OMBUDSMAN ALERT EXCLUSIVE: NYS Dept. of Transportation tells officials it wants to eliminate Tappan Zee Express bus service

BY DR. LOUIS ALPERT

Ombudsman

The NYS Dept. of Transportation has officially proposed eliminating the Tappan Zee Express bus service connecting park and rides in Rockland County to Tarrytown Railroad Station, the Rockland County Times has learned. The TZ Express service has long been the fastest way for Rocklanders to catch a ride to Grand Central Station in New York City.

In April this column warned local commuters and government officials that the DOT would seek to eliminate this vital service following the completion of the new TZ Bridge (aka, the “Mario” bridge). Instead the DOT wants to route Rockland commuters heading to Grand Central through White Plains transit terminal.

This will cost Rockland commuters an extra 30 minutes in round-trip travel time! Should the Express be eliminated there will still be local buses that connect Rockland and Tarrytown Rail Station, but with many time-consuming stops along the way.

The good news is that our local elected officials are aware of the situation and have agreed to vigorously fight this unfortunate proposal. Four elected officials have submitted quotes to the readers of this column.

COUNTY EXECUTIVE ED DAY:

“We will continue to fiercely advocate for full express service from the Palisades Center to Tarrytown and we ask our residents to make their voices personally heard at upcoming LHTL meetings that will be held by the state as they are announced.”

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLYMAN KEN ZEBROWSKI:

“The proposed elimination of the express bus to the Tarrytown train station is ill-advised and short changes Rockland commuters. I have sent a letter to the Lower Hudson Transit Link that they ensure there is express bus service from the Palisades Mall to Tarrytown in the new bus system.

“We must respect the will of the Rockland commuters and they have made it clear: Restore express service to the Tarrytown train station. I’m committed to making sure that Rockland commuters have the best transit options available including the restoration of popular routes.”

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLYWOMAN ELLEN JAFFEE:

“The limited mass transit options for commuters who travel from Rockland County to New York City on a daily basis creates an enormous challenge. The express routes from the Palisades Mall to the Tarrytown Rail Station are critical to these commuters and their ability to travel quickly to the train.

“I have continuously expressed my concerns, and once again I’m calling on the New York State Department of Transportation to maintain the critical express service to the Tarrytown Rail Station from the Palisades Mall in Rockland County. The elimination of this essential service would surely be a hardship for many and lead to a significant loss of ridership hindering the region’s economic growth.

“The Department’s efforts to create a modern and efficient bus system, including the implementation of Bus Rapid Transit and other traffic signal enhancement would ensure that communities like Rockland County will have access to mass transportation that meets their unique needs and encourages commuter leadership. To that end, I urge DOT to preserve express bus service to Tarrytown.”

SENATOR DAVID CARLUCCI:

“I’m actively engaging with the State Department of Transportation on their plan for what will become the Lower Hudson Transit Link system. I look forward to working with commuters to make sure their voices are heard and that we do everything we can to make their commute as quick and painless as possible.”

Please address all comments and questions to editor@rocklandcountytimes.com.