Report finds deficiencies with Westchester's Bee-Line Bus service

The report comes three years after a study from these groups found similar results.

Jonathan Gordon

Jul 9, 2024, 9:27 PM

Updated 13 days ago

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A new report released on Tuesday found serious issues with Westchester County's Bee-Line Bus service.
The study was authored by Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a New York City-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable transportation, equitable planning policies and practices, and strong communities in the New York City metro area and Make the Road New York, the state's largest progressive grassroots immigrant-led organization.
The report identified issues including infrequent bus service, poorly maintained buses, a lack of basic amenities at bus stops including benches, shelters and heaters, insufficient real-time information displays, a limited number of MetroCard refill stations and inadequate infrastructure for individuals with disabilities.
"Westchester County can significantly enhance the efficiency and accessibility and overall rider experience," Tri-State Transportation Campaign's Talia Crawford said.
The report comes three years after a study from these groups found similar results. It also comes just five months before the current contract with Liberty Lines Transit, the company that operates the system, is set to expire. Liberty Lines has run the buses for the last 50 years and the county is currently in the bidding phase for the next contract.
In a statement to News 12, a spokesperson for Westchester County said:
“Our public-private partnership ensures the service is efficiently managed, and we bid out the service contract to maintain high standards. Last fall, we conducted a comprehensive ridership survey to gather direct feedback from our riders. Their input has been invaluable in shaping our current and future plans. We want the Bee-Line Bus system to meet riders' needs for service frequency, accessibility and overall satisfaction. The current RFP for a new contract addresses the concerns we have heard from our riders. Input from riders is one of the reasons we lifted the bus and paratransit fees for the summer through September 1. This is the fifth time, and third summer, of the free Bee-Line buses.
We appreciate the media for forwarding the communique from MRNY and TSTC regarding the Bee-Line Bus system. However, the New York City groups do not fully understand our system, structure and the unique needs of Westchester County. Despite their advocacy claims, neither MRNY nor TSTC engaged with us for a discussion before releasing their statement. As always, we are open to discussions and recommendations from our riders and from advocates who genuinely want to engage in a meaningful conversation."
The report makes several recommendations including increasing service frequency, upgrading payment systems, implementing a long-term plan and creating a stronger oversight body.


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