NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Westchester County officials say they are not surprised by the Metro-North numbers since many people now do the reverse commute to Westchester.

The White Plains train station is the busiest train station in New York state behind Grand Central and Westchester Economic Development Director Larry Gottlieb told WCBS Reporter Catherine Cioffi he’s not really surprised that Metro-North nearly passed LIRR for ridership in 2010.

WCBS 880 Reporter Catherine Cioffi talks with Westchester Co. officials about what the numbers mean.

“In the morning, you see many more people coming from the train station walking to the office buildings then walking from those buildings going to the train station,” said Gottlieb.

The reverse commute is huge, said Gottlieb because of areas like biotech, professional services and finance.

“We used to be the bedroom community for New York City, and now we’re becoming the workplace destination for many commuters and the sleeping is being done elsewhere,” said Gottlieb.

Gottlieb told WCBS 880 the ultimate goal is to have people not only work in Westchester, but to live there as well.

“The Metro-North numbers reflect the vibrancy of Westchester County’s economy and that’s a great thing to see. We want to see those numbers continue to increase,” said Gottlieb.

The long-term pattern for ridership shows Metro-North catching up to LIRR ridership, said MTA spokesman Salvatore Arena.

Fast Facts:
LIRR Ridership in 2010: 81,507,851
Metro-North Ridership in 2010: 81,665,632
The Metro-North number includes 570,000 connecting customers who were counted twice.

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