Senator Toni Boucher R- Wilton, ranking member of the Transportation Committee statement in response to Friday’s Metro North fiasco

July 25, 2011

“When Metro North riders were stuck for more than an hour in triple digit heat with little water or fresh air in their rail cars it should set off alarms. I am very grateful no one was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Most disturbing to me however, were reports that trapped passengers called 911 for help and local first responders couldn’t locate the trains. The breakdown in communication from Metro North Train officials to first responders and local officials as well as the apparent lack of an emergency backup plan are not acceptable.

“I am aware there were several pregnant women in distress and panicking passengers who needed medical help. I have spoken to the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation and he agrees this lack of communication is a very serious matter. The DOT is in the process of pulling together an emergency meeting with Metro North Officials, Westport EMS and Fire officials to discuss this incident, what can be learned from it and corrective action for the future that will be implemented.

“I look forward to discussing the incident report and feedback from passengers with the responsible parties to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The people of Connecticut who rely on train service deserve a safe mode of transportation they can rely on. I am assured that the DOT Commissioner is committed to having Metro North put a plan of action in place so that incidents like this can be avoided in the future.”