C K. Bennett

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - coordination, infrastructure - station, land use - planning, mode - rail, mode - subway/metro


Railroad commuter service, Rail transit stations, Planning, Metro-North Commuter Railroad (New York), Funding, Financing, Expenditures, Coordination, Commuter rail


The Metro-North Commuter Railroad was created in 1983 to operate, maintain, and manage the commuter railroads that were abandoned by Conrail in response to federal legislation. Working after January 1, 1983, Metro-North has improved the structures and facilities, stations, and track and electrical systems that had long been neglected by predecessor railroads. Over the course of the past 15 years, expenditures have averaged approximately $100 million yearly. This funding was provided through a series of capital programs initiated by the Metropolitan Transportation Agency, the umbrella agency that controls the New York metropolitan region's transit properties. Funding for these projects is derived from various sources, including taxes, bond sales, state grants, and Federal Transit Administration grants. Projects often involve interaction with local communities, state and federal funding agencies, and special interest groups. The Cortlandt Station, with a total project cost of almost $11 million, was one example of the success that can be achieved in the public transportation arena when a local municipality is convinced it is part of the planning and design process. Although the overall planning and implementation took nearly 9 years to complete, the Cortlandt Station has turned out to be one of the railroad's major successes. It is also an excellent example of the coordination that is required to execute a major improvement project when several state and federal agencies, four design and engineering consultants, and three contractors are added to the mix.