The U.S. Department of Transportation this week awarded its state counterpart funding of $10 million to help pay for new bus stations, ramp signals and other technology, in effort to build a modernized Rockland-Westchester bus service along I-287. It is expected that Hudson Links service will replace the Tappan ZEExpress bus service by 2018.
“Today is another major step forward in our efforts to improve transportation in the lower Hudson Valley,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “This funding will help us give commuters more mass transit options and ultimately reduce traffic congestion in the region."
The main line would run between Suffern and White Plains and serve Tarrytown, and it would be adaptable to expansion in phases to six other routes in the future. Sen. Charles Schumer said the grant will “pave the way for more efficient and faster public transportation across the Tappan Zee Bridge,” which is a $3.9 billion megaproject to ford the Hudson River.
The state said the goal is to provide a faster, more reliable trip across the Hudson River in time for the opening of the new Tappan Zee Bridge. Officials are optimistic this new service can increase the number of monthly trips taken over that of the Tappan ZEExpress’s current 36,000 per month taken today.
The first part of the bus plan costs $91 million and, with the federal grant, the state now has about $60 million to spend. NYSDOT had initially sought $20.4 million from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. The federal government turned down NYSDOT’s $26.7 million proposal a year earlier.