Friday, February 04, 2011

Metro-North Does It Again

If it wasn't clear before, it is now: the Waterbury line is Metro-North's and Connecticut's lowest priority. They've run out of trains due to weather-related problems, so train service to Waterbury is discontinued. They've put us back on buses. At least they are running express as well as local, but that doesn't do much good if the roads are icy or traffic is jammed.

Governor Malloy's Press Release, boasting about taking trains away from Waterbury for the main line:

(Hartford, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy moved today to add much-needed rail cars to the beleaguered New Haven Line – announcing that buses will be used on the Waterbury Branch commuter rail line beginning Saturday, freeing up two 7-car, diesel-powered trains that can be put into service on the New Haven Line. With each car carrying about 100 people, the action will make about 1,400 additional seats available.
“This brutal and punishing winter has meant unprecedented breakdowns on the New Haven Line and anything we can do to supplement service, we will do,” Governor Malloy said. “We are happy to use existing resources to help our partners at Metro-North.”
“Furthermore, this is an important step toward maintaining commerce during this difficult winter season,” the Governor added. “People need to get to work. If they can’t, their companies suffer and, ultimately, our overall economy suffers.”
The branch line runs from Waterbury to Bridgeport, where it connects with the New Haven Line. There are stops in between at Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Seymour, Ansonia and Derby/Shelton.
Because of the weather-related rail car breakdowns, Metro-North has announced a reduced train schedule beginning Monday, February 7 and continuing through Friday, March 4, 2011. The Waterbury bus schedule will be posted on the Metro-North website – Customers may also call 212 532-4900.
The buses will come from CTTransit, which operates bus service around the state, under the auspices of the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT). The busing plan will be essentially the same plan that was operated successfully and reliably in the summer of 2009 when there was a major track-upgrade program on the rail line.  Generally, buses will leave Waterbury heading for Bridgeport about 15 minutes earlier than the regular train times.  A combination of express and local buses will be operated.  For the return trip, buses will connect with trains at Bridgeport.  Express and local buses will also operate for that service.
Metro-North operates the New Haven Line and its three branches – Waterbury, Danbury and New Canaan – under a contract with the DOT. It has 37 million passenger trips annually, consistently making it the busiest or second-busiest in the country.
Revised weekend bus service will begin Saturday, February 5, 2011.
For Immediate Release: February 4, 2011



What also bugs me is that Gov Malloy claims this stealing from Peter to pay Paul solves the crisis.

First, 14 cars moving to the mainline when 150+ are out of service is nothing.

Second, this was not the Governor's idea. As Waterbury riders know it was implemented by Metro-North 2 weeks ago.

Why can't politicians tell us the truth?

Jim Cameron
CT Rail Commuter Council

Waterbury Girl said...

That explains why I was thinking "didn't they already announce this?" when Malloy made the announcement.