In a historic and unanimous vote, the Nassau County Legislature approved a contract with Veolia Transportation to manage the county's bus and paratransit system under a new public-private operating partnership to commence January 1, 2012. The Nassau County transit system transports 31 million bus passengers and 280,000 paratransit passengers each year and has been managed by the New York MTA since 1973. Nassau County, with a population of 1.3 million residents, is a suburban county located on Long Island, immediately east of New York City.
The value of the contract is $106 million annually and makes Veolia Transportation the service provider of four of the top five largest transit contracts in the U.S., including Nassau County, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and New Orleans. Veolia Transportation won the five-year contract with a five-year renewal option as part of an extensive procurement process managed by Nassau County that began early in 2011. The system has recently been re-named Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE).
This contract is an example of a new kind of public-private operating partnership pioneered in several U.S. cities by Veolia. The County retains ownership of buses, equipment, facilities and other infrastrucutre, plus control over fares and service levels, while Veolia manages and operates all aspect of the transit system on the Couty's behalf, bringing private sector efficiences and expertise.
"Nassau's public-private partnership with Veolia represents a new, smarter and more efficient way of providing services in Nassau County," said Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano. "Today marks a new era of service quality for riders, job opportunities for employees and reduced costs for local taxpayers. All across the U.S, taxpayers are demanding that governments spend less, be more accountable and deliver better quality — and with this partnership with Veolia Transportation, Nassau County is doing just that."
"We are tremendously excited to have this opportunity to work with Nassau County's government and citizens to build a top notch transit system — that serves riders with the most innovative, customer friendly, and efficient approaches. We will bring accountability for both performance and cost, — protecting the County, riders and taxpayers," stated Mark Joseph, CEO of Veolia Transportation.