Free Loop will become Main Street shuttle

Dutchess County Public Transit will hold an information session at Beacon City Hall at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Feb. 28) to discuss schedule and route changes that will begin June 1, including a streamlined Free Loop bus that will run up and down Main Street. 

Dutchess County runs three bus routes in Beacon. It said Route B, which travels on Route 9 to and from Poughkeepsie, will offer hourly service, including eight additional daily trips. Buses will run on the half-hour (picking up riders, for example, at 1:30 p.m. and again at 2:30 p.m.). 

Route F, which runs from Beacon to Hopewell Junction with stops at the Beacon train station, the Amazon warehouse and iPark in East Fishkill and the Fishkill campus of Dutchess Community College, will see its hours extended to 10 p.m. 

Following input from the City of Beacon, Route G, also known as the Beacon Free Loop, will become a Main Street shuttle Monday through Saturday and add Sunday service from 10 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. 

Because of low ridership, it will abandon its Figure 8 loop that includes stops near Mount Beacon and the Beacon Housing Authority. Instead, following a recommendation by the city’s Main Street Access Committee, it will leave the Metro-North station every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour, travel down Main Street, turn around at East Main and return to the train station.

The B and F routes will stop at the Beacon Housing Authority but the rides won’t be free. City Administrator Chris White said Wednesday (Feb. 21) that he will bring a plan to the City Council to subsidize the 75-cent fare for low-income riders.

The new route schedules are posted at In addition to input from the city, the changes followed a study by a consulting firm that analyzed ridership and surveyed passengers. Dutchess County will provide free rides for passengers attending next week’s meeting at City Hall, which can be reached via Route B or the Free Loop.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Simms has covered Beacon for The Current since 2015. He studied journalism at Appalachian State University and has reported for newspapers in North Carolina and Maryland. Location: Beacon. Languages: English. Area of expertise: Beacon politics

Join the Conversation


  1. How about a bus along Fishkill Avenue to serve the laundromat, Trax Expresso, Red Pepper Diner, Asian Ginger Chinese Restaurant, Stinson’s Hub, District Social, Industrial Arts Brewing, Barking Frog, Crown Fried Chicken and Halal Grill, Gold Label Liquor, Roma Nova, Auto Zone, Family Dollar, Enterprise Car Rentals, Mavis Auto, Lanks Auto Shop, High End Automotive, Hudson Highlands Veterinary and others.

    Not once has a free bus driven down this stretch. It could wait in the shopping plaza, then drive the “golden mile” of Main Street to the train station and back. It seems the Hedgewood Home for Adults is such a blight that it and all those businesses are not considered part of Beacon.

  2. I’m having a hard time seeing the justification for downsizing the route of the loop bus. It certainly can’t be because of finances, plus the City Council is consistently preaching that limiting and monetizing parking is the way to cut down on the use of cars, to affordable dwelling units, walkability and sustainability for the city.

    If you’re a pro-limit parking city government in a part of the country that experiences four seasons a year with cold weather, rain and snow, the community/city bus service would be expansive. In terms of finances, City Hall doesn’t have an issue finding money for employment retention initiatives, an approximately 22 percent salary increase for council members ($42/hour, not including benefits), for handouts as community investment grants, property tax refunds to a number of the recently built multifamily residential complexes, the 2024 Beacon city budget proposed a decrease in the tax rate for commercial properties for the second consecutive year, in 2023 city government made a deal with Dutchess County that would benefit the city in millions of dollars of sales tax give-backs. So again, why are we limiting the service of a community bus route?

  3. Those of us who live at the base of Mount Beacon love the Loop Bus and are dismayed at the proposed changes. Turning this service into a Main Street shuttle with limited hours threatens this vital service in our community. These changes will negatively impact many residents who depend on this bus route daily, and these cuts eliminate all public transportation options for anyone living south of Main.

    If the plan to change the Loop route goes through, it will eliminate the service to the Mount Beacon trailhead. The nearest stop for residents in this elevated part of the city is 0.7 miles away, which is impractical on rainy, hot or smoky days, especially when carrying luggage or heavy bags.

    The county argues that the route has low ridership, and that the Main Street Access Committee recommended a shuttle for populated areas. The report should have mentioned how the Loop takes riders to and from low- to higher-density regions.

    Ridership is down because the bus runs irregularly and has no posted timetables. It has gotten a reputation for being unreliable, but it doesn’t need to be that way.

    As development comes online and the city contemplates relaxing parking regulations, it’s irresponsible to cut public transit and call it an improvement. Let’s talk about expanding it to the growing parts of the city. Let’s take the Main Street Access Committee’s suggestion of providing direct routes, increasing frequency to make timetables irrelevant and improving the bus and shelter designs.

    I am among the nearly 1,000 people who have signed a petition calling for the route to be improved, not eliminated, for those who need it most.

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