Bring your gripes to Metro-North

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — If you take Metro North and you’ve got complaints or compliments, today is the day to be heard. The railroad is holding a meeting in Connecticut Thursday night and for the next three days, a commuter group is doing a survey.

Who better to rate Metro North than commuters? That’s why the Commuter Action Group has a new on-line survey.

LINK: CommuterActionGroup.org

The first question is give the railroad a letter grade.

“I think they have an A, ” said Patty Novick, Canterbury.

“B,” said Kathy Kerr, East Haven.

“B,” said Mike Frailey, West Hartford.

“The last year’s been probably a C,” said Matt Broder, Hamden.

“I’m going to say C-,” said Jennifer Slubowski, East Haven.

“Oh, C, C-, absolutely. They’re getting worse,” said Gloria Searson, West Haven.

So what are the biggest problems people encounter and feel free to check more than one.

“Well, they’re slow, they’re changing tracks,” said Searson.

“Outages and lateness, a couple of safety issues,” said Broder.

“I think the trains could be cleaner. Some of the trains, I’ve noticed, are not the cleanest,” said Novick.

“Delays, you’re on your way, the train stops, you never know what time you’re going to arrive, what time you’re going to get home,” said Slubowski.

And about two months into Joe Giulietti’s reign as president of Metro North, the survey asks who you blame if you’re unhappy with Metro North.

“I would say management,” said Frailey.

Of course Metro North knows riders have complaints like those, so the new president has come up with a 100-day action plan of all the things he wants to see improved, and you can follow how they’re doing on it online.

LINK: Metro-North Railroad 100-Day Action Plan

One new safety item is a confidential Call Reporting System so employees can anonymously report safety concerns without fear of reprisal.

Another is installing inward and outward facing cameras in train cabs. A camera facing the engineer could have told us what happened to the man driving the train that derailed in the Bronx, killing 4 people.

First responders view the derailment of a Metro North passenger train in the Bronx borough of New York Dec. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
First responders view the derailment of a Metro North passenger train in the Bronx borough of New York Dec. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

And one item already checked off, a system to automatically slow trains down at five critical curves. One of them is in Bridgeport. The derailment in Bridgeport 11 months ago really started the bad year for Metro North.

But despite the problems, people all had the same answer to the last question on the commuter survey.

“Do you feel safe riding Metro North? I do,” said Kerr.

“Yes, I feel safe,” said Novick.

“Yeah, I mean, do you feel safe on 95? That’s the question I think you have to ask,” said Broder.

Good point. If you want to speak out at Thursday night’s meeting, it goes from 5-7 at the Stamford Train Station.

If you want to see Metro-North 100-day plan, or take the Commuter Action Group survey click the above links.

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