Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages, of Elmont, rode buses along the N2 and N6 routes on March 14 in response to increasing complaints his Legislative Office has fielded about Nassau Inter County Express bus service. Solages, who rode buses from 6:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., wanted to gain knowledge of his constituents’ concerns, he said. The duration of his rides was spent speaking to commuters and receiving feedback about how to improve NICE bus service.
Solages said that many of the commuters’ concerns, including unpredictable and untimely bus service, overcrowding, lack of security and issues with the Jamaica and Hempstead hubs in particular, were justified. Among the issues he noticed were an insufficient number of N6 buses to handle the volume of commuters, gang signs and graffiti, a lack of audio and visual messages stating the start and stop locations of the buses and wait times exceeding 20 minutes for N2 and N6 connections.
In Elmont, the most frequent complaint was that there was no longer an N6 express stop at Elmont Road and Hempstead Turnpike, which did not provide the western portion of Elmont any reliable access to public transportation. Six days after Solages’ day of bus rides, service had been restored to that stop.
Solages said that the experience was an eye-opener of sorts and exposed him to daily problems commuters face with NICE service.
“Overall, I found the day to be educational, and it helped me relate to the experiences commuters have shared,” he said. “I am pleased our efforts appeared to have brought change, but I agree with riders that more improvements are needed, considering the recent non-cash fare hike. All we ask is that service be improved.”