Malloy to Hold “Crisis Summit” on Metro-North

Gov. Dannel Malloy will be meeting with executives from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Metro-North on Monday for what his office is calling a "crisis summit" after several several service disruptions.

The most recent problem was with the Walk Bridge in South Norwalk. Over the course of a week, it failed to close twice and service was interrupted as crews scrambled to mke repairs.

Malloy is traveling to New York to meet with officials from the rail service and will be meeting with the media afterward.

“This is now the second major failure in two weeks, leaving thousands of passengers stranded and causing unacceptable delays. Let me be clear, this is outrageous," Malloy said in a statement on Friday. "In speaking with MTA and Metro-North, my administration has stressed that every procedure, protocol and engineering solution must get the immediate attention of the most qualified team of experts. It is of the upmost importance that these operating, maintenance, alternative service and customer protocols be completely critiqued and that near term solutions be found to ensure reliable service for Connecticut commuters.

Commuters were frustrated on Friday evening as the trip home was delayed.

"I pay for a monthly ticket. I shouldn't have to walk," said Mary Fareira, of Waterbury, who followed the crowd from South Norwalk to East Norwalk after a mechanical problem stopped train service.

Twenty-four buses were sent from the Bronx to transport passengers between South Norwalk and East Norwalk on Friday, according to Metro-North. 

Amtrak service on both the Northeast regional and Acela lines was also affected and trains were held at Penn Station for several hours.

Metro-North officials said the bridge is 118 years old, but the state has invested more than $1.5 million in recent years to improve bridge reliability.

Malloy said the recent problems with the bridge heighten the need to replace the bridge, which he called "a central link to the entire Northeast Corridor."

"We simply cannot afford peak service disruptions like this, which is why we have requested and are aggressively pursuing federal Resiliency funding for this exact purpose," Malloy said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) echoed Malloy's sentiments and said he plans to "work with the full delegation to ensure Connecticut's transportation infrastructure receives the immediate attention and funding it needs and deserves."

The bridge also had a similar problem in 2011, in some cases keeping passengers on the train for two hours before they could transfer to a bus.

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