Nassau County’s buses are about to start looking nicer.
That’s because the Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) just unveiled 29 new vehicles to its fleet, including 10 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.
“These fleet additions will enhance efficiency and improve on-time performance across Nassau’s fixed-route system, especially during rush-hour,” Jack Khzouz, CEO of NICE, said. “The vehicles are a much-needed addition to our fleet, bringing it to 278 fixed-route vehicles, which accommodate roughly 445 scheduled trips a day on average.”
These new buses were added to NICE’s fleet throughout the second and third quarter of 2019, largely thanks to funding by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), which was matched by local and New York State budgets.
The CNG buses will seat 35 passengers, with up to two mobility devices. The bus, a 40-foot Xcelsior XN40 New Flyer of America, is used in New York City and includes an advanced brake monitoring system, back-up camera, HD interior and exterior video surveillance and digital rear signage to alert drivers when a vehicle is about to stop.
But that’s not all. NICE’s Able-Ride service also added 14 new 22-foot Ford E-350 StarCraft vehicles. These smaller buses can transport up to 10 riders and three mobility devices. They also added five 26-foot Ford E-450 buses.
“Riders will find the new vehicles roomy and very comfortable, not only for them but also for their Guide Dogs,” Sudesh DeSilva, director of paratransit at NICE, said. “In addition, our customers using a mobility device will appreciate the extra space to easily maneuver themselves without assistance from an operator.”
NICE also has a new smartphone application called the My Transit Manager by Transdev, which was unveiled in October. The app lets riders monitor their trips, all while they are on the way to their destination.
The My Transit Manager app also enables riders to see where their vehicle is, and they can receive alerts about the bus’ status. And, yes, the app is free for iOS and Android users.
“This new, accessible platform will keep riders updated down to the minute, and provides peace of mind for our paratransit customers and their loved ones” DeSilva said.
NICE bus services roughly 90,000 passengers a day, operating as the official public transportation agency of Nassau County. Able-Ride currently services nearly 10,000 customers, providing roughly 26,000 trips a month, and 320,000 trips a year on average to people with disabilities. This door-to-door service is designed to help make Nassau County accessible for riders who are unable to take advantage of the fixed-route bus system. To learn more about NICE, visit www.nicebus.com.