Tri-State has started running radio ads on 1010 Wins urging Rockland and Westchester residents to demand transit on the Tappan Zee Bridge’s replacement. Public hearings on the project’s draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) will take place on February 28 and March 1. The ad text is as follows:
It’s now or never to tame traffic on the Tappan Zee. New York State plans to replace the bridge, but they cut transit out of the plan. Bus rapid transit on the bridge will ease congestion, reduce pollution, create jobs, improve the economy, and get people where they want to go. Without transit, we’ll be stuck in traffic for decades. Tell Albany—we need transit on the Tappan Zee. Visit www.brtonthebridge.org.
Tri-State supports the replacement of the bridge, but cautions that moving forward without public transportation will stall the region’s economy and do nothing to prevent rising traffic congestion and air pollution.
Our review of the project’s DEIS has revealed questions about how easily the state could add transit to the proposed bridge after its construction. The review also raised serious concerns about the cost estimates for the transit portion of the project. The state estimates that the bridge alone will cost around $5.2 billion, and claims that bus rapid transit would cost an additional $5 billion. Despite requests to the New York State Department of Transportation for documentation that supports this questionable figure, Tri-State has been unable to obtain this information, which should be made available to the public. Elsewhere in the country, bus rapid transit systems have been implemented for a few hundred million dollars or less.