Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton and business owners met with the executive director of Nassau Inter County Express last Tuesday to discuss the possibility of extending a bus line along West Shore Road in Port Washington.
During the meeting, the executive, Michael Setzer, said that funding was the main issue blocking the extension of the bus line. DeRiggi-Whitton and business owners will meet with NICE’s board of directors in September to continue discussing the bus line’s expansion, she said.
“Setzer was very cooperative and took the time to discuss the issues with the various business owners and managers who attended the meeting,” DeRiggi-Whitton said.
DeRiggi-Whitton also met with the Public Bus Committee at the Amsterdam at Harborside to discuss the expansion.
In June, the committee proposed an extension that would connect the N20 or N21 bus on Northern Boulevard in Roslyn by Mineola Avenue to the N21, which would then continue up West Shore Road near the industrial area, adding four miles round trip to the current route.
The proposal was rejected by NICE due to funding issues.
The N23 bus currently runs from Mineola to Manorhaven, running up the western side of Port Washington.
Residents and business owners have said that because buses don’t extend toward the West Shore Road area, people walk from the Roslyn train station along West Shore Road, where there is no sidewalk or pedestrian path.
According to a news release, Phil DelPrete, owner of R Best Produce, who also met with DeRiggi-Whitton about the expansion, said that many businesses have experienced problems hiring employees because of the lack of a bus route.
“The industrial parks and the Amsterdam represent thousands of people who need bus service,” DelPrete said. “It’s simply a matter of extending service on an existing bus route to make three additional stops.”
The N20 bus runs from Flushing, Queens to Hicksville, so if it was expanded along West Shore Road, Port Washington residents and potential employees of the Harborside area would have access to and from New York City.
The expansion would also provide transportation to North Hempstead Beach Park on West Shore Road.
Although funding has been cited as the expansion’s main obstacle, in July, Andy Kraus, senior vice president of Epoch 5 Public Relations, which represents NICE, said that it’s impossible to estimate the expansion’s cost.
The Amsterdam’s executive director, Sam Guedouar, said in July that the lack of transportation to the area has caused 250 to 300 people to turn down jobs they were offered.