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Carpooling Back In Style

September 7, 2005

County Executive Andy Spano has ordered the opening of six Westchester parking lots to car pool users, effective Tuesday, September 6, in an effort to help commuters who have been hard hit by the recent spike in gasoline prices.

“Westchester will take a pro-active approach to the gasoline crisis – both to relieve the impact of high prices on our residents and to help them conserve gasoline.” Spano said. “We have substantial ongoing efforts to encourage commuter car pooling, through the Metropool and Nu-Rides programs. Now we will extend that by providing facilities to make the pooling easier.”

Spano noted that after Labor Day the use of county parking lots declines dramatically and that creates a ready-made supply of emergency parking spaces. This will make some of that supply available for commuters.

“This is an emergency program, similar to what we have done in the past in response to service disruptions on buses, subways and the commuter rail system,” he said. “We will monitor usage and respond accordingly. If some lots are not being used, we will withdraw them. If demand exceeds supply, we will look for opportunities to expand.”

The lots to be available are at:

  • Sprain Ridge Park
  • Tibbets Brook Park, Yonkers
  • Glen Island Park
  • Saxon Woods Park
  • Croton Point Park

In addition, the County and the State Department of Parks and Recreation jointly operate a Park and Ride Facility at FDR State Park in Yorktown. That lot has 200 spaces and is served by a Bee-Line Bus System express commuter service to and from White Plains.

The opening of the car pool lots coincides with an expected surge of commuter demand. The weeks after Labor Day are traditionally the heaviest commuting period of the year as schools open and few people take vacations.

The Westchester Bee-Line Bus system will also be switching from Summer to Fall schedules on the Sept. 6, with 20 more buses in the daily schedule as compared to the last week in August.


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