NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The latest news regarding allegations of cheating by some Metro-North conductors has become a major talking point for commuters, especially those at Union Station in New Haven.
“I would certainly say it’s another black eye,” Michael Wholley of New Haven said.
“Safety is not something to be taken lightly,” said Nicole Fish.
According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Metro-North had to fire 9 rookie conductors earlier this week. All were part of a training program. Now, they’re out of a job.
An investigation revealed that at least one of the trainees stole a test from the instructor and snapped pictures of it with a cell phone. All of it eventually ended up online. The test covered rail safety, including signals, curves, and speed limits.
“That’s wrong, that’s wrong,” Deneen Taylor of New Haven said, “because they’re not really taking it seriously. They’re not even taking a test seriously. How we gonna trust them with us as passengers.”
“Cheating on something like that, especially like that, is something that can’t be tolerated,” Wholley said.
In a statement to News 8, Metro-North said:
“We take this very seriously. We disbanded the class and referred the matter to the MTA Inspector General for investigation.”
And for those rookie conductors who were fired, their problems may be far from over. Criminal charges may actually be filed.
News 8 called the Inspector General’s office for clarification on those possible charges. We were told they could not comment on the investigation.
“Either way, it’s not a good look for this company,” Fish said. “It’s having a lot of PR problems with the issues happening in the last year.”
Three other employees who were also part of the training class for conductor certification have been re-assigned to their previous jobs. Officials say they weren’t fired because they were past probation status.