Survey Finds Most Metro-North Riders Have Issues With Service

Does where you get on Metro-North each day determine how you feel about the commuter rail’s service?

The results of a survey from the CT Commuter Rail Council found an overwhelming majority, about 84 percent, of commuters from Fairfield County reported having some issues with service on the train. 

Just about every commuters boarding Metro-North at New Haven’s Union Station during Thursday’s morning said the opposite and that they are pleased with the commuter rail’s service.

“It’s almost always on time. It takes me where I want to go and that’s all I expect,” Claudia Peresman, of Mystic, said.

The survey was emailed to 4,700 Fairfield County riders in mid-December and around 750 people from areas, including Weston, Westport, Fairfield, Wilton, Norwalk and Darien, responded and cited delayed trains, overcrowding and a lack of information as their biggest issues.

Only 10 percent of riders surveyed said they were “highly pleased” with service on the train and 28 percent said they were “very unhappy.”

Almost all of the New Haven commuters who spoke with NBC Connecticut said they ride the train to stops within the state, meaning they typically have shorter rides.

Could that fact be what makes the difference in rider sentiment?

“I have no idea why they’re unhappy,” CC Clark, a commuter who lives in Wallingford, said. “Maybe something happens to the train after I get off. Everybody’s nice. I have had one problem one time in two months. That’s it” she said.

New Haven resident Adam Sonnenfeld spends hours on Metro-North each day, riding to and from Grand Central Station for his production job. Even with that long commute, he says he’s got no issues.

“Other than the time it takes to get in, which is nobody’s fault because we’re 77 miles from Grand Central, its fine” he said.

Survey respondents said they rate their overall satisfaction with the commuter rail at 4.1 out of 10.

In response to the survey, Metro-North sent the following statement:

"Last month Metro-North reported on the results of the 2015 Customer Satisfaction Survey, noting that there were significant increases in satisfaction among most major categories compared to 2014. In 2015, overall satisfaction with Metro-North increased 10 points to 83%. Customer satisfaction on the New Haven Line rose 17 points to 76%. Metro-North works collaboratively with Connecticut Department of Transportation to provide additional capacity to handle the significant increase in ridership. We also continue to work together to improve our infrastructure in order to provide safe and reliable service to our customers."

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