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ICYMI: Governor Hochul Announces Pilot Program to Enhance Reach of Metro-North Railroad to Orange and Rockland Counties

Metro-North Railroad
Updated May 10, 2024 7:30 p.m.

Metro-North to Launch Weekend Service on Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry for First Time Ever and Provide Ticket Discounts on Newburgh-Beacon Ferry, Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry, Newburgh-Beacon Bus and Hudson Link Bus for Monthly UniTickets  

Ferry and Bus Monthly UniTickets Discounted 50 to 90 Percent

Announcement Comes as Officials Announce Completion of Multi-Year Project at Harmon Yard that Modernized Repair and Support Shops, Allowing Metro-North to Continue Historic On-Time Performance Levels

Photos of MTA Chair Lieber with Assembly Members Ken Zebrowski, Dana Levenberg and Local Officials at Ossining Ferry Terminal Available Here     

With congestion pricing set to begin on June 30, Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a pilot program to enhance the reach of MTA Metro-North Railroad to Orange and Rockland Counties, as an alternative to driving to New York City. Under the pilot, Metro-North will begin weekend service on the Haverstraw-Ossining ferries for the first time ever, create massive monthly UniTicket discounts of 78 percent to 90 percent on the ferries and buses that cross the Hudson River, and slash parking rates by 25 percent for Orange and Rockland residents using Metro-North’s garage in North White Plains.   
“Many residents from Orange and Rockland Counties commute to New York City for their jobs and leisure, and we are finding alternative ways for commuters to get to the city without the added costs and traffic,” Governor Hochul said. “This pilot program will give individuals from commuter areas easier and more accessible access to the central business district and beyond.”  
Starting Saturday, May 25, the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry will operate continuously between 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on weekends. The ferry has traditionally operated only during weekday rush hours. Metro-North also will offer discounts for monthly tickets on the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry, the Newburgh-Beacon Ferry, the Newburgh-Beacon bus and the Hudson Link. In addition, Rockland and Orange County residents will receive a 25 percent discount on monthly parking at the North White Plains station, which is served by the Harlem Line.    
With the new discounts, monthly bus and ferry ticket add-ons purchased in conjunction with a monthly rail pass good for an unlimited number of trips for each calendar month will fall dramatically. The current monthly UniTicket fare on the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry is $43.75. It will fall by $34.50 or 78.9 percent to just $13.75. The current monthly UniTicket fare on the Newburgh-Beacon Ferry is $14.50. It will fall by $13.50 or 93.1 percent to just $1.00. The Newburgh Beacon Bus monthly UniTicket fare is $10.00. It will fall by $9.00 or 90 percent to just $1. The Hudson Link Bus monthly UniTicket fare (to either Tarrytown or to White Plains) is $60.00. It will fall by $30.00 or 50 percent, to just $30.00.  
MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, “It is no secret that the folks who live west of the Hudson River don’t get the same quality of frequency and reliability of service as we have on the Hudson, Harlem, and New Haven Lines. As we approach the onset of congestion pricing, we want to make sure there are a few more options for people in Orange and Rockland Counties to get to this amazing Metro-North service.”  
Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi said, “We are thrilled to be able to offer weekend ferry service to West of Hudson residents looking to connect to Metro-North’s scenic Hudson Line service. And with discounted parking at our North White Plains parking garage, Orange and Rockland County residents who prefer the Harlem Line will have an added incentive to take Metro-North service into Manhattan or other destinations around the region.”   
State Senator Pete Harckham said, “Rockland County residents are clamoring for public transit service into New York City. The new weekend ferry service and the Uniticket discounts on the Hudson Link bus service and the MTA two ferries are a good start toward exploring new ways to enhance travel options for Rockland.”

Assemblymember Ken Zebrowski said, “West of Hudson commuters know the difficulties of getting to New York City on public transit. Today’s announcement will ensure that they have more options to do so without hitting their wallets. Expanded ferry service will mean more people than just daily commuters will be able to use the service, and discounted buses will expand options for Rocklanders. I thank the MTA for collaborating on new ways to open up our robust Metro-North service to west of Hudson New Yorkers.”
Assemblymember Dana Levenberg said, “It is so exciting to see one of Ossining's economic development priorities coming to fruition, just in time for summer fun on the beautiful Hudson River. The expanded ferry service will enable so many leisure travelers to relax and enjoy an inexpensive boat ride between our downtowns on both sides of the river, where they will discover our restaurants, shops, the summer concert series, and so much more. This will be a major boon to our local economies.” 
Haverstraw Mayor Michael Kohut said, “The Village of Haverstraw is elated that our long-hoped for weekend ferry connection to Ossining and the Metro-North train service is finally becoming a reality. It will serve weekenders going in both directions and help to continue growing the west side of the Hudson as a tourist and day-tripper destination. It is long overdue.”    
Ossining Mayor Rika Levin said, “Connecting communities accessibly and affordably is essential for our commuters and our local businesses and is of vital importance for regional economic growth and tourism—being able to make those connections using reliable ferry service helps us achieve our transportation goals while reducing carbon emissions.”  
The pilot is expected to run through Veteran’s Day. It comes after Metro-North exempted the Port Jervis Line and the Pascack Valley Line from the systemwide inflation-adjustment fare updates that took effect in March 2017, April 2019, and August 2023.