If you’ve got questions or comments for the head of Metro-North, bring them to the White Plains station this evening and meet railroad President Joseph Giulietti face to face.
The recently hired president plans to come with other top staff to shake hands and talk with customers in the entrance lobby to the downtown station from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (If you’re coming by car, leave time to find parking. You may have to look for spaces at the top of the parking garage, or even a couple of blocks away.)
This is the second stop in Giulietti’s six-stop tour of the stations to shake hands with customers and hear their complaints, praise and suggestions. The others are in Stamford, Conn., Grand Central Terminal and elsewhere in Westchester. There are none planned in Putnam or Rockland.
In the first session, at Grand Central Terminal on Mar. 26, he proved to be approachable and at ease, even when hearing complaints.
While reporters at first began to crush in, threatening to turn the event into another press conference, the journalists were eventually guided back a few steps so that the customers could come through as intended.
Not that everyone liked what they were hearing. When one rider complained that his Metro-North ride had gotten longer, Giulietti repeatedly declined to promise that he could shorten it. The railroad, he said, is putting a new focus on safety, followed by reliability, in a new schedule to come out May 11. That may mean that some trains take longer to get where they’re going, but people will be able to count on the schedule, he said.
When a woman asked for more seating for ticket holders in Grand Central, Giulietti told her that people seem to prefer the shopping opportunities that occupy areas of the terminal that could otherwise be filled with benches.
Some of the customers said they appreciated Giulietti meeting with them. Others wondered if it was nothing more than public relations. The verdict will come with what happens over time.
For now, Giulietti plans four more meetings:
April 10: Stamford Station, across from ticket office (in station), 5 to 7 p.m.
May 1: Grand Central Terminal, main concourse, 7 to 9 a.m.
May 6: Croton-Harmon Station, across from ticket office (in station), 5 to 7 p.m.
May 14: Harrison Station, eastbound platform (near elevator), 5 to 7 p.m.