WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The City of White Plains is prepared for what may be an influx of Metro-North Hudson Line riders in coming days, according to senior mayoral advisor Karen Pasquale.
Hudson Line commuters, jilted after Sunday's train derailment, have already begun using the Harlem Line as an alternative for their commute.
The White Plains Station, which serves as a hub for the Harlem Line, has opened additional parking in the Lexington Grove West (Galleria) Parking Garage - which is walking distance to the station.
"We are urging commuters that are looking for alternate at this point and would like to commute out of White Plains Station to park in the Galleria parking lot," Pasquale said.
The city is pushing for commuters to utilize the garage as opposed to the TransCenter garage, adjacent to the station, in order to preserve space for permit holders.
"The TransCenter garage is mostly permit parking, and people pay quite a bit of money for those permits," she said.
Though there has yet to be a marked surge in commuters, the City seeks to preemptively avoid previous events.
"During the New Haven line closures, we had a huge influx of commuters trying to use TransCenter. There was a huge waiting line to get into the garage, which caused traffic jams around the area," she said.
Additionally, permit holders were pushed out of their spots.
"We decided to be proactive," she said, "There are staff members outside directing people to the other garage. We didn't see today what we saw with the New Haven Line."
According to Pasquale, the TransCenter only had 50 vehicles more than average, while the Galleria garage had 200 vehicles more than average.
However, Ned McCormack, communications director and senior advisor to County Executive Rob Astorino, said the county executive's office believes as more people become dissuaded from driving, Harlem Line stations should expect increased traffic.
The county opened the Kensico Dam parking lots for commuters on Monday, though they were not heavily utilized. Only 130 of 160 spots were taken. However, they will be doubling the capacity of the lots on Tuesday.
"People will become more familiar and willing to try stuff as the days go on," he said on Monday. "Traffic was very heavy going into New York today. People will probably be dissuaded to drive - and that's what we want. We are encouraging people to take the train."
Despite the anticipated surge, Pasquale said the city is prepared.
"Our public safety and transportation departments have been involved since the derailment. They will help out however we need them," she said, "In White Plains, even if there was a huge influx mid-week, we're in a good position and prepared to handle it."
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