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Dutchess County Public Transit
Dutchess County Public Transit
Poughkeepsie … In 2024, Dutchess County Public Transit (DCPT) will be making route changes to make it easier for riders to navigate the system, expand service on the busiest routes, and streamline service in underutilized areas to improve efficiency. The changes, which will go into effect March 30, 2024, are part of the 2024 County Budget adopted last night by the Dutchess County Legislature and will provide more than $265,000 in annual savings to the County.
DCPT will host public information meetings next week to begin information outreach, which will continue over the next several months, to inform riders and the community about the changes. The meeting schedule is as follows:
DCPT will provide free rides for passengers attending the meetings; passengers should inform the bus driver of their destination upon boarding.
DCPT is projected to serve over 780,000 riders in 2023, an increase of nearly 16 percent over 2022. Unlike many of the similar sized public transit systems across the state and the nation, DCPT’s ridership has rebounded strongly since the COVID-19 pandemic. The route changes will enable the system to continue to expand its ridership and are the first significant changes since 2017 when the County expanded service to include City of Poughkeepsie routes.
The route modifications were developed as part of an extensive study of the DCPT system by industry expert Nelson/Nygaard and DCPT management. The in-depth analysis included review of rider requests and feedback, passenger counts per trip, and discussion of transit needs with area employers.
The resulting service enhancements include new hourly service on the system’s most popular routes, A and B; new or expanded service to employers including the Amazon facility and iPark in East Fishkill as well as the new Dutchess Community College southern campus in Fishkill.
Additionally, all routes have been simplified to travel the same path for every run, to eliminate the passenger confusion and frustration about the different paths certain routes currently run. The changes also improve rider experience, especially for seniors and those needing transportation to grocery stores and other shopping, by streamlining routes to shorten trip duration.
The analysis also identified areas where service is under-utilized, often with four or fewer riders per trip, creating costly inefficiencies. Fixed route service in underutilized areas will be eliminated, enabling driver and vehicle resources to be re-deployed to add service where ridership is growing.
The route modifications will also allow for the expansion of the County’s curb-to-curb, on-demand Flex Service. Flex service hours will be expanded from 9am to 1:15pm to 7:20am until 5:15pm Monday through Friday. Saturday availability will also be introduced and will be available from 9:15am until 4:15pm. The expansion of flex service will be an important alternative for riders in areas impacted by service reduction.
An overview of the route modifications is as follows:
Routes A & B (Poughkeepsie to Fishkill/Poughkeepsie to Beacon): Trip frequency will increase to offer hourly service with eight additional trips on each of these two most traveled routes in the transit system.
Route C (Poughkeepsie to Tivoli): This route’s northern-most stop will now be at the Topps Supermarket in Rhinebeck, which encompasses tourist attractions such as the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, area shopping, and Northern Dutchess Hospital. Under-used sections of the route, including service in Red Hook and Tivoli and the Route 9G corridor in Hyde Park, which averaged four or fewer riders per trip, will be eliminated.
Route D (Poughkeepsie to Dover): This route’s eastern-most stop will now be the Village of Millbrook. Stops in Dover and Wassaic, which saw an average of three or fewer riders per trip, will be eliminated.
Route E (Poughkeepsie to Pawling): The eastern-most section of this route has been modified to service the Pawling area morning, mid-day and evening, which were found to be the busiest trips of the day, eliminating two under-used roundtrips. The rest of the route, which services the Lagrange area along Route 55, remains unchanged.
Route F (Beacon to Hopewell Junction): Service hours will be expanded to end at 10pm to better serve southern Dutchess County destinations such as the new Amazon facility and iPark in East Fishkill, the Dutchess Community College (DCC) Fishkill Campus, and the Beacon Train Station.
Route G (Poughkeepsie to Beacon): Following input from and in continued partnership with the City of Beacon, Route G, also known as The Beacon Free Loop, will become a Main Street Shuttle Monday through Saturday, and Sunday service from 10am to 5:50pm will be added, increasing trip frequency along the popular Main Street business corridor in the City. Routes B and F will continue to serve the surrounding City of Beacon area, including housing developments such as Forrestal Heights.
Route H (DCC to Poughkeepsie Train Station) Routes J & K (Poughkeepsie North and South): These routes will be eliminated as the changes to stops along Routes B, C, and D and the new Routes N and O replace them, ending overlapping service and creating less confusion for riders.
Route L (Poughkeepsie – Main Street Shuttle): Service will now end at 8pm as later trips along this route have seen three or fewer riders.
Routes M & P (Poughkeepsie East and West): These routes have been streamlined to better service students attending Poughkeepsie Middle and High School with trips coinciding with the schools’ start and end times. Evening and mid-day runs that were not being utilized will be eliminated.
NEW Route N: This new route will provide hourly service within the city and town of Poughkeepsie for DCC students as well as connecting residents of local housing developments along Smith Street, Delafield Street and surrounding areas, to local shopping such as the new Hudson Heritage shopping center on Route 9.
NEW Route O: Another new route will create direct, hourly service within the City of Poughkeepsie to and from Hudson Plaza and Poughkeepsie Plaza shopping centers, eliminating the doubling back and excessively long routes riders experienced on existing routes. This route will also provide hourly service to the nearby Poughkeepsie Middle and High schools outside of school start and end times, with connections to other routes.
RailLink Service (New Hamburg and Poughkeepsie Train Stations): Due to significant under-use (two or fewer riders per trip), service to New Hamburg train station will be discontinued. The Poughkeepsie RailLink will be discontinued due to low ridership as well as overlapping service on other routes.
To learn more about Dutchess County Public Transit fixed route and on-demand services, as well as view the changes to the fixed route timetables once they are live in 2024, visit Dutchess County Public Transit’s website at dutchessny.gov/publictransit. Riders can also call (845) 473-8424 for questions regarding the route modifications and alternate route options.