MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon travelers enjoyed a less congested commute on Wednesday, as the Hudson Line returned to nearly full service.
On Wednesday, the MTA announced that Metro-North was operating more than 98 percent of regular Hudson Line service following Sunday’s train derailment near Spuyten Duyvil.
Due to the derailment, commuters who typically use the Hudson Line were forced to find new routes to and from work, which included everything from taking busses, subways and taxis and migrating to the Harlem and New Haven lines.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino made matters easier for displaced commuters this week, opening a free parking lot at Kensico Dam Plaza to accommodate Hudson Line commuters. More than 800 commuters took advantage of the opportunity, which ended Wednesday after a scant 20 cars utilized the lot during Wednesday’s commute.
“I thank the county departments of Public Safety and Parks for their quick response to come to the assistance of our commuters,” Astorino said. “I also once again want to express my sympathies to the families and friends of those killed in this accident, as well as to the many others who were injured.”
Mount Vernon resident Chris Moore, 25, said he takes the train to his job in Midtown every day. He commended Metro-North for maintaining a smooth commute, but said things have been a bit hectic this week.
“All in all, the trips haven’t been too different, but it’s noticeably more crowded,” he said. “There’s always people who have to stand for at least a part of the commute, but there were people standing for the duration.”
Lee Jones, who said he has been commuting for more than 15 years, was one of the few forced to stay on his feet for the 35-minute train ride from Mount Vernon West to Grand Central Terminal.
“I’ve been doing this a long time now, and when something like this happens, you know what to expect,” he said. “It can get stressful at times when delays are dragged out, but as long as people keep their cool, things usually turn out alright.”
Many expressed surprise and admiration that Metro-North has cleaned up the damage and had an operational service just four days after the fatal derailment.
“When we saw the news on Sunday morning, you knew that it was going to be a crazy few days until they got things up and running,” North Bond Street resident Kiki Robinson said. “All things considered, they got it done relatively quickly considering the damage.”
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