Whether you were traveling for work, play or a summer beach day – Westchester County residents enjoyed free rides on the Bee-Line Bus this summer from June 1 through Labor Day. The free fares program was valid on all buses in the fixed route bus system including the express route into Manhattan, and the Bee-Line ParaTransit System. Bee-Line bus ridership soared this summer, up approximately 20% on weekdays and 45% on weekends compared to levels in May 2022. Residents who normally purchase a 30-day unlimited MetroCard, saved nearly $400 this summer. Thousands of residents participated in the free rides program, which will conclude on September 6.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “Every dollar counts. In Westchester County, we are working hard to combat rising costs by finding new and innovative ways to provide relief. This summer, we wanted to give people a reason to ride the Bee-Line bus, but more importantly, we want to provide an opportunity for our residents to save some money. While our free fare program may be coming to an end, we have a robust number of cost-saving programs we are rolling out now for residents to take advantage of this fall and winter.”

Free fares on the Bee-Line Bus are part of a larger program Latimer created to address inflation, including free admittance to Westchester County’s pools and beaches on certain days, and free commuter parking at the North White Plains Commuter lot, and the County Center parking lot from July 1 through August 31.

The fall and winter additional cost-saving programs Westchester County residents can participate in are as follows:

Lowering the Sales Tax on Residential Energy
Latimer has proposed lowering or eliminating the sales tax on residential energy on a quarterly basis, from Dec. 1, 2022 to Feb. 28, 2023. The sales tax elimination covers home heating oil, propane, natural gas, electric, coal and wood for residential heating purposes. It covers homeowners as well as rental units, and landlords/renters will be eligible depending on the structure of the unit’s heat and electric use.

Civil Service Exams
Westchester County is waiving the fees for Civil Service Exams through December 31.

Zero Tuition Increase at SUNY Westchester Community College
Together with SUNY Westchester Community College Trustees and the Westchester County Board of Legislators earlier this summer Latimer announced WCC will be holding the line on tuition for the 2022-2023 school year. The flat tuition reflects ongoing challenges faced by students and families who are struggling with rising costs due to inflation, and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Annual full-time credit-student tuition is $4,730 – the lowest tuition among colleges in the region. 

Feeding Westchester and Food Pantry Funding
Latimer has increased funding to Feeding Westchester by $700,000. This doubles what was included in the 2022 budget, and covers the increased cost of food and fuel. Feeding Westchester has experienced an increase this year of $0.71 per pound across the foods they provide, compared to $0.60 per pound last year. Feeding Westchester is also seeing an 18% year over year increase in food costs.