Metro-North pilot program to expand service into Orange and Rockland counties

May 14, 2024
The pilot will see Metro-North begin service on the Haverstraw-Ossining ferries, as well as provide significant ticket and parking discounts.

Metro-North Railroad will begin a pilot program where it will begin service on the Haverstraw-Ossining ferries that will enhance its reach to Orange and Rockland Counties. To support this pilot service, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) created UniTicket discounts of 78-90 percent on ferries and buses that cross the Hudson River and will reduce parking rates by 25 percent for Orange and Rockland residents using Metro-North’s North White Plains garage. 

The Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry has traditionally operated only during weekday rush hours but will start Saturday service on May 25. 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.    

“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,” said New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “This pilot program will give individuals from commuter areas easier and more accessible access to the central business district and beyond.”  

The pilot is launching as MTA plans to begin congestion pricing on June 30. As of that date, drivers entering the MTA Congestion Relief Zone (Manhattan below 60 St.) will pay a toll. MTA says the plan will take 100,000 vehicles out of the zone every day and raise $15 billion for transit improvements. 

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber added, “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.”  

The pilot is expected to run through Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, 2024. 

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.