Five Dollars for the Next 16 Months, and Then?

“We don’t know how much we will we get from the federal government, how much we will get from the state; there are state loans and grants we can access,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said nearly four years ago.

He was fielding questions about tolls and the task force he proposed in 2012 to address them while in Piermont to greet the newly-arrived super crane.

“Additional unknowns are the built-in contract incentives for Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) to finish the project before spring 2018 or penalties for completing it later. Once you have those numbers, then you can come up with a plan about how to do it, what commuters should pay, on-hour, off-hour, etc.,” he said.

The governor assured the task force will be formed “I think within the next year, certainly,” and commuters “should have to pay as little as possible.” Rumors have been that tolls could run as high as $14 per vehicle, but state officials have downplayed that possibility.

When asked about fares on the new bridge during last week’s primary debate with Democratic gubernatorial challenger Cynthia Nixon, Cuomo reiterated Thruway tolls will remain the same until at least 2020; fees going forward would depend on the state’s finances at the time. No mention of the task force that, per the Journal News, has disappeared.

What happened to those additional unknowns Cuomo cited four years ago? What happened to potential commuter discount options and a resident discount program? By the way, it’s coming around to fall 2018. Does this mean penalties for TZC will be factored into the new bridge’s tolls?

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

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