N33, N31 Buses On MTA Chopping Block
The N31 connects Far Rockaway with Long Island; and the N33 connects the peninsula with Long Beach.
Since 2000 the MTA has contributed more than $140 million to subsidize Long Island Bus and fill the gaps that are left by Nassau County’s failure to meet its funding responsibilities.
“This year, Nassau County’s funding will fall $24 million short of what is needed to operate the current local bus and Able-Ride network,” according to a public hearing release.
“Unlike other counties, Nassau County has for the past decade refused to fund the full amount necessary to operate the services provided by LI Bus after fares and state grants are collected.
“While in the past the MTA filled funding gaps caused by Nassau County’s under funding – contributing over $140 million since 2000 to subsidize Nassau County’s local bus service – today, given the MTA’s fragile fiscal condition, we can no longer afford to do so.”
The discontinuance of the N33 would end all bus service between Far Rockaway and Long Beach. Once arriving in Long Beach, passengers transfer to City of Long Beach local bus service, which would continue.
The N33 line serves an average of 900 weekday, 500 Saturday and 350 Sunday customers.
The net annual savings by eliminating the line, which serves Far Rockaway, Atlantic Beach and Long Beach, would be $429,000. There would be no transportation alternatives to the loss of N33 service.
Discontinuing N31 bus service, which runs Mondays through Saturday, would impact an average of 1,460 weekday and 710 Saturday customers. It would affect Far Rockaway, Lawrence, Woodmere, Hewlett, Lynbrook, Malverne and Hempstead and provide a net annual savings of $306,000.
The MTA considers the N32 to be an alternative to the N31. Except for parts of Lawrence and Woodmere, where the N31 operates along West Broadway and the N32 operates down Central Avenue and Broadway the two buses run along the same route.
Complementary paratransit (Able- Ride) services associated with the routes proposed for elimination would also be discontinued.
The service reduction proposals were developed with two top priorities: That they would affect the fewest customers possible and maintain service on higher volume routes, according to the MTA. Twenty-seven of the company’s 48 routes would be affected by the overall reduction proposal.
A public hearing on the service reductions is scheduled for March 23 at the Adams Playhouse located at 118 Hofstra University in Hempstead at 3 p.m. Registration to speak can be done online at the MTA website or in person on the day of the meeting. Written comments can be made at the MTA’s website, www.mta.info, or by mail to MTA Community Affairs, 347 Madison Avenue, NY, 10017.