ELMONT - Faced with an estimated $8 million deficit, NICE Bus is eyeing ways to trim service and cut costs to close the budget gap.
NICE CEO Michael Setzer says eliminating routes and raising fares are among the measures on the table.
Setzer says the projected deficit is due to a number of factors, including rising labor costs, uncertainty over state transit aid and a reduction in Nassau County's proposed subsidy to NICE.
"The county's approved a budget with $3 million less, presumably because of Nassau County's own fiscal issues," says Setzer. "We know we're going to have to live with a small amount of money most likely next year. We're beginning to get ready to solve that budget problem."
In January, NICE cut 11 routes to help fill a $7.5 million hole. Most of those routes were restored in February with a $3 million bailout by Nassau.
NICE will outline proposals to close the budget gap at a public hearing on Dec. 8.