MTA Board Remarks 10.01.13
Good afternoon. I’m here to speak on behalf of the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council. Since the New Haven Line loss of power caused by a Con Edison feeder cable failure last Wednesday morning, riders have not received the service that they have paid for. Many commuters have found their rides too taxing or time consuming and have worked from home or taken days off of work. Others have found their way to alternative means of transportation, many of them at considerable personal cost in terms of money and time. Still other commuters have braved crowded trains at limited frequencies and made their way to their jobs. None of these riders have gotten their money’s worth, and they deserve to be made whole.
Last week we recommended to Metro-North President Permut that the Railroad find a means of compensating riders for the many problems that they have faced since last Wednesday. We are pleased to see that MTA management is recommending that this Board take action today to authorize this compensation and we encourage you to move to reimburse riders for their loss of service in a simple, straightforward, and rapid manner. This is not only important to protect the reputation of the MTA and Metro-North; it is simply the right thing to do.
We also call for a full investigation of the circumstances and causes of this outage and of practices, policies, and contingency plans that can be put in place to prevent a future similar event or to reduce its impacts. We believe that there are lessons to be learned in the cooperative efforts between Metro-North and MTA New York City Transit and other transit agencies to provide alternative transportation. As information about the outage has come to light, it appears that the actions of Con Edison in removing from service the second feeder cable may have caused this outage. If this is the case, Con Edison should participate in funding reimbursements to riders and take responsibility for other losses that MTA and Metro-North have suffered. We look forward to a full and complete investigation of this incident and will be monitoring this process as it moves forward.
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