BEDFORD HILLS, N.Y. – Metro-North management, labor leaders and town officials turned out Friday morning for a symbolic unveiling of enhancements to the Bedford Hills train station.
“The work we’ve done here is part of a major effort to improve the appearance of all our stations,” said Metro-North president Howard Permut. “We are a critical part of your neighborhood and, like all good neighbors, we like to keep up appearances.”
The improvements include new scratch-resistant glass, energy-efficient lighting, new heaters, new benches, replacement of damaged edge-board along the tracks, power-washing, new signage and track-cleaning, Permut said.
Key to the efficient accomplishment of the work, he said, is the "Station Gang," a group of workers who concentrate on total station enhancement, inside and out. “We’ve had every trade involved, and it’s been a perfect example of how Metro-North works with labor unions to deliver the best service possible” at the most reasonable cost.
Metro-North has achieved a 97.7 percent performance standard, Permut said. “It’s the highest in the U.S. Our goal is to give you a reliable ride day in and day out.”
Metro-North has already added trains along the Hudson and Harlem Lines and plans to continue improving service over the next year. “It will be faster and more frequent,” Permut said, “with trains arriving every 20 to 30 minutes.”
A pleasant, attractive and comfortable railroad station not only enhances the daily trip of the regular commuter, said Permut, it attracts new commuters, which is good for the community. It also attracts new businesses, especially in the vicinity of the station. “It plays a key role in keeping an economic region running.”
Bill Henderson, executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee, agreed. “This is a great step for Metro-North. Everybody wants an efficient, comfortable ride. The train station sets the tone for day.”
“I can remember the old days as a commuter,” said Bedford Supervisor Lee Roberts. “It’s wonderful to see the tremendous improvement over the last 30 years. And we thank Metro-North for helping to beautify our hamlet.”