WHAT do you call a long bullet-shaped vehicle with rubber tires that zips along roads, stops for traffic lights and carries lots of people?
Whatever you call it, don’t call it a bus.
After four years of study and a cost so far of $6.5 million, engineers working on the Long Island Transportation Plan 2000 are presenting their preliminary proposals to manage Long Island’s traffic 20 years from now. The linchpin of their solution is a transit system with a sleek bus that’s a dead ringer for a monorail car except for the tires. But transportation officials are loath to use the ”B” word to describe it.
”People have an image of a bus,” said David Rettig, the Long Island planning director for the State Department of Transportation, which is overseeing the study. ”A bus is crowded, it smells of diesel fumes, it’s stuck in traffic. That’s not happening with