Editor's Note: Thanks to the Putnam County Executive's Office for this release:
On July 26th, County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Director of Tourism Libby Pataki met with Metro-North President Howard Permut for over an hour at the Executive’s Office in the County Seat of Carmel. This meeting emphasized both parties’ commitment to economic growth in Putnam County.
The basis of the conversation was to outline the establishment of a partnership with Metro-North and Putnam County to work towards the common goal of economic development.
County Executive Odell was quoted as saying, “Metro-North’s customers are Putnam County residents and Putnam County residents are my constituents; as such, we have a lot of opportunities to deliver the transportation services that will provide residents with efficient and reliable service while assisting the overall mission of energizing the local economy through the economic driver of tourism.”
“Metro-North will continue to promote Putnam as a tourism destination,” said Metro-North President Howard Permut. “We are actively promoting one of your newest initiatives, the Putnam County International Wine & Food Festival, as well as other one-day getaways. We encourage discretionary, off-peak trips as this is where we have the most capacity and it is one of our fastest growing markets. This could be a win-win for the county and the railroad.”
This partnership will increase ridership for Metro-North’s Hudson and Harlem Lines. The train system runs both ways giving Putnam County residents easy access to New York City while residents of the city have great accessibility to Putnam County.
Director of Tourism Libby Pataki emphasized the need for a strong partnership with Metro-North. “We have some large initiatives underway such as Scenic-Hudson’s ambitious Hudson River Hike-Bike Fjord Trail, a vastly re-tooled Cycling Classic race in October, and the development of the Foundry Point Preserve, to name a few. With these great initiatives in motion and a growing partnership between the County and Metro-North, the need for a hotel within Putnam has come to a forefront and is viewed with extreme importance.”
She went on to say, “We will continue discussions on how best to reach our senior citizens and veterans in Putnam County by making them aware of certain rail discounts and putting together attractive travel packages that will appeal to them.”
President Permut also spoke about the imperative nature of continuing with service improvements within Putnam County. Service improvements to the Harlem Line will include 30-minute service between Southeast and Grand Central Terminal on weekdays during the off-peak, along with one train being added on Saturdays and Sundays. The Hudson Line will see off-peak and weekend trains leaving Poughkeepsie on the hour and the majority running express from Croton-Harmon. Additionally, there will be a direct connection at Croton-Harmon for customers saving 26 minutes of travel time along with adding two new weekday trains.