With no Long Island Bus funding in the MTA’s four-year financial plan outlined yesterday, privatization with attendant higher fares and reduced service is a possibility. “Nassau’s economy depends on Long Island Bus. This is not the right time for the MTA to pull the plug on the Nassau County subsidy,” said Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, noting that the county cannot pay more.

Currently, the MTA subsidy is $26 million versus Nassau County’s $9.1 million contribution. Maragos said privatization could mean a 20 percent hike on the $2.25 fare. Pat Bowden, president of TWU Local 252, warned of reduced service for 100,000 weekday riders.

Bob Foran, the MTA’s Chief Financial Officer, told the MTA board that Long Island Bus funding was Nassau County’s responsibility.

–Carly Baldwin contributed to this story.