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|William R. Steinhaus, County Executive|
Poughkeepsie…Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus hosted a meeting with Peter A. Cannito, President of Metro-North Railroad to discuss current improvements and future capital plans for Dutchess County train service.
County Executive Steinhaus stated, “Train service is vital to the residents and the economy of Dutchess County. As commuter traffic into Manhattan steadily grows each year, we appreciate Mr. Cannito’s time in briefing us on the vast improvements to the stations and listening to our priorities for upcoming plans that will continue to benefit Dutchess County residents.”
Station improvements to date focus on parking and infrastructure development at all stations. Station access and parking have been a continuing need among commuters traveling from Dutchess County. Mr. Cannito reported that Dutchess County received the largest growth and investment in creating parking spots for the Hudson and Harlem Line stations of anywhere in the Metro-North system. To date, Beacon has seen a total of 445 new spaces with the New Hamburg Station parking increase of 160 spots. The Poughkeepsie Station was enhanced with a new parking structure in 2002 that combined with Metro-North surface improvements expanded parking at the Poughkeepsie Train Station to 1,010 spaces. Two new stations and 395 parking spaces were also created along the Harlem Line when the Wassaic Extension was completed in 2000.
President Cannito stated, "Metro-North continues to add service and make investments in stations and parking facilities to make the railroad attractive for the 5,000 Dutchess County residents who commute daily," Cannito said. "We also aim to serve the tourism market with connecting bus service to the Berkshires and discount packages to many Dutchess destinations such as Dia:Beacon."
Discussions between the County Executive and Metro-North President Peter Cannito also included station and parking improvements underway along the Hudson Line that include:
- Improved stairway to Main Street, new canopy extension and repairs to the existing platform canopy at the Poughkeepsie Station.
- Overpass improvements including painting and new floor overlay.
- Off hour parking spaces to support local business efforts at the Poughkeepsie Station.
- An additional 365 new parking spaces at the Beacon Station expected to be completed in 3rd Quarter 2006.
- A “Gateway” canopied intermodal plaza drop-off area to include improved signage, landscaping, seating, and the installation of bike racks in Beacon.
- New vehicular and pedestrian entrance to Beacon Station directly from Beekman Street along with new crosswalks, sidewalks, etc.
- Hourly hybrid rental car pilot deemed “Zip Car” service in Beacon to ease visitor transportation to the local business district and the entire County.
Executive Steinhaus added, “The capital investment Metro-North provides at the Dutchess stations make them safer and friendlier for our commuters while they add to our economy by promoting tourist travel to Dutchess County.”
County Executive Steinhaus also serves as Chair of the Poughkeepsie Dutchess Transportation Council which determines all transportation projects and funding allocations.