Metro-North 100-Day Plan Stresses Safety - NBC Connecticut

Metro-North 100-Day Plan Stresses Safety



    New Metro-North President Joseph Giuletti has submitted his 100 day plan on safety to the State Department of Transportation. (Published Tuesday, March 4, 2014)

    Last year was a bad one for Metro-North, tainted by derailments and deaths, investigations and injuries. 

    New Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti, on the job for just three weeks, released his 100-day plan for improvements in a letter to the state Department of Transportation.

    In the letter, Giulietti describes his projects for the next hundred days, including developing a new corporate safety policy. The policy will contain a confidential close-call reporting system, and will introduce devices to make sure train drivers aren't dozing off by October.

    Giulietti also wants to enhance stations with monitors that tell what trains are how late and on what track.

    The document doesn't specify how much these improvements will cost, and because federal investigations into Metro-North's 2013 mishaps haven't concluded, it doesn't include responses to those incidents.

    Legislators said the plan was a step in the right direction but pushed for more detailed and specific guidelines.

    "It's a start," said Gov. Dannel Malloy at a press conference Tuesday. "I don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater but I'm going to need more details. I understand their frustration, the federal investigations into the accidents aren't completed."

    Rep. Elizabeth Esty, a member of the Rail Subcommittee of the House Committee of Transportation and Infrastructure, released the following statement in response to Metro-North's 100-day plan:

    "While I appreciate the work of Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti, I join Governor Malloy and Commissioner Redeker in urging more specific benchmarks and deadlines in Metro-North's 100 day action plan," Esty said. "I'm working on the federal level to clear roadblocks. Last Wednesday, in a House Rail Subcommittee hearing, I spoke directly with top Federal Railroad Administration officials to secure their commitment to release findings from the Operation Deep Dive investigation as soon as possible. Connecticut commuters deserve swift action on new standards to ensure that Metro-North provides safe, reliable train service. On-time, safe rail service is critical to Connecticut's economy."

    Sen. Richard Blumenthal, chair of the Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, called the plan "more of a set of aspirations than an actionable roadmap for concrete improvements" and said he, too, hopes railroad leadership will adopt more concrete deadlines.