NEW YORK, N.Y. – Metro-North will be adding 230 new trains this spring, many of which will be on Westchester’s Hudson and Harlem lines.
Most of the new trains will be on weekends and off-peak hours to meet the needs of the non-commuter ridership that is growing at about 6 percent per year, according to Metro North.
The railroad also plans to add new rail cars to 27 trains each weekend as loading standards imposed in 2009 due to severe budget constraints are being relaxed.
“Metro-North is projecting record ridership of over 85 million rail rides in 2012, its highest ever,” said Metro-North President Howard Permut in a press release issued earlier this week. “We are gratified to be able to add service where it’s most needed – on weekends and in the off-peak periods."
Weekend ridership has been growing significantly faster than the traditional morning commuter market, according to the railroad, leading it to increase the number of east-of-Hudson trains it operates on Saturdays from 418 to 442 and on Sundays from 357 to 413.
Some Northern Westchester customers will save about 12 minutes on the trip to Grand Central Station on off-peak and weekend rides because of a new departure pattern. Weekend and off-peak trains will depart the Poughkeepsie station on the hour, 20 minutes later than they do currently. Most will run express from Croton-Harmon to Manhattan.
To provide better travel options for Upper Hudson Line customers traveling to local stops between Croton-Harmon and New York, these trains will make a direct connection at the Croton-Harmon station to local trains, eliminating a 26-minute wait.
The Hudson line is getting 11 new weekday trains, 12 new Saturday trains and six new Sunday trains, for a total of 73 new trains a week. The Hudson Line changes will be implemented in April 2013.
On the Harlem Line, Metro-North will add 12 new trains on Sundays between North White Plains and Grand Central in October. Trains that had previously only run on Saturdays will now operate both days to accommodate the line’s highest ridership during the holiday shopping season.
In April 2013, the weekday Upper Harlem line service will be beefed up to provide 30-minute frequency from the Southeast station in Putnam County to Grand Central between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on inbound trains and at all off-peak times until midnight in the northbound direction.
Another six trains will be added on Sundays to accommodate higher ridership outbound from New York City in the spring and summer months. Three weekday Upper Harlem Line trains, one inbound off-peak and two outbound peak trains, will be split into six zoned express trains.
This initiative will add 17 new weekday Harlem Line trains, four new Saturday trains and four new Sunday trains. A total of 93 new trains a week will operate on the Harlem Line.