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Unhappy Metro-North Commuters Can Speak Out To DOT At Meeting Tuesday Night

Metro-North commuters have complained of being stranded on cold trains and even colder platforms when service problems have occurred this winter.
Metro-North commuters have complained of being stranded on cold trains and even colder platforms when service problems have occurred this winter. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- A meeting in Fairfield that will offer commuters a chance to speak out about ongoing problems on Metro-North's New Haven Line will go on as planned Tuesday evening despite the morning snow, organizers said.

The Connecticut Citizens Transportation Lobby is sponsoring the meeting from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Pequot Library, 720 Pequot Ave., Southport.

Metro-North commuters from across Fairfield County are invited to attend and voice their concerns about the train service to Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Jim Redeker, who will be in attendance.

Metro-North officials from operations and customer service are also expected to attend, said Jim Cameron, founder of the Commuter Action Group.

Jara Burnett, from the League of Women Voters, will be the moderator of the event.

The meeting comes after a tough year for Metro-North Railroad, with multiple derailments, including one that killed four people; the death of worker on the tracks; power problems that disrupted service days on the New Haven Line; a computer problem that shut down the entire system for an evening; and stranded trains, among other complaints.

“The Citizens Transportation Lobby is a consortium of activist groups pushing for improved transit in our state,” says group Co-Chair Jill Kelly of Fairfield. “Metro-North is crucial to our economy, and if it isn’t operating safely and on-time, everyone is affected … commuters, motorists and ordinary taxpayers.”

Tens of thousands of Connecticut residents ride Metro-North trains every day. The state of Connecticut pays for 65 percent of the rail's operating costs.

Participating members of Tuesday night's meeting in Fairfield include the Business Council of Fair?eld County, Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Commuter Acton Group, Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority, League of Women Voters, Regional PLAN Association, Transit for Connecticut, Tri?State Transportation Campaign.

The meeting comes a day after Gov. Dannel Malloy met with new Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti, who just took the job last week, in Hartford to discuss the problems.

Giulietti and Metropolitan Transportation Administration Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast stood next to Malloy at a press conference and vowed to get the commuter railroad back on track.

The leaders will put together a plan to improve safety, on-time performance and customer communications.

"They've lost the confidence of many riders, and it's their job to earn it back," Malloy is quoted as saying in the Hartford Courant . "They know the hole they've dug."

Read the full article in the Hartford Courant here .

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