Here are some major transportation issues here in Dutchess County that need to be addressed:
The amount of commercial, and residential development along US route 9 has been quite a lot in just the past few years. Fishkill, at the southern end, has had the most, but the town of Poughkeepsie is catching up with Spackenkill plaza and the relatively new Oakwood Commons. There was a lack of adequite transportation along this corridor,Dutchess county's "main street".
In an effort to address some of these issues,the county in 2007, hired the transportation consulting firm,Abrams - Cherwony Associates. A rider survey was conducted. In November of that year, a public meeting was held to present the findings of that consulting company and to get suggestions / input from the public. I had attended that first meeting and another in 2008. At that first meeting I had presented to the above my own transportation plan. The City of Poughkeepsie has already implemented some of my ideas such as,hybrid buses, having the MAIN STREET route bus stop at the RR station transportation center,and advertising on the buses.
Both Dutchess county and the city of Poughkeepsie have a 1960's - 1970's mentality in regards to transportation today in the early twenty first century IE:the buses are provided as a token service to those who, for whatever reason, can not drive or do not own a car. The modern way of thinking is to have a fully integrated transportation system that is so convenient, safe etc. that it is a viable alternative to use of a personal vehicle.
Ulster county seems to get this concept. Ulster county had, over the past several years, built up the entire system from a rural bus service, to a rebranded and expanded system with a new name, Ulster County Area Transit - UCAT, "the CAT", with a paw print logo on the back of the new buses. (with bicycle racks) These buses, in addition to providing basic transit service to those going to work or shopping, can also be used for recreational purposes. (see my Hudson Valley Cycling blog for more on this) The city of Poughkeepsie has also upgraded their system with the purchase of 4 new Gillig diesel-electric low floor transit buses. (with bicycle racks) The MAIN STREET route bus now stops at the RR station transportation center.The county has now finaly, as of 06-28-10,implemented the new routes as per the 2008 transportation plan submited by the transportation consulting firm,Abrams - Cherwony Associates. The new routing includes the transportation center bus stop at the MNCRR station in the City of Poughkeepsie.However,in spite of the recomendations of that 2008 transit development plan, the LOOP buses do not stop at the Beacon RR station.
In 1999 when the county put into service new transit buses, hybrid buses were available at that time yet the county purchased diesel only transit buses. Additonaly, the county had purchased a number of small, van sized, BlueBird school buses for transit bus use, one of which had set fire and destroyed and/or heavily damaged 6 other buses.
In spite of this,the county recently acquired a number of Army green Thomas Built school buses that I understand were purchased from the NY state Department of Corrections IE:they are prison buses.These mid-sized school buses only have a capacity of 30 seated.
The private company that had been (mis) managing the LOOP system, had demonstrated that they were not doing a very good job at that and were not maintaining the fleet. Dutchess county has since gotten another company to (mis) manage the LOOP bus system.
In south-western Dutchess county, there has been not one transit agency,but now two transit agencies that have failed to provide service for this economicaly important part of the county. First when MTA Metro North RR bought the Beacon -Danbury line back in 1995 and have yet to run revenue passenger trains,then the DC LOOP stoped running the shuttle bus they were providing and then when they implemented the new routes and schedules as per the 2008 transit development plan. It should be noted, as per that 2008 plan, the buses were to stop at the Hudson line Beacon sation for intermodal transit connections (train,bus and ferry),but they are not.As per the schedule dated 11-15-10, the buses are still stoping at the Beacon post office as they have done. For (much) more see my special Trans Dutchess Railway site - in the RAIL section follow the Trans Dutchess Ry. link.