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Beginning this Wednesday, August 22nd, Dutchess County Public Transit’s Route G in the City of Beacon will be known as The Beacon Free Loop and will provide unlimited free rides for residents and visitors within the city’s limits as part of a new collaboration with the City of Beacon, BeaconArts, and Dutchess County. The goal of the collaboration is to spark new interest in the route, with an arts-focused rebranding of the bus and several bus shelters in the city. Recent changes to the route improve access between the Beacon train station and popular cultural and tourist destinations such as Dia:Beacon and the Mount Beacon Trailhead, as well as the business district within the city. The route operates Monday through Saturday, 6am to 9pm.
Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, “We are excited to expand our partnership with Mayor Randy Casale and BeaconArts to enhance public transit and increase awareness of this valuable resource for residents and visitors. This collaboration highlights the many arts and cultural attractions Beacon has to offer, helps harness the benefits of a thriving tourism industry and builds a local economy that supports residents and small businesses alike.”
As part of an inter-municipal agreement approved unanimously last night by the Dutchess County Legislature at its August board meeting, the City of Beacon will pay $5,000 in 2018 and $11,000 in 2019 to Dutchess County Public Transit to provide passenger service at no cost to the riders until December 31, 2019.
“Beacon is very proud of the positive influence arts and culture have on our community and bringing this free service to our city is an incredible opportunity to celebrate the artists and tourist attractions that contribute to the creative atmosphere we cultivate,” said Beacon Mayor Randy Casale. “We are grateful to everyone at BeaconArts for leading the design process and the leadership of Dutchess County government for their support in making this partnership possible.”
To highlight the bus service, the City of Beacon commissioned an eye-catching wrap for the Dutchess County Public Transit bus on the route to increase awareness and visibility. The design was created by current BeaconArts President Rick Rogers, Brianne Linden of Marist College’s NorthRoad Communications—a student-run marketing and communications design firm, and former BeaconArts board member Kirsten Heincke of KHCreative.
“Working with the students at NorthRoad was just great,” said Rogers. “They dove into the project and came up with a fantastic logo that visually represents the Beacon Free Loop. It is eye-catching and fun – and hopefully will attract riders to get on the bus.”
Additionally, BeaconArts curated and installed designs from local artists—including Beacon High School graduate Kyra S. Husbands, the recipient of the Dutchess County Executive’s Arts Awards in the Student with Exceptional Promise in the Arts category—in six bus shelters throughout the city with funding from a Dutchess Partners in the Arts grant, through Dutchess Tourism, Inc. and Arts Mid-Hudson. BeaconArts is also planning to bring events to the bus and shelters this fall such as pop-up art lectures and concerts.
“Beacon is a hub of culture and creativity that the Beacon Free Loop will allow residents and people from all over to experience. An arts solution is exactly what is needed to bring awareness to this great amenity in our city,” said former BeaconArts President and Beacon Free Loop committee organizer Kelly Ellenwood.
Riders can hail the bus at any safe location along the route, as well as at designated bus stops.
The public is invited to join County and City officials, members of the BeaconArts council, and featured artists for an official launch and celebration of the Beacon Free Loop collaboration on Thursday, August 30th at 10 a.m. at Polhill Park at the corner of Main Street and Route 9D in Beacon.
The Beacon Free Loop schedule is available online at dutchessny.gov/publictransit as well as on the Beacon Free Loop Facebook and Instagram pages. Additional route information, rider alerts, real-time updates and more are available on Dutchess County Public Transit’s Dutchess Tracker app. For more information on BeaconArts, visit their website at beaconarts.org.