MINEOLA, N.Y. (WPIX)—The doors may soon close on tens of thousands of Long Island bus riders.
The cash strapped MTA is considering putting the brakes on its funding for Nassau County buses.
"This is my only source of transportation," an upset Eugene Johnson told PIX 11 News.
Health Care worker, Gloria Avalos, who relies on the bus to get to work each day, is also worried.
"How will I get to get to work?" she asked.
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano blasted the proposal.
"The MTA continues to blame its financial woes on everyone but itself," he said. "Despite balancing its books just a year ago with monies from the job-killing payroll tax, the MTA's dysfunction continues to cost Long Island families and seniors through service cuts."
Ryan Lynch, of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, says while the MTA is an easy punching bag, the county also needs to buck up, pointing out that neighboring Suffolk and Westchester Counties don't rely on any MTA funding from their bus service.
"It's really time for the MTA, Nassau County and the state to find a sustainable funding mechanism that will allow bus riders to get to and from work," he said.
For its part, the MTA issued a statement to PIX 11 News reading in part, "The County, which owns the buses and depots, is responsible for providing funding to cover the LI Bus operating deficit. The MTA has assumed more and more of this responsibility over the past decade, but we can no longer afford to assume the County's responsibility."
In addition, the MTA said an official announcement will come at next Monday's finance committee meeting, with more bad news.
LIRR riders will find out how much more they will have to pay, fares will go up, peak travel times may get extended and deep discounts on monthly passes could be slashed.
Plans are still being worked out. It seems the MTA is trying to calculate just how much they can raise fares while trying to keep their loyal customers.
Frustrated commuters, who are waiting out the increase, say it might be too late.
Tthis would be pretty close," said Kevin Ryan as he waited for his train at the Mineola station.