$95 Million Project Was Completed On-Budget and Includes Station Renovations for Enhanced Accessibility and Safety Upgrades
Waiting Room Transformed with State-of-the-Art Improvements
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the completion of the full-scale $95 million renewal of MTA Metro-North Railroad's station in downtown White Plains, which has transformed the station into a state-of-the art complex. The renovation began in 2018 as part of Metro-North's Station Improvement Initiative to bring a more customer friendly atmosphere for commuters.
The top-to-bottom station transformation included a refurbishment of the station's main entrance at the station plaza, the Main Street entrance, the Hamilton Avenue entrance, and the Mott Street tunnel. The station was remodeled to bring an updated, modern aesthetic to the station, including updated signage, glass entrances, wood soffits, a widened main lobby, improved lighting and upgraded HVAC system. The side and island platforms were extended to increase capacity as more commuters return to the system.
"Upgrading our transportation hubs to meet the demands of the 21st century is fueling the economic comeback that we need today and will help keep New York's economy competitive in the future," Governor Hochul said. "The renovated station in White Plains is a prime example of this commitment and with these enhancements now complete, commuters and visitors will have access to a safer, world-class travel experience."
"Mass transit is the backbone of our economy as people continue their return to the workplace, and large-scale projects to fortify our infrastructure will help New Yorkers return to the rails," said Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin. "Metro-North is a key connector for Westchester County residents to get to New York City, which is why upgrading key commuter rail hubs like White Plains will allow us to keep that economic recovery on track."
Janno Lieber, MTA Acting Chair and CEO, said, "The way to build up and maintain ridership is to transform stations that serve customer needs beyond catching the train. White Plains is the third largest Metro-North station that served thousands of commuters on an average pre-pandemic weekday. This project delivers a state-of-the-art transit complex worthy of the Westchester County civic and business center by providing amenities that give customers the ability to be productive on-the-go, further incentivizing them to return to mass transit."
Catherine Rinaldi, President of Metro-North Railroad, said, "The White Plains renewal project is the everything the Way Ahead program is about, giving our customers the best possible experience while in the system, improving our infrastructure and increasing accessibility. White Plains is a major reverse commute destination, in addition to serving customers who commute into the city. I would like to thank the City of White Plains and Westchester County for being great partners in advancing this project, as well as the entire project team for a truly exceptional job delivering a modernized station that will serve Metro-North and our White Plains customers for years to come."
Crews installed a new elevator that is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The elevator leads from the main lobby to aside platform generally used for northbound arrivals.
Quemuel Arroyo, MTA Chief Accessibility Officer, said, "A central priority of this renovation was to enhance accessibility. For wheelchair users like myself, seniors with mobility disabilities, parents with children in strollers and so many others, it can be difficult to get around, but not at White Plains. This should serve as a model for all MTA stations as we strive for systemwide accessibility."
Rhonda Herman, Chair of the MTA Board's Metro-North Committee, said, "The White Plains station is an integral part of the Harlem Line, and to the White Plains community. It is vital that we reflect that importance with world class standards both from a service perspective and customer experience perspective, which this project accomplished. I applaud Metro-North for completing this project on time, as we welcome more riders back."
The project included construction of new staircases with an automatic system to melt snow and ice as it falls, helping to prevent slippery surfaces during the inclement weather. Crews also installed new platform canopies with wood ceilings, and LED lighting to match the upgraded aesthetic of the main lobby.
The waiting room on the island platform was remodeled with expanded space, glass-enclosures with new interior station wall panels, wood ceiling and fixtures. The ticket office, restrooms and concession spaces were also remodeled to fit the station's new feel. Digital screens were installed in addition to better heating and cooling control so commuters can comfortably wait for their train.
Commuters looking to get work done on-the-go will also notice added amenities throughout the station such as Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity and USB chargers on benches. Digital screens were added on platforms as well to provide convenient access to train information. The digital signage complements newly installed ticket vending machines to make the station environment even more customer friendly.
The renovated station also includes new mosaic and laminated glass artwork by artist Barbara Takenaga featuring the artist's signature stylized abstract forms.
