How To Get There From Here

The morning couldn’t have been more perfect for a drive in the country — cool temps outside, clear sky, and a gorgeous view as I crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge. I switched lanes because the car wheels were thumping over the seams; not for much longer. Caroline Corley’s show was on 107.1 The Peak, and the music suited my mood.

Would that I could have driven past Exit 14B and further into the mountains. Dutifully, I turned off the New York State Thruway and onto Airmont Road, where my cousins live, and made then another turn to Executive Boulevard. It was the fifth meeting of the Mass Transit Task Force, and I was driving with The Peak. It was all good.

I walked in wondering, What is the budget for transit? If I want to buy something, I start with a dollar amount in mind and try to find something within that amount.  Or do I use my credit card, and then worry about how to pay for my purchase?

“It’s best to talk about financing options, rather than talk about transit objectives and back into a discussion about finance,” task force co-chair and New York State Thruway executive director Thomas Madison said at the onset.

The group was briefed on state and federal transit funding means, and talked about current transit funding in Westchester and Rockland Counties. If I was on the task force, what would I say or do?

It would depend upon the group I represented — do I want a light rail system in the corridor? How about a personal rapid transit system (like The Sky Loop Committee [SLC], which I discovered while looking for something akin to the George Jetson mode of transport)?

Per Skyloop.org: “We seek to implement an effective and advanced elevated transit system to link together the downtown and riverfront areas of Cincinnati, Ohio, Covington and Newport, Kentucky. The Sky Loop will greatly enhance this central urban venue and will help propel our metropolitan region forward into the 21st Century.”

One option was a ferry. Metropolitan Transportation Authority director of special project development and planning William Wheeler said the idea of a ferry “is not as easy as it sounds.”

It has to be subsidized and needs riders, Wheeler said.

I might try it. What if commuters decided (after a certain number of trips) that they’d rather take a bus? Is the river predictable? Can a ferry handle the volume of commuters? Would it save time for its passengers?

Everything begins with an idea. “If you think it’s the right plan, plow ahead,” Wheeler said. “There’s no guarantee you’ll get the funding you need or not.”

There’s also a chance the group will.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2013

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