Representative Nita Lowey

Representing the 17th District of New York

Congresswoman Lowey, Governor Cuomo, and Senator Gillibrand Announce $10 Million Federal Grant to Develop Bus Rapid Transit for Lower Hudson Valley

October 26, 2015
Press Release

TIGER grant will allow NYSDOT to provide enhanced transportation options and service for Rockland and Westchester residents

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the New York State Department of Transportation has been awarded a $10 million federal grant to help develop bus rapid transit service between Rockland and Westchester Counties.

“This $10 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation is critical to increase public transportation options on the New New York Bridge,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “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. As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue working with federal, state, and local officials to ensure our region’s transportation needs are met.”

“Today is another major step forward in our efforts to improve transportation in the lower Hudson Valley,” said Governor Cuomo. “This funding will help us give commuters more mass transit options and ultimately reduce traffic congestion in the region. I thank our federal partners for working with us on this crucial project, especially Congresswoman Lowey for her steadfast support, and look forward to seeing mass transit along the New NY Bridge for years to come.”

“This federal funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation will allow New York State to make critical upgrades for public transit and pedestrians in Westchester and Rockland Counties across the New New York Bridge,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Investing in our transportation infrastructure helps to create jobs now, and lay the foundation for more jobs tomorrow. Hudson Valley will be able to continue the development momentum generated by these investments.”

Hudson Links is a set of interrelated improvements that will support the development and operation of an East-West BRT service along I-287 and adjacent roads between Westchester and Rockland counties. The project will construct new Bus Stations; create an ITS “Smart Corridor” on Route 59 (Connects/parallels I-287) ; develop a Transit Boulevard in White Plains that will be served by the BRT; install Ramp Metering along I-287 to manage congestion and increase transit speed, reliability, and efficiency.

This funding is being administered through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program, which funds capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure projects. In June of this year, the Governor’s administration led a variety of elected officials and other regional stakeholders in urging the federal government to support the Hudson Link’s TIGER grant application. Additionally, Senator Gillibrand and Congresswoman Lowey sent a letter to DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx on July 15, strongly supporting New York’s application. Congresswoman Lowey has personally advocated for this award with the Secretary of Transportation and other DOT officials since the letter was sent.

"This grant is integral to the improvement of travel options and gives "legs" to the recommendations in the final Report of the Mass Transit Task Force,” said Rockland County Legislator Harriet Cornell who served on the Governor's New NY Bridge Mass Transit Task Force and is the Chairwoman of the Rockland County Legislature's Special Committee on Transit. “How better to encourage people to use mass transit when advanced traffic management systems with traffic signal priority will be utilized, when transit stations will be upgraded, and intersections and pedestrian facilities will be improved. 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."

"The BCW is so pleased to learn of this significant TIGER grant which will enhance mobility in the region and create new opportunities for smart growth and economic development,” said Dr. Marsha Gordon, President /CEO, The Business Council of Westchester and member of the Task Force. “Senator Gillibrand's commitment to creating a region with multiple transit options...and securing the funding to do so...shows her leadership and vision for the Hudson Valley.”

The Hudson Links program will respond to unmet needs for better east-west travel options that residents and employees in the region seek, enhance the existing transit service across the Hudson River, and lay the foundation for Bus Rapid Transit on the New NY Bridge. Specifically, this grant will enable the development of:

· New, well-lit, weather-protected bus stations with Wi-Fi, real-time bus arrival information, and off-board ticket vending/fare collection;
· Signal upgrades along Route 59 and 119 with technology-focused improvements, including transit signal priority and intelligent signal control, helping drivers predict, adapt, and respond to changing traffic conditions;
· Comprehensive intersection improvements to increase pedestrian safety and access to bus stops;
· Ramp metering/queue jump lanes along I-287 to stabilize mainline vehicle flows and allow buses to move past vehicle queues, thereby increasing transit speed and reliability; and
· Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) technology and systems along I-287 in Rockland County, Route 59 and Route 119, including enhanced traveler information and advanced monitoring and control equipment to give the operators a greater awareness of what is happening along the enhanced transit corridor and the ability to rapidly respond to changing conditions.