Letter: Duff demands answers from Metro North execs

NORWALK, Conn. – State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) has issued an open letter to MTA Metro-North Railroad Interim Executive Director Thomas F. Prendergast and President Howard Permut regarding the handling of Wednesday’s service disruption. The interruption in service is reportedly expected to last as long as three weeks.

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Dear Mssrs. Prendergast and Permut:

Connecticut has once again been impacted by a major service disruption on the New Haven Line impacting over 100,000 rail commuters, employers and travelers on the region’s highways. While yesterday’s substation incident was beyond the control of Metro-North, management of the incident and the response falls squarely in Metro-North’s line of responsibility.

In what appears to be a continual problem for Metro-North, the timeliness, accuracy and usefulness of the communication to customers was inadequate throughout the day yesterday. Although the first notification was sent immediately after the incident, it failed to inform customers or employers of the basic problem, significance of the problem, and possible delays anticipated in order for them to properly plan their commute or alternatives. In addition, there were inadequate or no announcements at stations or platforms to assist customers waiting for their trains.

The lack of accurate and timely information creates an issue of credibility and can further undermine the public’s confidence in the rail system and our ability to provide good customer service. The implications are further enhanced, since impacts are felt beyond Connecticut and through the entire Northeast Corridor.

Thanks to the efforts of Governor Malloy and the Connecticut Department of Transportation, there was an effort to reach out to our residents and to help direct commuters. Sadly, though, it is the MTA who is the main source of information, which was not forthcoming in a timely way.

Metro-North has continually made a pledge to provide accurate, timely and meaningful information on service conditions, including alerts via email and text, MTA website information, customer service phone lines, station displays, news, and public address announcements on stations and onboard trains to keep customers informed and allow them to plan for their trip wherever they are. This was not the case yesterday, which lead to a lot of confusion, misinformation and delay.

I respectfully request a response and an action plan for ensuring that you live up to your promise.


Bob Duff

Connecticut Senate



8 responses to “Letter: Duff demands answers from Metro North execs”

  1. Don’t Panic

    It just got worse. 5:05 out of Stamford to New Haven delayed due to mechanical difficulties. No ETA and all northbound trains are stacked up behind it.
    That is on top of the severely reduced, all local schedule resulting from the power problems below Stamford.

  2. Off the Rails

    100+ year old infrastructure. $100k+ ticket punchers who can retire with full everything after 20 years. What could possibly go wrong?

  3. Off the Rails

    12 years after 9/11 and 10 years after the blackout and still no communications plan.

  4. Hobbes the Calvinist

    The only upside of the train breakdown is that it might slow down Kayak’s fleeing Norwalk for its big move to Stamford.

    Maybe Sen. Duff, and Reps. Cafero, Morris, Perone, Lavielle and Wood can tell us how the state taxes we pay are going to help a business leave Norwalk to go to Stamford.

    If Kayak needs a bigger facility for operations, I know of a great location on Main Avenue . . .

  5. Herb Eaversmels

    I’m surprised Duff came out so soon to demand action. I would have expected him to wait until the trains were running again, then demand action. Just like he did with his letter on the BJ’S issue…

  6. M Allen

    Rather than worry about who knew what and when, maybe these politicians can start focusing on ensuring we have a modern rail system. One of the busiest commuter rail systems in America and the world and its basically no different than it was 50 years ago.

  7. Off the Rails

    For decades our state government has been stealing money from the transportation fund to pay people to sit around and do nothing whether it be in useless state offices, housing projects, or prisons. Now, some of them are surprised that our infrastructure is crumbling before their eyes.

    Then when they do decide to give us pennies on the dollar for what we pay in the highest gasoline taxes in the nation, they squander it on unnecessary projects like the resurfacing of the Merritt parkway through New Canaan and Stamford. THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE PAVEMENT THERE. WHO IS WATCHING THE STORE? NO ONE! Come up to Norwalk and the exit 39 ramps are riddled with pot holes and we’ve had three fatalities alone this year on the south bound side. Now these drivers may have been traveling at a high rate of speed, but the shape of the road doesn’t help.

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