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    By Thomas Zambito

    State Sen. Greg Ball will host a roundtable discussion Friday on how public-private partnerships can be used to fund transportation initiatives like adding mass transit to the planned replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge.

    “New York is the capital of capital, and our current inability to proactively fund vital infrastructure projects, small and large, is simply inexcusable,” Ball said.

    Ball is trying to come up with legislative ways to spur partnerships between the public and private sectors in the construction of capital works projects.

    “We live in a a powertful state that is home to the greatest financial market in the world,” Ball said. “The search for federal debt-based funds and our clamoring to finance the transit option on the Tappan Zee Bridge is symptomatic of a previous lack of both creative thinking and innovative finance models.”

    The $5.4 billion plan by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge includes a dedicated rush-hour bus lane on the span. To the dismay of transit advocates, it does not include a broader mass transit option, like rail or bus lines that would travel through neigborhoods near the bridge.

    However, the bridge structure will allow for the future inclusion of mass transit on the bridge. Cuomo said doing so now would double the cost of the bridge.

    The forum and press conference are being co-hosted by the Business Council of Westchester.

    The event will take place from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday at the Mount Kisco Public Library, 100 E. Main St., in Mount Kisco. (ARTICLE)