This story has been updated
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $10 million in federal aid to improve bus rapid transit over the new Tappan Zee Bridge, officials announced on Monday.
Spokesmen for U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Westchester/Rockland, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said that the federal DOT granted the state Department of Transportation money for new bus stations, ramp signals and other high-tech upgrades along Interstate 287 between Suffern and White Plains to provide more reliable bus service via Tarrytown. The enhanced "Hudson Links" transit will replace the "Tappan ZEExpress bus in 2018, officials said on Monday. The current bus line serves about 36,000 passengers monthly.
State DOT officials plan to expand ridership along I-287 by adding six connecting bus routes in future years. The bus enhancements were requested by elected officials in Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties when the initial plans for a new $4 billion Tappan Zee Bridge were reviewed.
“Today is another major step forward in our efforts to improve transportation in the lower Hudson Valley,” Cuomo said in a press statement. “This funding will help us give commuters more mass transit options and ultimately reduce traffic congestion in the region."
Lowey said, “By helping to implement bus rapid transit on the bridge, this federal investment will improve access to reliable, safe, and affordable east-west transportation for Westchester and Rockland residents."
Rockland County Legislator Harriet Cornell, who served on the Governor's New NY Bridge Mass Transit Task Force, said, "Yes, Route 59 will be part of this exciting change as will the I-287 corridor, and residents will be happy to leave their cars at home while enjoying the benefits of commuting by Bus Rapid Transit."
Other planned improvements include:
-- New, well-lit, weather-protected bus stations with wi-fi, real-time bus arrival information and automated ticket sales/fare collection.
-- Signal upgrades along Route 59 in Rockland and Route 119 (Tarrytown Road) in Greenburgh and White Plains with technology-focused improvements -- helping bus drivers predict, adapt and respond to changing traffic conditions.