Sandra Bloodworth, Director, MTA Arts & Design, said, "Barbara brings her dazzling, rhythmic forms to the rhythms of our daily commute, energizing us as we travel with her infinite lines that seem to propel us along our journey. Forte (Quarropas) and Blue Rails (White Plains), installed at Metro North's White Plains Station, with their deep blue and vibrant hues, has the potential to transport our routine of commuting into a unexpected cosmic journey."
White Plains station is the third largest Metro-North station, serving more than 12,000 commuters on a pre-pandemic weekday, trailing only Stamford and Grand Central Terminal. Similar to the Stamford station on the New Haven Line, the White Plains station is a hub station for Harlem Line commuters, providing express and local service. In addition to local and express connections, the station is also a hub for bus connections, with approximately 3,000 bus transfers per day in pre-pandemic times.
Representative Mondaire Jones said, "I'm thrilled that after three years of renovations, the White Plains train station is finally complete. As the busiest station in Westchester, the White Plains train station connects thousands of folks throughout New York's 17th Congressional District. With enhanced ADA accessibility, upgraded amenities like Wi-Fi and USB chargers, and more, this new station will improve the commutes and the lives of so many people. The renovations represent a much-needed step in the fight for safe and reliable transportation in Westchester County. Investments in our public transit are investments in our communities, and I'm committed to continuing to fight for the federal investments needed to ensure folks in my district and across the country have the transportation they deserve."
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, "The completion of this project is great news for White Plains and Westchester County. Modern public transportation is a key to survival for cities. It's a huge benefit to residents and a selling point to corporations. More than 12,000 riders rely on this station each weekday, and with this infrastructure project completed, they're already having a better commuting experience. The station upgrades enhance accessibility, increase safety, and improve Wi-Fi access. The State Senate Majority continues to prioritize and invest in our State's infrastructure, and I thank the MTA for their work to greatly improve this most important station."
Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, "I am so pleased with the completion of the redesign and renovation of the White Plains train station. It remains among the stations with the highest ridership in the Metro-North system, and its modernization will help draw riders back to the system as we rebuild the economy."
Assemblymember Amy Paulin said, "The completed renovation of the White Plains train station is welcome news for the thousands of residents who rely on Metro-North to get where they are going each week. The revitalized station ensures greater accessibility, improves customer experience and service, and enhances safety. The White Plains station is the busiest train station in Westchester and is critical to our County residents and economy. I will continue to advocate for investing in mass transit projects like this, which improve the daily lives of all who work and live in the City of White Plains and our region."
Assemblymember Chris Burdick said, "I am delighted that the substantial makeover of Metro North's White Plains Station has been completed. As we emerge from the pandemic, commuters to this heavily utilized station will warmly welcome the safer, ADA compliant and more efficient environment full of superb amenities ranging from Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity to an expanded waiting area and improved vendor space. I wish to thank the MTA for delivering an excellent product and their tenacity in seeing it through."
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, "This station is a major hub for Westchester commuters and the work done here - in the midst of a pandemic - will positively impact the thousands who rely on it each day. Development centered around commuter friendly locations will be a major boon to our COVID-19 recovery prospects and I commend the leadership of the MTA for getting this massive undertaking done."
White Plains Mayor Tom Roach said, "Congratulations to Metro-North and President Catherine Rinaldi on the completion of this vital upgrade to the White Plains station, which is one of the busiest in the Metro-North system. Given the high level of activity at the station, I have long believed it deserving of an upgrade. This became even more apparent as the City began the work of redeveloping the area immediately adjacent to the station. That work continues and will no doubt be enhanced by the investment made by Metro-North. It is a recognition of the importance of the White Plains station as a hub in the Metro-North system and a recognition of the interconnectedness of the station and the economic vitality of our city."
The project was part of Metro-North's Station Improvement Initiative, funded by the MTA's 2015-2019 and 2020-2024 Capital Programs, and in concert with Metro-North's Way Ahead plan to enhance customer experience. The objective of this Station Improvement Initiative is to transform and elevate the overall customer experience by bringing world-class standards, with a focus on improving public perception through the introduction of new technology and design innovation.