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What is the HELP Program?

The Hudson Valley Highway Emergency Local Patrol (HELP) Program currently operates exclusively during peak commuter hours during the regular work week. The service patrols are provided through contracts with private vendors, and the road service is provided to the public for free. HELP staff/drivers can change a flat, provide a gallon of gas, provide other necessary fluids, provide jump starts and effect minor repairs to disabled motorists, getting motorists on their way in a fraction of the time it would take to dispatch a tow truck. The Program in the Hudson Valley currently provides 25 vehicles over 205 centerline miles of limited access highway, with a goal of reaching disabled motorists within 10 minutes of their vehicular breakdown. Customer surveys indicate that this goal is maintained consistently for 80% of all HELP assists. This goal is balanced with the need to operate the Program efficiently, without over-saturation of patrols along the highway system.

HELP Coverage Area

These services are currently provided during the weekday hours of 6-10 a.m. and 3-7 p.m. on the Palisades, Hutchinson River, Cross County, Saw Mill River, Taconic and Sprain Brook and Bronx River Parkways, as well as I-287, I-684, I-95, and I-87. Program data (identified in the table below) for the preceding years of operation, clearly highlights the significance of the Program in the number of assists that are performed and the positive impact to the traveling public.

HELP Truck Patrol Program
Motorist Assists
Summary Data

(To view detailed data select the yearly links for 2014 - 2018.)

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
TOTAL ASSISTS 39158 37244 38333 34509 32863

The HELP Program is operated by the New York State Department of Transportation, and is managed and supervised by New York State Police assigned to the Hudson Valley Transportation Management Center. Due to the multi-jurisdictional nature of the highway system in the region, partnerships between these agencies and the New York State Thruway Authority, The New York State Park Police, and the Westchester County Department of Public Safety ensure that HELP services are deployed quickly and efficiently as incidents are detected on Program roadways.

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