CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro celebrated the launch of an inter-county shuttle service offered between the Village of Cold Spring and the City of Beacon including stops at Mount Beacon, Main Street, the Metro-North Train Station and Dia. The new service provides a critical regional tourism connection and offers much desired Sunday bus service in the City of Beacon. The two were joined by other regional dignitaries at a press conference held on Thursday, August 6 at the Cold Spring Visitors Center on Main Street in Cold Spring, before a trolley took them on a symbolic voyage to Mount Beacon.
The shuttle service will run on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Saturday, August 8, and continuing through December. The route is the product of an inter-municipal partnership between Putnam County, Dutchess County, the Village of Cold Spring and the City of Beacon.
“From a regional standpoint, the Cold Spring and Beacon communities are destinations that complement one another, so it makes sense to offer a means of transit between the two,” said Odell. “Providing a shuttle service is the fiscally and socially responsible thing to do. The shuttle will encourage tourism and commerce while also offering a safe means of travel along Route 9D for hikers who want to discover some of the most notable trails in the country such as Breakneck Ridge.”
“We are excited to partner with our neighbors in Putnam County to enhance transportation services, creating a direct link to the City of Beacon and Dutchess County,” said Molinaro. “This service will further promote our tourism efforts by providing visitors a quick and easy ride to Beacon and allowing residents the opportunity to engage with their community. Thank you to Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and City of Beacon Mayor Randy Casale for coordinating this partnership. This type of partnership further demonstrates our desire and ability to establish shared services partnerships that create efficiencies and benefits for our residents.”
The route runs from the Bandstand in the Village of Cold Spring through Main Street and up Route 9D to Mount Beacon in the City of Beacon. Riders will be able to get on or off the shuttle at the trailheads or marketplaces along Route 9D.
On Saturdays, the Putnam County shuttle service will offer connections to Dutchess County Public Transit’s Route G bus route line at Mt. Beacon as well as Main Street, the Metro North train station, and DIA. Since Dutchess County Public Transit bus system does not operate on Sundays, the new shuttle service will provide an important connection for tourists as well as residents looking for public transit options in Beacon.
Beacon Mayor Randy Casale agreed. “In the spirit of cooperation, two counties, a city, and a village have been working together to connect our respective business districts and our natural resources from the Hudson River to Mount Beacon,” said Casale. “We are very excited about the launch of the Cold Spring-Beacon shuttle bus. This shuttle service is sure to be a boon to tourism in both communities by making it easier for visitors to access both areas through one mode of convenient transportation.”
This regional collaboration will offer hikers, shoppers and other visitors a safe way to travel between the two municipalities on weekends. The new route will assist traffic control and benefit local business and tourism.
“The level of cooperation between counties in the Hudson Valley Region is immense, and this partnership is just a small example of that teamwork,” said Interim Director of Putnam County Tourism Frank Smith. “Giving visitors easy accessibility to two leading area destinations will only benefit the region as a whole. Whether you went to Beacon and ended up in Cold Spring, or vice versa, the shuttle service will be a welcome addition to an already bustling local tourism industry.”
The shuttle service will extend the area visited by travelers arriving by trains.
“It’s vital for our counties to work together to make it easier for visitors to access these two great areas of the Hudson Valley,” Dutchess Tourism President and CEO Mary Kay Vrba. “Many visitors arrive by train, but still need transportation linkages to access things to see and do after they arrive. Having this opportunity to connect area attractions will appeal to outdoor enthusiasts, history, culinary, and arts buffs alike, giving everyone the chance to enjoy all we have to offer.”
Cold Spring Village Trustee Cathryn Fadde agrees that visitors who come by train will have the opportunity to do more because of the shuttle service.
“Metro-North riders will now have greater mobility and a richer Hudson River Valley experience with the ability to travel between our river communities,” said Fadde. “Putnam County has done an excellent job at leading the way toward promoting the region.”
Putnam County Transit System will be operating the trolley that does the route.
“The partnership is forward thinking and enhances the regional transportation system,” said Putnam County Transportation Manager Vincent Tamagna. “The safety issues resulting from hikers along route 9D has long needed support and this should elevate pedestrian traffic and allow for the safe delivery of individuals enjoying Little Stony Point and many great hiking trails along the Fjord Trail.”
Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra also sees the shuttle as a way to expand services to residents in Cold Spring and Beacon. “Regional collaborations are so important because they knock down local borders,” said Scuccimarra. “The residents of Philipstown, especially our senior citizens, can use the shuttle to link to the Dutchess County Bus system and transfer to reach many places. It is also important to our local businesses and restaurants in Cold Spring. This is a terrific partnership.”
Riders will be charged $2 per trip on the shuttle. Seniors and children will be charged $1.
Route and schedule information is available on the Putnam County website www.putnamcountyny.com or at the Cold Spring Visitors Center.
Photo caption: Dutchess County Legislator April Marie Farley, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, Beacon Mayor Randy Casale, Putnam County Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell celebrate the launch of the inter-county shuttle that will transport riders to Cold Spring and Beacon.