The NYS Bridge Authority will lease dark fiber optic services over two of its bridges for the next 10 years, generating over $900 thousand dollars and providing a supplement to its tolling revenue.
“The Bridge Authority does not receive any tax money from the State or Federal governments and is entirely self-supporting in its maintenance and operations,” Executive Director Joseph Ruggiero said. “These dark fiber leases help the bottom line and while they will never replace tolls as a principal source of revenue, help keep our tolls low.”
Authority Chairman Richard A. Gerentine said “The dark fiber leasing program is in its fifth year and has been a tremendous success. Using the assets we have to generate revenue that doesn’t increase tolls is an ongoing effort at the Bridge Authority.”
“This year alone we’ll generate over $150,000 in new revenue and have built-in recurring revenue of more than $300,000 per year for the next several years,” Ruggiero added.
Since 2011, the Bridge Authority has executed fiber optic leases totaling $3,186,510. All fiber leases were arranged by Broadband Consulting Services of Poughkeepsie, NY.
Lightower Fiber Networks, an all-fiber communications company that covers the Northeast, MidAtlantic and Chicago area, is leasing a fiber crossing on the Bear Mountain and Rip Van Winkle bridges.
Firstlight Fiber, a provider of high speed data, Internet, and other services in Upstate New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine, is leasing a fiber crossing on the Bear Mountain Bridge.
In addition to the Bear Mountain and Rip Van Winkles bridges, the Bridge Authority has dark fiber crossings on the Newburgh-Beacon and Mid-Hudson bridges. A dark fiber crossing at the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge, the Authority’s fifth vehicular bridge, is in the planning stages.
The $1.25 passenger vehicle toll for EZPass customers on all Authority bridges is among the lowest nationwide for self-supporting transportation agencies. Tolls are actually lower today, in real dollars, than they were in 1933 when the Authority began operations.