NEW YORK — MTA Metro-North Railroad and the New York State Department of Transportation have developed a funding plan to continue the operations of the Haverstraw-Ossining and Newburgh-Beacon Ferry Services for the next two years.
As part of this funding plan, State Sens. Thomas P. Morahan and William J. Larkin Jr. have secured $658,000 and $600,000 respectively to ensure the continuation of two ferry runs that provide Rockland and Orange county residents with access to Metro-North’s Hudson Line train service.
Additional state and federal funds also have been secured, that along with an estimated $300,000 in farebox revenues, will cover the $7.1 million cost of operating the ferries through Dec. 31 2010. The current funding agreement between Metro-North and NYSDOT expires on Nov. 30.
The Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry, in service since September 2000, carries over 500 rides daily with many days in the 550s, and the Newburgh-Beacon Ferry, which began operation in October 2005, provides an average of 475 rides a day, with some days over 500. The ferry facilities provide a total of approximately 600 additional parking spaces for Metro-North customers.
The Haverstraw service connects to fifteen and the Newburgh service to fourteen morning and evening Metro-North trains with a Guaranteed Ride Home Program provided for both services when ferry is not running during mid-day and late-night hours.
“The Haverstraw-Ossining ferry service provides local commuters with a safe, cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative to driving while also expanding access to Metro-North trains for many New Yorkers,” said Gov. David Paterson. “I commend Senators Morahan and Larkin for their efforts to secure funding for the continuation of these services. I also commend the MTA and DOT for working together on a funding plan to ensure that New Yorkers continue to benefit from this great service.”
“With a perennial shortage of parking around train stations and with serious traffic on the Hudson River bridges, these two ferries give people west of the Hudson River a better choice for access to Metro-North’s excellent train service,” said Metro-North President Howard Permut. “Thanks to the partnership and cooperation of our state Senators, the New York State Department of Transportation and the transportation planning organizations in the counties we serve, this service will continue and continue to attract new riders to mass transit.”
— Special to Railfanning.org News Wire