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Accessibility News & Events

Here is where you can find the latest news and announcements about Able-Ride and Accessibility on NICE! (Looking for general news? Please click here.)


NICE Bus /Veolia Replacing One-Third of Able-Ride Paratransit Fleet

Purchase of 28 New Handicap-Accessible Passenger Vans to Replace Able-Ride Fleet’s Oldest Vehicles; Funded with Veolia / NICE contributions and Federal Transportation Grants

Nassau County and Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE bus) has taken delivery on 28 new handicap-accessible paratransit vans that will replace Able-Ride’s oldest vehicles. The new wheelchair accessible modified Dodge vans will offer Able-Ride greater flexibility in how it serves customers, reduce fuel and maintenance costs, and provide a more comfortable ride for passengers.

“We are pleased to be updating the Able-Ride fleet and doing it in a way that will reduce operating costs and improve the experience of NICE’s paratransit customers,” said Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano. “Along with the 45 new fixed route buses added to the NICE fleet recently, we are continuing to update the equipment without impacting Nassau County taxpayers. We're especially pleased that Veolia Transportation, our partner in NICE, is making voluntary investments in the system.”

The cost of the 28-vehicle purchase is approximately $1.2 million. Of that, the entire cost of 18 vehicles, approximately $780,000, is being contributed by Veolia at no cost to the county. Another 10 vehicles costing about $435,000 are being funded through state-administered Federal Transportation Administration grants earmarked for capital purchases for mass transit. The first of the vans are expected to be delivered in late October (2013).

“NICE is continuously looking for ways to improve our service and reduce our costs. Using a mix of vehicles for Able-Ride is something we have considered for a long time and Veolia’s investment is helping make that possible,” said NICE Chief Executive Officer Mike Setzer. “We think passenger vans, as opposed to the larger truck chassis mini-buses, will serve customers’ needs better in many instances with a noticeably smoother ride.”

Instead of replacing the older vehicles with the current “mini-bus” style vehicles that now comprise most of the 95-vehicle Abe-Ride fleet, NICE will begin using a mix of vehicles that will help it provide better service and reduce costs. As opposed to the current vehicles, the vans will use regular gasoline and offer improved gas mileage; are able to travel on parkways giving passengers and operators faster and/or shorter options; and are built on a more comfortable car chassis, versus a truck chassis, which has a rougher ride.

The new vans can comfortably and safely handle two customers in wheelchairs and two seated customers. While their overall capacity is smaller than the current mini-buses it is sufficient to meet actual demand. The vehicles being replaced are all seven years old.

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