A new grassroots organization called the Commuter Action Group hopes to open lines of communication between Metro-North officials and frustrated passengers by allowing commuters to send complaints directly to the railroad as problems arise.
“We've developed technology to allow commuters while they're on the train, if they see something, to say something,” said commuter advocate Jim Cameron. “If there's no heat in their car, if the tickets aren't being collected, if the conductor is being rude, if the public address system isn't working, don't just sit there and complain to your fellow riders, open up the website, there's a direct link there to Metro North.”
The site includes a link to the official Metro-North complaint page, a list of Connecticut lawmakers and their contact information and a list of steps to take to file complaints most effectively.
“As a lawmaker, our primary responsibility is to represent the people, and there hasn't been a conduit beyond people voicing concerns and being frustrated. There really hasn't been a direct pipeline for them to voice concerns,” said State Rep. Tony Hwang, who represents Fairfield and Trumbull.
Ideally, the website will serve as that missing link.
“It would be the only place where [commuters could complain], because at the moment there's nowhere. Metro North doesn't listen to anyone,” said Owen Lucas, who said his complaints to Metro-North have fallen on deaf ears.
MTA spokesperson Marjorie Anders has issued the following statement regarding Metro-North’s response to commuter complaints:
"Metro-North has a well-trained workforce of front-line employees who are in a position to, and do, resolve thousands of issues in real time each day, namely, train crew members and ticket sellers. For those who need additional assistance, we have a responsive customer service department that responds to every email it receives through MTA.info and phone call it receives through 511, as well as incoming Tweets from Metro-North customers."