In the wake of resignations of the Chairman, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of the New York State Thruway Authority, Governor Cuomo has announced his appointment of state budget director Robert Megna as acting Executive Director and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney as Board Chairwoman. Tri-State is hopeful that this new leadership will implement some changes and follow through on promises made.
First and foremost, Megna and Mahoney must increase transparency at the Authority, starting with the release of the financial plan for the New NY Bridge project. Tri-State has been calling for this for several years—with the Thruway Authority specifically refusing to disclose it. The public has a right to know how much this new project will be increasing tolls.
Finally, as tolls are expected to rise and there is currently no viable transit alternative to driving in the Rockland/Westchester I-287 Corridor, Thruway leadership must publicly support and see to the implementation of the bus system recommended by the Governor’s Mass Transit Task Force. With a framework already in place and bus lanes already planned for the bridge, it is incumbent upon Megna and Mahoney to ensure bridge users have a real transit alternative to driving across the bridge.