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Letter: Include rapid buses on Tappan Zee

A preliminary rendering of the new Tappan Zee

A preliminary rendering of the new Tappan Zee Bridge. The final design will be selected when the State accepts a bid for the bridge's construction. Credit: Handout

When it comes to mass transit on the Tappan Zee Bridge, what is unrealistic is the state's price tag ["Bridge picking up speed," Editorial, Aug. 3].

State officials assert that a bus rapid-transit system on the I-287 corridor is prohibitively expensive. Yet their cost estimates are five times the national average because they include new lanes for trucks as well as the cost of rock blasting, costs that are unrelated to bringing improved bus service to the I-287 corridor.

Until funding is found to build the original 30-mile proposed bus rapid-transit corridor, perhaps from federal grants, bus service can be improved for thousands of daily riders by extending the dedicated bus lane beyond the bridge and building an exclusive bus ramp from the bridge to the Tarrytown train station. These ideas have already been studied and priced out. The state need not start from scratch nor delay the project to improve service when the new bridge opens.

Over several years, other bus rapid-transit components like new fare and signal technology and modern vehicles can enhance the system to create a world-class transit corridor.

Veronica Vanterpool, Eastchester

Editor's note: The writer is the executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a transit advocacy organization.