Metro-North Railroad commuters will have a chance to sound off about how the service has deteriorated over the past year or so at a meeting in Southport, Conn. on Tuesday night.
The event is sponsored by a transportation lobbying effort in Connecticut. It is billed as a chance to speak with Commissioner James Redeker of Connecticut’s transportation department, which consults with Metro-North about the running of the New Haven Line, two thirds of which is located in that state.
But commuter activist Jim Cameron, who is helping organize the event, said a Metro-North representative is likely to be there and all Metro-North commuters are welcome.
“I expect to see a lot of angry commuters who will have a chance to express their disappointment with the performance of the railroad,” Cameron said.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Metro-North’s parent agency, did not immediately respond to a call from The Journal News/lohud.com.
The meeting is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. in the Pequot Library, 720 Pequot Ave.
Metro-North, now under the leadership of new President Joseph Giulietti, is aware of the decline in service. Officials have posted a note on its website acknowledging that service has decline and asking for patience.
“Trains that once arrived like clockwork now arrive late,” the notice said. “This poor reliability has taken its toll on your commute and we want to answer your questions and explain what is going on.”
The notice goes on to explain that an “intensive focus” on track work, plus safety improvements and the harsh winter have been taking their toll on the railroad’s operations.
Meanwhile, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and Redeker are scheduled to meet later today (Monday) with Giulietti and MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast in Hartford, Conn.
While the Tuesday meeting for commuters is about a half-hour from the New York State line – organizers chose the location to be as convenient to New Haven as to Stamford – Cameron said he hoped it would be only the first of many such sessions, some of which could be held in Westchester.
He is urging commuters to not only air their concerns and frustrations, but also to listen to explanations from Connecticut and Metro-North officials.
“It’s a chance for both sides to hear each other, which is important,” he said.
The meeting is being held by the CT Citizens Transportation Lobby. It is expected to include representatives from the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, the Commuter Action Group, the Regional PLAN Association, Transit for Connecticut, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, the Business Council of Fairfield County, the Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority and the League of Women Voters.