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08.12.2014
Governor Andrew Cuomo claims that a bus rapid transit system would cost $5 billion to build. At the beginning of the week, Governor Andrew Cuomo launched a media offensive to defend his decision to halt all work on building new transit infrastructure across the Tappan Zee Bridge. But according to recently released state documents reviewed by Streetsblog, Cuomo’s claim is false.
The newly available documents, which date from late 2010 and early 2011, were first obtained by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign under the state’s Freedom of Information Law.
A state document emphasizes that climbing lanes like this are for trucks and cars, not transit. But a document from May 2011, before the Cuomo administration canceled the transit components of the Tappan Zee project, makes clear that those totals include enormous sums dedicated to highway improvements along I-287, not transit [PDF]. The Cuomo administration has justified including billions of dollars in highway spending in its BRT cost estimates by arguing that they are necessary to build the bus system. Exactly what those billions of dollars of highway improvements include is difficult to ascertain.
But some of the costs for each component can be disentangled, and it is clear that not all the highway spending is necessary for high-quality bus service. Between just those two projects, the state has tacked on half a billion dollars in non-transit costs to the price tag of BRT. The Cuomo administration has further inflated costs by focusing on an option to run buses on a new elevated viaduct (top), but a simpler option would run buses on existing surface roads (bottom). Last year, the state estimated that the entire Westchester side of the BRT system could be built for a little more than $1 billion, including soft costs like engineering and potential cost overruns [PDF].
So half of the entire BRT corridor could be built for just above $1 billion, if the Cuomo administration decided to pursue the surface option.
Because the state had planned to build new high-occupancy vehicle lanes in Rockland County, it did not study an on-street BRT option west of the Tappan Zee Bridge.
In either case, there clearly are lower-cost transit options that the state could pursue. The actual price of building bus rapid transit, even a full-featured system running along the whole corridor, is possibly billions of dollars less than Cuomo claims.
When it comes to transit, the governor would do well to heed his own words — can he actually get a forward-thinking transportation project done? Andrew Cuomo needs to start providing an honest and transparent accounting of what it would really take to build a Tappan Zee Bridge bus rapid transit system, and his administration needs to get back to work and finish a plan to build cost-effective transit. You can’t walk to anything from I-287 east of White Plains.  So who would want to take a bus there? I seriously want to better understand Cuomo’s motivation for turning traitor on mass transit over the Tappan Zee. Word On The Street “In all honestly, the workload frequently placed on volunteer CB members is often so large that only the retired or financially independent can put in the time without burning out.


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But newly released state documents show that number includes billions of dollars in highway improvements, with transit costs actually much lower. Even a gold-plated bus rapid transit system from Suffern to Port Chester would not cost the $5 billion that Cuomo says it would. Only after Tri-State received the documents did the Cuomo administration post them on its Tappan Zee Bridge website. Including the cost of climbing lanes has increased the price tag of bus rapid transit by nearly half a billion dollars. In earlier versions of the Tappan Zee project, the state simultaneously pursued a bus rapid transit system, I-287 expansions, and a new commuter rail service into Rockland County.
The Highway Improvement Report suggests constructing climbing lanes in Rockland County to allow passenger vehicles to pass slow-moving trucks on uphill stretches. Again, the Highway Improvement Report does not justify the construction of the lanes in terms of transit operation.
Such a solution might exist, or buses could run in the existing shoulders of I-287, a common practice around the country.
New York cannot give up on transit because of the governor’s opposition and a false $5 billion price tag.
If you charge $20 tolls then everyone will want to take the bus (cutting revenue), unless you also take that option away.
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We found 33 pictures of very expressive bears that look like they could be thinking or doing some of the things that we do every day. Here are 25 cute and furry friends that took a page from their health-minded owners' books and did some relaxing stretches. While seemingly dangerous, these shots were made possible with the help of professional animal trainers. Despite our good intentions, these statements teach children to stop trusting their internal guidance system, to become deceptive, to do as little as possible, and to give up when things get hard. I don't know, and neither does New York-Based photographer David Williams, which is why he says he set out on his strange but adorable "Men & Cats" photo series a€“ to challenge that stereotype by photographing fellas together with their feline friends. Depending on the scenario, the administration is counting between $1 billion and $3 billion in highway costs (the left column) toward the cost of building bus rapid transit. The $5 billion figure includes between $1 billion and $3 billion worth of highway improvements, many of which are entirely unrelated to building transit. Bus service, which would run in its own dedicated lanes, would not be affected by the climbing lanes. 119 or Westchester Avenue, with slight road widenings in some locations to add dedicated bus lanes.
He added that local officials had feared additional congestion from the cheaper, on-street option in years past, but did not provide documentation that the more affordable option would actually have negative effects on traffic. The series is hilarious because it gives us an unexpected (and funny-looking) glance at the subjects' personalities. We may never be 100% sure just why cats love to cram themselves into small spaces, but it probably has something to do with predation and safety. OK, so maybe they aren't ALL doing yoga, but the resemblance between their poses and a few popular yoga stretches is uncanny. But as a popular saying goes, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." What about you? Fortunately, she has provided us with a few adorable behind-the-scenes photos showing how the animals are posed by their trainers, including a shot where the bear sneaks a snack from its trainer over the model's shoulder. Poking holes in obvious shine stories is all well and good, but if this is going to be fixed his real motivations must be visited and exposed for all to see.
That's how the football-viewing public feels about the Cincinnati Bengals, and I understand it.



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