Disappointing survey results for Metro North

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)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– The results are in and they are not good for Metro North. Commuters were asked to grade the rail-line and the final results were very disappointing.

Who better to rate Metro North service than the riders themselves?

“We know it’s been a bad winter. I thought it was important to hear from commuters, and we certainly did. 642 of them took the survey,” said Jim Cameron, Commuter Action Group.

Jim Cameron of the Commuter Action Group came up with the eight question survey. Question one, 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.

The final result averaged out to about a D+, with 11 percent giving Metro North an F.

metro north survey results

“I don’t think this is a scientific survey. It’s opt-in. The people who wanted to take the survey are probably the ones who wanted to complain the most,” said Cameron.

The survey asked riders what their biggest problems were while commuting, overcrowding and poor communication came in second and third, but the overwhelming favorite was delays, and those delays are largely because of the problems Metro North had for most of the last year.

The derailments in Bridgeport and the Bronx caused Metro North to order trains to go slower in certain places. The survey asked people if they ever complained to Metro North. Most said they never complained. Of those who did, the vast majority said the problem never got fixed.

But despite the complaints, most people said they felt safe

“But a surprising 29%, almost a third, said they weren’t sure whether the trains were safe or not, and I think that’s the legacy of these reports from the federal government that conditions were far worse than we’d ever known they were,” said Cameron.

The survey also included a space for comments, and 267 different people wrote in about their own experiences, and most were complaints.

“There were a number of anecdotal comments of people who said I just can’t rely on this railroad anymore. I think I’m going to move to someplace where the trains are more reliable,” said  Cameron.

He’s posted all of those comments with the survey on CommuterActionGroup.org. If you didn’t get a chance to weigh in this time, that’s OK. They’re going to do another survey after Metro-North’s 100-day plan is over. That should be at the end of June.

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