Hop Aboard Beacon's Free New Bus Loop
The riverfront town makes it easy for visitors to explore with gratis rides, artsy bus shelters, and community concerts.
Photos provided by BeaconArts
If you missed BeaconArts Community Association’s first “Tiny Concerts @ the Bus Shelters” earlier in September, no worries: there are more planned for this fall.
The pop-up concert on Saturday, September 15 — pianist Jesse Stacken, playing one of the "Keys to Beacon" pianos — was held at the Main and Route 9D shelter. Adam Lister’s Nighthawks artwork was installed at that shelter; more art is installed at nine other bus shelters throughout the city.
“We installed art in five bus shelters last year as part of BeaconArts 15-year anniversary,” says Kelly Ellenwood, Ex-Officio of BeaconArts Community Association, “and from that project the idea about branding the (now former) G-route was born.”
The G-route was one of the scheduled routes of Dutchess County Public Transit. It was reborn on August 22 as the Beacon Free Loop — yup, free as in no cost to the riders.
Left: Kyra Husbands “Untitled” (located at Cliff and Main - Kyra is a recent BHS grad and upcoming recipient of the Dutchess County Executive's Arts Award for Student with Exceptional Promise. She is a freshman at SVA.) / Right: Adam Lister “Nighthawks” (located at Route 9D and Main/Visitor's Center)
On Monday through Saturday, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., riders can board anywhere along the route and ride the bus gratis.
According to data provided by the county, the Beacon Free Loop’s been a resounding success, says Beacon Mayor Randy Casale.
“It’s a good way to get people used to using public transit,” Casale explains.
The numbers tell the story: on August 22 last year, 15 people rode the G-route. On opening day of the Beacon Free Loop, 59 people enjoyed a ride. And if you think that’s due to the novelty of the bus, think again. On August 29 this year, 80 people rode the bus. Only three riders rode on August 29, 2017. And September 1 of this year, a whopping 497 people enjoyed the Beacon Free Loop, while last year, there were eight.
Casale says the data shows that the Beacon Free Loop was a good idea that, with a lot of help, came to fruition. He credited Dutchess County legislators, the Beacon City Council, BeaconArts, Dutchess County Transportation, and Marist College. The bus design was created by current BeaconArts President Rick Rogers, Brianne Linden of Marist College’s NorthRoad Communications—a student-run marketing and communications design firm — and former BeaconArts board member Kirsten Heincke of KHCreative.
Funding for the project also came from Arts MidHudson and Dutchess Tourism; other sponsors include Hudson Beach Glass and Lamb's Hill Bridal Boutique.
Theresa Gooby “Majorettes” (located at Forrestal Heights)