The recent announcement of a transit task force for the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project was promising news for the Lower Hudson Valley region, but nearly a month after the news broke, the committee has not been convened (nor has New York State provided any details about its makeup, although Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino told Capital Tonight that he will be a member).
While the state has committed to bridge-only bus lanes, the lack of information on the task force is troubling, especially since the administration is looking to begin construction before the end of the year. In its current state, the Tappan Zee Bridge project will not solve the region’s congestion problem, which means that New York must do more for transit, and must do so quickly (especially since the task force is supposed to issue recommendations in one year’s time). The task force must meet soon and move swiftly if its recommendations are to be incorporated into the bridge plans.
Given that Governor Cuomo announced that the state was applying for a TIFIA loan for the Tappan Zee just hours after NYMTC approved the project (in a hastily-convened session), there is no question that the state can move rapidly on projects of regional significance. And Lower Hudson Valley transit is certainly one of those.