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Montefiore Applauds Improved Train Service Between Westchester and the Bronx

New York City, NY (July 20, 2005) -- Montefiore Medical Center today applauded MTA Metro-North Railroad for improving train service to the Bronx and for its contributions to the continuing economic development of the borough.

The Medical Center held a “Transportation Day” for employees with railroad representatives on hand to explain the expanded service and give out maps, schedules and other information about the improved commuting options via Metro-North Railroad’s Harlem Line.

“Montefiore is pleased that this long awaited increase in Metro-North service has now been implemented,” said Spencer Foreman, MD, president, Montefiore Medical Center.  “We are sure it will be of great service to our associates, patients and visitors, as well has local businesses and community residents.”

Dr. Foreman noted that parking is very scarce in the North Bronx and improved rail service makes Metro-North a good alternative to driving.

Commuters will no longer have to change trains to travel from Lower Westchester to Bronx stations during rush hours under the new service plan.  This “one-seat ride” should make the railroad more attractive to commuters, which will, in turn, make attractions in the North Bronx more appealing destinations for suburban residents.

In fact, according to the railroad, the number of people who take the Harlem Line from stations in Southern Westchester to jobs in the Bronx is up 30 percent from last fall.  That’s when Metro-North added trains and eliminated the need for transfers for people traveling to Williams Bridge, The Botanical Garden, Fordham University and other Bronx stations.

Currently, nearly 650 people board Harlem Line trains in Westchester and get off at Bronx stops during morning peak hours, compared with about 495 before the schedule improvements.  In addition, service gaps of up to 90 minutes were replaced with trains every half-hour.

The new service was made possible by the completion of the Mid-Harlem Third Track project, which allows southbound local trains to stop in the Bronx on one track, while express trains use another track to proceed to New York City. 

Metro-North also has replaced or renovated almost all 12 of its stations in the Bronx with new platforms, lights, stairs and weather shelters.

“Metro-North now provides a “one-seat ride” and half hourly service between Westchester and the Bronx during morning and afternoon peak times on comfortable, new trains,” said Charles Zabielski, Metro-North’s director of marketing. “As more and more people learn about these big improvements, we expect ridership in the Bronx market to continue to grow.”