Metro-North Marks 100 Days, Commuters Want More Improvement

Many said they see progress but think more needs to be done.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Metro North says it is almost finished with planned safety changes after a string of accidents last year. The railroad says it has made big changes, but riders say more work needs to be done.

    Officials from Metro-North said the rail service has made big changes in the first 100 days that its new president has been in office, but riders say more work needs to be done.

    "I haven't seen very much improvement in the last 100 days," said Andrew Morrison of Westport, who is unhappy with aspects of the railroad. "I don't think safety has been an issue. It's reliability. Timeliness."

    Timeliness is one of several goals in Metro-North's 100 Day Action Plan Checklist, which was implemented when MTA President Joseph Giulietti took office in February.

    Other elements of the plan include promoting a culture of safety, adopting concrete safety enhancements and improving communications.

    "I will give the railroad credit for the things they claim to have done to improve safety because the railroad seems to be safe," said Jim Cameron, of the Commuter Action Group, who's been a long time critic of the railroad.

    Of 32 initiatives established in the action plan, 21 have been fully implemented and more are in progress.

    "I think the things most visible to commuters are not addressed on that list and have not improved," Cameron added. "We still have trains that are late, we still have standing-room-only conditions on the trains. Safety should be a given. It shouldn't be 12 bullet points on a 100-day plan."

    Sen. Richard Blumenthal insists progress has been minuscule.

    "There has to be very dramatic and important progress for this railroad to be made safe and reliable," Blumenthal said.

    Metro-North officials said the railroad has made major strides in the last 100 days and only two initiatives remain.

    Railroad officials said they're continuing to do work on tracks, implemented a new schedule that they said they're continuing to tweak and have added more cars to the morning and afternoon peak trains on the New Haven Line.

    "Even at the times when service is disrupted, communications is better. There are more tweets, there are more email alerts," Cameron said.