The New York School Bus Contractors Association (NYSBCA) is calling for school buses to be included in a proposed bus lane for the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.
The newly constructed span, also known as the New Tappan Zee Bridge, connects Rockland County and Westchester County over the Hudson River north of New York City.
The New York State Department of Transportation (NYS DOT) is gauging public interest and potential concerns on a proposal to dedicate a fifth, outer lane for use only by transit buses and emergency vehicles. A recent study by the state agency determined that the dedicated lane, in addition to the four lanes open to general traffic, would be safest for buses and would help reduce commuter travel time.
NYSBCA, which represents nearly 100 school bus companies in the state, recently submitted recommendations to the NYS DOT asking for school buses to be eligible vehicles for the bus lane.
“Our number one priority is the safety of the children who ride our school buses, and we believe wholeheartedly that a dedicated bus lane on the Governor M. Cuomo Bridge, which includes transit, coach, and school buses, is a smart policy that will improve safety and driving efficiency,” NYSBCA President Bree Allen said. “Allowing school buses to travel in a less-congested, bus-only lane will be safer for our passengers and help reduce congestion on the bridge during the busiest times of the day.”
Allen added that the association is prepared to provide industry-specific data or technical assistance to the NYS DOT as it considers the dedicated bus lane for the bridge.
“We are optimistic that student safety will be strongly considered, and school buses will be included in their final recommendations should the lane come to fruition,” Allen said.