The South Asian Times

25 April 2019 12:26 PM

Curran announces new on-demand NICE bus services

Freeport, NY: Nassau County Executive Laura Curran joined Legislator Debra Mulé, Legislator Steve Rhoads, Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) Chief Executive Officer Michael Setzer, Chief Administrative Officer Jack Khzouz, MTA Long Island Rail Road Government and Community Affairs Officer Vanessa Pino Lockel, Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy, transit advocates, Nassau County Bus Transit Committee Members and NICE bus riders to announce NICE’s continuing efforts to adopt transit solutions that marry technology with best practices, is this week testing new service innovations designed to create a more flexible, responsive and cost-efficient bus transit system in Nassau County.

The first is an innovative new on-demand, shared ride, door-to-door service using smaller vehicles.  The “Uber-like” NICE Link does away with fixed routes, schedules, pre-set bus stops, and big buses and instead offers address-to-address service, smaller vehicles, and a reservation and payment feature on NICE’s existing GoMobile transit app for smartphones.  NICE is one of a few public transit systems to offer this type of on-demand service.

NICE is also testing “schedule-less” service on its n/40-41 bus route designed to improve reliability and regularity.  With a new “frequency based” approach, buses arrive every 10 minutes during peak time versus on a fixed schedule. 

“Transit is an engine for economic development and communities that invest in their transit systems are building a foundation for growth,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.  In fact, the American Public Transportation Association has determined that for every dollar spent to provide public transit, the city, county or region served gets back $4 in tangible economic benefits, including increased sales, employment and taxes. 

 “NICE is essential to the region’s economic vitality, and with further innovation and investment, the benefit to the greater community, as well as riders, can be significantly increased,” she said.  Curran added that NICE, the county’s public bus transit system, is integral to the everyday lives of tens of thousands of residents and that increasing connectivity to the broader regional transit network is especially important to build stronger, more vibrant communities. 

The county’s investments in NICE technology and focus on system planning have driven innovation that is improving service in response to customer needs, said NICE Chief Executive Officer Michael Setzer.   “Communities across the U.S. are increasingly reinventing and expanding their investment in public transportation with further innovation and investment,” said Setzer. 

The NICE Link platform is integrated into the current NICE bus transit app, GoMobile, allowing riders to book and pay for Link trips and get ride information.  Each ride costs $4.50, more than a bus, but less than a taxi. At the outset, NICE Link will run weekdays during peak service hours in a zone bordered by Hempstead Turnpike, Merrick Road, the Meadowbrook Parkway and the Wantagh Parkway. Link will also serve the Freeport LIRR station.

Setzer added that transformative changes in transit – like the on-demand service Uber, electronic payment, app-based tools and others – demonstrate great potential as customers have become increasingly comfortable with alternatives that are technology and data driven.

Update: 02 Aug, 2018