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New Tappan Zee Bridge to Include Rush-Hour Bus Lanes

The span will include part-time public transit, state officials said Thursday

After , concerned Westchester residents have received a small dose of vindication—the new Hudson span will include part-time dedicated bus lanes that run during peak hours, state officials have said.

The news was announced by governor Andrew Cuomo's staff Thursday afternoon. Andrew O'Rourke, a spokesman for the New York State Thruway Authoriry, confirmed the announcement Friday.

"We are working on the details," he said.

The dedicated bus lanes would operate during morning and evening rush hours. The new crossing is slated to house 14 lanes across two parallel spans.

Officials could not comment on what lanes the buses would use, or the exact hours the lanes would be in effect. It is also unclear whether the lanes will run north-bound and south-bound simultaneously.

Veronica Vanterpool, the executive director of regional non-profit Tri-State Transportation Campaign, seeks to bolster transit options across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. She said she is pleased with Cuomo's news, but noted it's just the beginning. 

"Tri-State Transportation Campaign applauds the state's effort to be more accountable to the public process by responding to the thousands of pleas for transit on the new bridge," she said. "However, the Campaign calls on the New York State Thruway Authority to expand dedicated bus lane service beyond peak hour periods and to expand the dedicated lane into the I-287 corridor in both Westchester and Rockland Counties."

Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino released a statement in response to the announcement echoing her sentiments. “This is a step in the right direction and a hopeful development for those of us who have been strongly advocating for Bus Rapid Transit to be part of the bridge from the start as a means of limiting congestion and pollution," he said. "Still, as with the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), facts about cost, financing and design of the bridge, more details are needed and I look forward to reviewing them.”

The new span's ambiguous financing is a feature that has drawn attention, though officials have said its $5.2 billion price tag will be funded entirely by taxpayers, and that toll hikes and toll-backed bonds will likely help pay the way. The NYSTA's credit outlook was by Standard and Poor's. 

In past weeks, governor Cuomo , ensuring there will be no strikes during the span's build. Other elements of the agreement are estimated to have saved taxpayers about $450 million.

In late May, the state announced it for the project—a decision that angered some homeowners who had long been preparing to relinquish their property.

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Heron June 29, 2012 at 07:27 PM
YAY! At least they've listened to SOMETHING. You're right - it's a "small dose of vindication."
FreeFallingAdvocate July 01, 2012 at 02:20 AM
as long as there's still access to jump, I'm happy.

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