Goldens Bridge, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today to restore full service on Metro-North Railroad’s Harlem line so commuters, including first responders and essential workers, can travel to their jobs.
Harckham addressed his concerns in a letter to Catherine Rinaldi, president of MTA Metro-North Railroad, which was delivered to her today as well.
Regular train service from Grand Central Terminal currently terminates at Goldens Bridge. While there is bus service between Goldens Bridge, Purdys, Brewster and Southeast (so bus service is filling the gap at those three stations), residents can use shuttle train service between Southeast and Wassaic, which began today yet only runs every two hours.
In his letter to Rinaldi, Harckham notes that with the economy gradually opening back up after the shutdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, “workers are increasingly relying on the train for their daily commute,” and adds that essential workers and first responders “need the train to travel to their jobs to provide vital, lifesaving services.”
“As we recover from the health emergency, we need normal train service throughout the line to help fuel economic activity,” Harckham writes, “and help ensure that those who protect us get to their jobs.”
Town of Patterson Supervisor Richard Williams, Sr. said, “We must restore full service for the Harlem line to bolster our economy. At this point, there really is no justification for any reduction of train service to Patterson.”
Metro-North Railroad cut back on its service in late March as the Covid-19 pandemic worsened. With New York City and the metropolitan region slowly re-opening, Metro-North was beginning to resume normal service when Tropical Storm Isaias hit and service was suspended because of high winds and debris on the tracks.
Even with trains running on normal schedules on the Hudson and New Haven lines, Harlem line service remains limited, however.
“I do not understand why Metro-North would leave three villages—Purdys, Croton Falls and Brewster—without any train service, especially when all of the other station stops on the line are being covered,” said Town of North Salem Supervisor Warren Lucas, who noted also that Metro-North was not providing the bus service to the Southeast station on the weekends, further inconveniencing residents.