Senator Martins: Keep Ride Hailing Revenue in Nassau County by Investing in NICE Bus

Jack M. Martins

December 22, 2016

     Senator Jack M. Martins (R-7th Senate District) is calling for any revenue raised in Nassau County as a result of legalizing ride-hailing statewide to stay within Nassau County to fund NICE Bus.  The revenue would prevent service cuts in the short term and provide a recurring revenue stream for bus system expansion in the future, ensuring that Nassau County residents who depend on the system to  commute to work, go to school or conduct their personal business can continue to do so.

     “Funds raised in Nassau County to support mass transit should be reinvested entirely in Nassau County mass transit.  NICE Bus is the only north-south mass transit link in Nassau County and serves nearly 100,000 a day, most of whom have no other means of transportation.  In light of recent proposed cuts, this permanent, recurring revenue would be invaluable to maintaining current service and expanding it in the future,” said Senator Martins, a member of the Senate’s Transportation Committee.

     Currently, negotiations are ongoing between the Senate, Assembly and Governor about legalizing ride-hailing throughout the state.  Reportedly included in the negotiations is a 50-cent per ride fee to fund mass transit, similar to the existing fee levied on New York City taxi rides. 

     Senator Martins is calling for any such fees on rides within Nassau County to be used to supplement funding for NICE Bus.  Fees from rides in other counties would be used to fund similar mass transit services in those areas, such as Suffolk Transit for funds raised in Suffolk County.

     “The essential ingredient for planning and executing good reliable transit that helps build community is predictable, dedicated funding.  Thanks to Senator Martins for his commitment to our passengers,” said Michael Setzer, Chief Executive Officer of NICE Bus.

     "Transportation resources that are derived from Nassau residents should be reinvested back into the community for critical services like NICE bus.   NICE bus transports seniors, disabled, working families and students and is a critical investment for our economic growth, small businesses and local residents.   Kudos to Senator Martins for developing an important funding stream for bus service in Nassau County," said Eric Alexander, Director, Vision Long Island.