HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The MTA chair and Metro-North’s new president pledge a return to safety and reliability on the railroad during a meeting Thursday with some Connecticut state lawmakers.
Thomas F. Prendergast, chairman and chief executive of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and Joseph Giulietti met on Thursday with the legislature’s Transportation Committee.
They told state lawmakers that the commuter rail line has installed new technology, slowed trains and made internal management changes to improve service.
“We had some degradation in terms of the basics, in terms of track maintenance. And you need good track, you need safe track, you need good mechanical equipment and you need a signal system,” Prendergast said.
Prendergast said Metro-North audited the speed of 3,800 trains, is spending more than $425 million for technology to automatically stop or slow trains and established a chief safety officer job to focus solely on safety.
Giulietti promised better communication with riders.
He said his 100-day plan, to be released on Monday, is the first step in returning quality to a railroad that he said people used to set their watches by.
“We will get to the bottom of it and today, I commit to returning to this committee with those answers sometime after the FRA and the Blue Ribbon Panel on safety have completed their extensive investigations,” Giulietti said.
Rep. Antonio Guerrera, the committee’s House chairman, told the officials that the rail service’s recent record is appalling.
A power outage in September forced Metro-North to reduce service for nearly two weeks, infuriating passengers and forcing many to take to their cars on crowded Connecticut highways to avoid Metro-North.
The two transportation executives, facing elected officials conveying their constituents’ anger, already met with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Jan. 17 and with other elected officials, including U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
- 5 Hottest Wearable Tech Gadgets, From Snapchat Spectacles To The Apple Watch
- Multi-Agency Probe Underway Into Steam Burn Deaths Of Bronx Toddlers
- Cops: NJ Teen Accused Of Threatening Linden H.S. Students On Social Media
- Several Hurt In Early Morning Fire In Queens
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)