Elected officials need to be questioned about Metro North

To the Editor:

The recent Metro North hearings in Washington qualify for the record books. Metro North officials admitted they have not conducted their normal five year cycle track maintenance in Bridgeport since 2005, and “cannot give an answer why.”

Can you imagine a public company CEO who knowingly deferred safety maintenance that resulted in many injuries and nearly deaths? He or she would be interviewing criminal lawyers and negotiating bail bonds. But instead of a criminal negligence case, we have U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal focused on “much more investment is needed.” How much more? The Feds ponied up $1 billion for new rail cars and Connecticut subsidizes Metro North hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Senator, these guys are worse than crooks. They make hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, and have knowingly and willingly put our commuters in harm’s way. And six months later perjure themselves by saying they don’t know why.

It is time that our elected officials woke up and demanded changes. Riders have experienced not only the results of criminal negligence but also the massive incompetence of Metro North management. Whether it is power outages, snowstorms, worker fatalities or delayed new train deliveries, there is always a litany of excuses and no management changes.

So a few questions: Why does Connecticut not have a contract with Metro North? The contract might have accountability standards. And Metro North is controlled by the MTA of New York. Why does Connecticut have no representation on this board? And finally why doesn’t Connecticut award the commuter rail contract to a vendor that is both honest and competent?

Please call your elected officials and ask these questions.

 

Bill Stapleton

Fairfield

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