MTA proposes putting the brakes on many LI Bus routes

(03/02/11) HEMPSTEAD – The Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to cut more than half of Long Island Bus routes this summer in an effort to close a $400 million deficit.

Out of Nassau’s 48 bus lines, 25 could be eliminated, leaving entire communities such as Great Neck and Elmont without bus service.

County Executive Ed Mangano (R-Nassau) says since the county owns the buses and the terminals, maybe now is the time to privatize the system.

Mass transit expert Lisa Tyson, of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, says the service cuts could force 16,000 bus riders to drive, increasing congestion on local roads.

Public hearings on the Long Island Bus cuts are scheduled for March 23 at Hofstra University.

If approved, the proposed cuts would go into effect in July.