Beacon-Danbury line MAP
"You Can't Get There From Here"
Beacon/Maybrook Line trail
Southern Dutchess Interurban Rail Transit presentation
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"Although nearly half of work commutes still originate from, or terminate in, central cities, 39 percent
of work trips are entirely suburban. Some older rail transit systems which still move millions of daily commuters capture little of this market because they were laid
out when the dominant travel pattern was still into and out of cities, before business and commercial development began rapid decentralization. These hub-and-spoke patterns provide dense metropolitan cores
with large supplies of suburban workers, but may not serve other parts of metropolitan areas well."
Brookings Intitute - 'Missed Opportunity:Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America'
In south-western Dutchess county, there has been not one transit agency,but now two transit agencies that have failed to provide adequate transit service for this economicaly important part of the county. First when the MTA (NY Metropolitan Transit Authority) Metro North RR bought the Beacon -Danbury line back in 1995 and have yet to run regularly scheduled revenue passenger trains.
Then,the mis-managed Dutchess County bus transit system,operated by a private company, stopped running the shuttle bus they were providing in Beacon to-from the MNRR Hudson line station when they implemented the new routes and schedules June 28,2010.The 2 regurlarly scheduled DCT routes that serve the city of Beacon,the route B and route F,were not stoping at the Hudson line station contrary to the recomendations of the 2009 transit development plan,which have these 2 routes stoping at the station for intermodal transit connections - road,rail and ferry/water taxi from Newburgh.
The DCT has a commuter shuttle bus named the RAIL LINK.This only operates Mo. to Fri and in the AM and PM for rail transit commuters.The Beacon RAILLINK bus starts from a section of the parking lot at the Renagades (minor league) baseball stadium which serves as Dutchess county's only transit park-n-ride lot. (the other p-n-r lot is for rideshare - the transit buses do not stop there) This had led to Beacon having no transit link between the Hudson line station and Main Street mid day during the week and on Saturdays. There is no bus service at all on Sundays. The county finaly provided the needed transit connection between the Hudson line station and Main Street with the introduction of the route G circulator shutle bus.
The primary goal,and ongoing effort,is for the restoration of revenue passgenger service on the Beacon line.This was my initial involvement,in 2010,with the transportation issue in Beacon NY.(located in the SW most populated corner of this county) I had joined a group of 'enlightened' individuals led by Ben Royce of Beacon.As per my grand vision though,the Beacon line project will/should be more than just the trains. I envision a fully integrated,intermodal transportation system - rail-bus-bicycle/pedestrian as oposed to what we currently have here in Dutchess county NY. A bunch of buses driving around in circles and not always getting the people to where they need to go at the time they need (this latter is important),and rusty rails on an interurban branch rail line that is virtualy abandoned by the regional passenger rail transit agency - MTA/Metro North RR.
As per my rail transit plan for southern Dutchess county,I recomend an area transit entity be formed for southern Dutchess county. This entity,with federal and other funding,could build the stations and purchase the new rail vehicles.The individual communities served by the rail line,would use this funding for trail development along the rail corridor.The track,signaling and grade crossing improvements would be part of a statewide rail infrastructure upgrade paid for,in part,with unused high speed rail federal funding from other states. Metro North would operate and maintain the rail vehicles (locomotives,coaches and DMU trainsets) along with routine track/ROW maintenance,for the aforementioned southern Dutchess transit entity. This would be a similar partnership as that of the CT DOT and MNRR.I believe this could be made possible.Indeed,it should be done to bring the area from a Brookings Institute overall ranking of 100 out of 100 metropolitan areas nationwide to among the top 25 nationwide.