How about $28 a pop just to cross the Hudson?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo insists that would be the reality if mass transit advocates got their way about getting rapid bus service included in the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project – something the administration has insisted will double the cost, boosting it from about $5 billion to $10 billion. (For the record, not everyone agrees with that assessment).

During a stop in Rochester earlier today, Cuomo was asked about The Journal News’ $14 toll report. He responded: “There are a number of options that we’re facing on the Tappan Zee Bridge, and that’s what we’re working through right now.” The options, as detailed by Cuomo, are as follows:

1) Continue to repair the bridge, which would still require a toll increase over the next four to five years to about $14.

2) Build a new and “better” bridge with more lanes and a bike path. “It’s only a couple of dollars more than doing nothing.”

3) Add a bus system on the bridge and in Rockland and Westchester, bringing the toll to about $28 dollars.

<blockquote>”I think the best option is to build a new bridge,” Cuomo said. “Again, these tolls are without any discount, four years down the road. The Tappan Zee also has a situation where the toll has to be somewhat comparable to the George Washington Bridge because people have a choice…So the George Washington will be about $15 in four or five years. So that’s the range of options.”</blockquote>

I tried to determine on Google where the nation’s most expensive bridge toll is. In 2011, it appeared to be Staten Island’s Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which costs $13 without EZPass – for cars, that is; trucks are a different story entirely.

Cuomo also said he’ll be talking with the Thruway Authority in hopes of minimizing the planned 45 percent toll increase on trucks by cutting spending. So far, however, it seems like the boost is on schedule for September, although state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli recently left the door open to auditing the authority’s financial books.

Update: Cuomo expanded upon his comments on the Tappan Zee bridge replacement at a later stop in Syracuse.