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Tappan Zee Bridge Mass Transit Task Force Holds First Hearing

Rendering of the new Tappan Zee Bridge (credit: New York State Thruway Authority)

Rendering of the new Tappan Zee Bridge (credit: New York State Thruway Authority)

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ORANGEBURG, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - The new Tappan Zee Bridge mass transit task force held its first open hearing today and an outline of mass transit on the span and the I-287 corridor is coming into view.

The day the bridge opens for traffic, which is hoped for in 2018, bus commuters should notice faster rides.

“The new bridge will give us bus on shoulder during peak hours riding in the breakdown lane. So, we’ll be able to pass potential congestion that’s there,” said Rockland County Planning Commissioner Tom Vanderbeek.

He said that faster bus service could include a ramp or other plan to get commuters to the Tarrytown train station.

“Whatever that solution is to getting to the Tarrytown station, we believe that’s a very viable option to be in place by the time the bridge opens,” he said.

The midterm goal, hoped for within ten years, is to implement so-called bus rapid transit.

“Bus rapid transit would have dedicated stations, dedicated lanes,” Vanderbeek said.

Part of that would be a link between Stewart International Aiport in Newburgh and Westchester County Airport in White Plains.

Long-term, some time in the 2030s, he envisions a direct Albany to New York City mass transit link across the Tappan Zee.

The task force needs to make recommendations to the governor by the end of the year.