It's the largest transportation design-build project in the nation, and it's right here in New York. YNN’s Meredith Zaritheny is in Orangeburg with more on the Tappan Zee Bridge project.
ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- While construction on the New Tappan Zee Bridge hasn't started yet, the project’s Mass Transit Task Force met Friday to discuss transportation recommendations and what they mean for every area, including Orange County.
"The Mass Transit Task Force is looking for short, medium, and long term solutions to throughout Westchester, Rockland County, and beyond," said Brian Conybeare, Special Advisor to Governor Cuomo
The Mass Transit Task Force held their third meeting at Dominican College. On the agenda, an in depth look at transit studies of Rockland and Westchester counties and also regional existing transit conditions.
"If you got with bus rapid transit, where do you put the stations and how does it integrate into the road and is there space for a dedicated lane?" said Conybeare.
More than 25 percent of the Orange County residents commute to work outside of the county. Yet, there is no Orange County representative on the task force.
“We wanted to make sure we were represented here on the task force and to ensure and recommendations or advice given to the governor they keep Orange County in mind," said Conor Gillis, Staff Assistant to Orange County Executive Ed Diana.
Representatives from Orange County Executive Ed Diana's office and Orange County Citizens Foundation took advantage of the meeting's public comment, supporting rapid bus transit as a viable transportation option they believe the task force should act on, that would reduce congestion on the roads and have positive impact on the environment.
"Mass transit is extremely important to the growth of Orange County and without it we will remain sort of urban sprawl instead of a great place for economic growth," said Nancy Proyect, Orange County Citizens Foundation.
Officials say they're still in the early stages of evaluating different transportation options, including direct bus service and rail systems, before they make their recommendations to the governor.
The next time the Mass Transit Task Force will meet will be in March.