View full press conference HERE.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer is taking proactive steps to address the transportation needs of the region, as outlined in a letter addressed to Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Janno Lieber, Latimer is calling for a study to have the Hudson Line have direct one seat access to Manhattan's Penn Station.

In his letter, Latimer said: “The advantages of such a connection are abundant. Improved transportation links would not only further ease congestion but also foster economic growth, enhance accessibility to job opportunities, and contribute to the overall quality of life for residents in Westchester County, the Bronx and beyond.”

Expressing his continued support for the progress made with West Side Access on the New Haven Line, which links Metro North’s New Haven Line service with four new Bronx Stations into Manhattan’s Penn Station on the West Side, Latimer said it is time for a parallel initiative on the Hudson River side of Metro North.

According to statistics from the MTA provided in its 2022 overview, the Hudson Line’s ridership rose 56.7% from 2021 with approximately 3.6 million more rides. The total annual East of Hudson (Harlem Line, Hudson Line and New Haven Line) ridership was approximately 48 million, approximately 17.9 million more rides than the 30.1 million for 2021. These increased ridership numbers show a serious appetite for greater access to MTA trains.

Latimer wants the MTA to undertake a comprehensive study to evaluate the feasibility and potential benefits of establishing West Side Access from Westchester and the Bronx on the Hudson Line to Penn Station. The existing Amtrak line in the corridor presents a strategic opportunity to leverage the infrastructure for the benefit of the communities along the Hudson River.

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said: “As the fastest growing big city in New York State and the gateway to the Hudson Valley, Yonkers support Westchester County’s quest to expand transportation access to the metropolitan area. I commend County Executive Latimer for advocating for our residents and businesses that will result in economic growth and improved quality of life. Together, we can make access to Penn Station a reality.”

Yonkers City Council President Lakisha Collins-Bellamy said: “I join County Executive George Latimer and Mayor Mike Spano in their call urging MTA to explore the viability of Penn Station Access on the Hudson Line of the Metro-North Railroad. The Hudson Line is a vital resource for commuters; an expansion through Penn Station will undoubtedly increase its utility. Beyond improving transportation accessibility, the West Side Access project presents regional economic growth possibilities. Increased ridership on the Hudson Line can generate employment opportunities beyond Yonkers as businesses in nearby towns and cities seek additional employees to meet the growing demand.”

Yonkers Councilwoman Corazon Pineda-Isaac said: “I support County Executive Latimer’s call to fund a feasibility study which in turn can increase access for Westchester residents, shorten commuter travel times and invests in transit equity.”

Yonkers Councilwoman Deana Renee Robinson said: “I firmly believe that exploring the feasibility of establishing West Side access to Penn Station on the Metro North's Hudson Line is crucial for the continued growth and accessibility of our community. A comprehensive study will provide invaluable insights to ensure that we make informed decisions that benefit the residents and future generations. Let us embrace this opportunity to enhance connectivity and continue to foster progress.”

Yonkers City Councilwoman and Majority Leader Tasha Diaz said: “As the Majority leader and Councilwoman representing a large portion of the West side of Yonkers it is imperative that we make it easier for people to commute by public transportation. Yonkers would greatly benefit by having direct access to Penn Station. Access to public transportation should be efficient and easily accessible for the residents of Yonkers. The MTA must do their job in growing public transportation initiatives throughout Westchester.”

This feasibility study would also impact residents outside of Westchester County.

Dutchess County Legislator & Minority Leader Yvette Valdés Smith said: “I strongly support County Executive Latimer's call for Metro North to look into establishing one seat service on the Hudson Line into Penn Station.  As always, I will continue pushing for greater service overall for the sake of our residents, and their wallets.”

This initiative aligns with the shared commitment to creating a more integrated and efficient transportation system, particularly in response to the challenges posed by Climate Change.

Latimer said: “I am confident that the leadership and expertise of the MTA can bring this vision to fruition, ensuring that the benefits of improved transportation infrastructure are equitably distributed throughout the region.”