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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Storm still affecting NICE routes in Long Beach, Island Park

Although 100 percent of Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) buses are fully operation, officials said three routes have been adjusted due to the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy.

Andy Kraus, a spokesman for the company that operates the NICE buses, Veoila Transportation, said service has been restored to all routes in Nassau County and Queens since the “unprecedented” storm. But two routes – the N15 and the N33 – have been adjusted because they travel through the “especially hard hit areas” of Island Park and Long Beach.

All buses traveling through both of these routes will not be running in Long Beach from 5 p.m. to 6 a.m. as of Nov. 15, as the city is still enforcing a curfew. Sgt. Eric Cregeen, a spokesman for the Long Beach Police Department, previously said the restoration of power in the area would have the “biggest bearing on when we can lift that curfew.”

The damage the storm’s tidal surge and high winds left behind has also caused the NICE buses on the N15 route to be detoured in Island Park more than two weeks after Sandy hit the area, Kraus said.

The N15, which travels through Garden City, Mineola, Laekview, Rockville Centre, Oceanside, Island Park and Long Beach, is unable to stop at the Island Park Long Island Railroad Station, as of Nov. 15. Kraus said this is because emergency crew work is happening near the stop.

Kraus said the N15 has been rerouted as a result, traveling along Austin Boulevard in and out of Long Beach.

The other NICE route that travels through Long Beach, the N33, has also been adjusted near stops west of the damaged city.

This N33 is runs between Long Beach and Far Rockaway, a coastal community in Queens that is also rebuilding in Sandy’s wake. Damage in the area, specifically to its New York City Subway station, has caused a temporary change in the route’s Far Rockaway pick-up/drop location.

Kraus said the N33 stop in Far Rockaway was moved on Saturday, Nov.10 due to ongoing subway repairs near the regular pick-up/drop location. The new temporary bus stop will be located on Beach 21st Street next to the Q22 bus stop. This temporary stop will be used for the next couple of weeks while repairs are completed, Kraus said.

Officials advise that commuters continue to check the “Service Alerts” section on nicebus.com for continued updates.

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