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Cuomo Announces $20M To Help Launch New Rockland/Westchester Bus Service

The Hudson River and the Tappan Zee Bridge, as seen from Tarrytown, Feb. 26, 2014. (credit: Paul Murnane/WCBS 880)

The Hudson River and the Tappan Zee Bridge, as seen from Tarrytown, Feb. 26, 2014. (credit: Paul Murnane/WCBS 880)

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TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A plan to improve bus service in Rockland and Westchester counties is getting $20 million in state funding.

As WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported, the new Tappan Zee Bridge will be sturdy enough to support trains. That’s been deemed too expensive for now, so Bus Rapid Transit will get a boost from Albany to get a new system rolling.

“We are investing in implementing new mass transit in Westchester and Rockland County to make the New NY Bridge an even greater asset for commuters in the region,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

A Tappan Zee Express rider said she hopes the new bus line will offer increased service.

“Because at nighttime, you could wait an hour for a bus if you miss one the way the trains run. If you come in like 6, 7 or 8 o’clock, you have to wait at least another hour before the Tappan Zee Express comes,” she told Adams.

The future system will have seven routes, new stations, dedicated bus lanes in some places and wireless Internet.

Veronica Vanterpool, executive director of Tri-State Transportation Campaign, sat on a task force the recommended better bus service.

WEB EXTRA: Read The Report (pdf)

She has applauded the state for providing seed money for the project.

The Bus Rapid Transit system will increase transit ridership by 10,150 people per day in the region and cut commuter travel times by 20 to 25 percent, according to the governor’s office.

Who will run the buses and the source of the remaining money is still to be determined.

The new bus service is expected to be operating when the bridge opens to traffic in 2018.

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