Why Undertake a Mobility & Bus Redesign?
Westchester County has been studying ways to better align the county’s mobility network with the needs of its residents, workers, and visitors. This study has examined the region’s transportation services, demographics, employment trends, mobility conditions, and other factors. The study aims to better match transportation services with current and future travel needs.
Goals for the Mobility Plan
Design a high-performing, reliable, and easy-to-understand transportation system, emphasizing speed, convenience, directness, reliability, and comfort.
Create a family of service options to right size mobility services for Westchester’s many travel markets.
Provide an equitable and socially just transportation network that provides opportunities for prosperity and quality of life to users of all ethnicities, incomes, abilities, and ages.
Plan Development Process
The project team undertook a detailed analysis of Bee-Line service and Westchester County in order to understand what works well and where there are opportunities for improvement. This analysis included:
Thoroughly evaluating current Bee-Line service and performance, including changes since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Assessing the transit markets, travel patterns, and demographics of Westchester County.
Identifying mobility needs beyond fixed-route transit (bus, subway, and rail).
Learning from the people who live and work in Westchester County. The team conducted focus groups and interviews, conducted a survey, and sought feedback through this website.
Engaging the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to consider fare reciprocity between Bee-Line buses and Metro-North trains, and free transfers to Metro-North.
Evaluating both fixed-route and microtransit (on-demand shuttle) options.
Service Improvement Objectives
People traveling in Westchester County have several modes of travel to choose from. In order to strengthen the overall public transportation network, the Team designed a suggested bus and microtransit network that improves “first-mile/last-mile” access to service, integrates Bee-Line service with other mobility providers, and focuses on transportation hubs as places with multiple service options and connections. The suggested plan:
Improves East-West Connections
Serves Major Destinations Better
Strengthens Connections to NYC Subway and Metro-North Stations
Creates Microtransit Zones
What is Microtransit?
Microtransit is an on-demand shuttle service that functions similar to a rideshare service. Microtransit operates within a defined zone, such as within a town. Some transit agencies offer connections outside of these zones to pre-defined places such as a transit center.
Customers can request a trip via a mobile application or through a call center.
Microtransit can be an effective option in lower-density areas where fixed-route service is less viable.
In addition to suggesting changes to bus routes, the suggested plan adds service to some bus routes by operating earlier and/or later in the day than they currently do and adding more service on both weekdays and weekends.
Provides Longer and More Frequent Service
Fare Reciprocity with Metro-North
Westchester County is working with the MTA to introduce fare reciprocity, a policy that would allow riders to travel by Metro-North within Westchester County at the same fare as Bee-Line bus service.
Today, a person taking Metro-North within the county does not pay a flat fare for their trip; instead, the fare is zone-based. A rider that travels by both bus and train pays the cost for both without any discounts.
With fare reciprocity, train trips between two stations entirely within Westchester County would cost the same as a Bee-Line bus ride. Transfers between Bee-Line bus and Metro-North would be free.
Once we receive feedback, we will prepare a final plan at the end of 2022. Project recommendations will be phased in over time.