
  • N20 Hicksville - Flushing, Queens
  • N21 Glen Cove - Flushing, Queens
  • N22 Hicksville - Mineola - Jamaica, Queens
  • N22A Hicksville - E. Williston - Jamaica, Queens
  • N23 Mineola - Manorhaven
  • N24 Roosevelt Field Mall - Jamaica, Queens
  • N25 Lynbrook - Great Neck
  • N26 Jamaica, Queens - Great Neck
  • N27 Glen Clove - Hempstead
  • N28 Roslyn - Roslyn North Industrial Park
  • N31 Hempstead - Far Rockaway, Queens (via West Broadway)
  • N32 Hempstead - Far Rockaway, Queens (via Central Avenue)
  • N33 Long Beach - Far Rockaway, Queens
  • N35 Hempstead - Westbury
  • N36 Lynbrook - Freeport
  • N37 Hempstead - Baldwin Harbor
  • N40 Freeport - Mineola (via Main Street)
  • N41 Freeport - Mineola (via Babylon Turnpike)
  • N43 Freeport LIRR Station - Roosevelt Field
  • N45 Roosevelt Field Mall - Bellmore LIRR Station
  • N46 Hempstead - Bellmore LIRR Station
  • N47 Hempstead - Nassau University Medical Center
  • N48 Hempstead - Jericho Quad (via Carman Avenue)
  • N49 Hempstead - Jericho Quad (via Newbridge Road)
  • N50 Bellmore - Hicksville
  • N51 Roosevelt Field Mall - Merrick LIRR Station
  • N52 Merrick Shuttle West
  • N53 Merrick Shuttle East
  • N54 Hempstead - Amityville
  • N55 Hempstead - Sunrise Mall
  • N57 Great Neck - Great Neck LIRR Station Loop
  • N58 Great Neck LIRR Station - Kings Point
  • N62 South Freeport - Freeport LIRR Station
  • N65 East Rockaway - Hempstead or Uniondale (School Days Only)
  • N66 East Rockaway - Mineola (School Days Only)
  • N67 Roosevelt - East Meadow or Hicksville (School Days Only)
  • N70 Hempstead - Melville
  • N71 Hempstead - Sunrise Mall
  • N72 Hempstead - Babylon
  • N73 Hicksville LIRR Station - Wantagh
  • N74 Hicksville LIRR Station - Wantagh
  • N78 Mineola - Plainview
  • N79 Mineola - Walt Whitman Mall
  • N80 Broadway Mall - Sunrise Mall
  • N81 Broadway Mall - Sunrise Mall
  • N93 Nassau Hub Shuttle
  • N94 Woodbury Shuttle
  • N95 Farmingdale Shuttle

Limited StopsEdit

  • N6 Limited Hempstead - Jamaica, Queens (A.M. Rush Hour Only)
  • N20X Hicksville - Flushing, Queens
  • N21X Glen Cove - Flushing, Queens

Summer service onlyEdit

  • N87 Hicksville - Jones Beach
  • N88 Freeport - Jones Beach


Note: One bus route, while it caries an 'N' designator, is not operated by Long Island bus. The N69 is operated by the City of Long Beach as part of its public bus system.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Bus: Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority | MTA Long Island Bus | MTA Bus Company | MTA New York City Transit buses

Heavy rail: NYC Transit Authority subways | Staten Island Railway

Commuter rail: Long Island Rail Road | Metro-North Railroad

Roads: MTA Bridges and Tunnels

Other information: MetroCard | New York City Transit Authority | NYC Subway fleet | NYC Subway History | NYC Transit and MTA Bus fleet

Official website: www.mta.info

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