Sen. asks commuters to comment on rail issues

February 4, 2014

Story as it appeared on WTNH

STRATFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Metro-North has come under the microscope after a series of accidents and power problems over the past year, but for the most part it’s been slow to act on improvements. One state senator tells News 8′s Kent Pierce that’s why commuters need to speak up.

Sen. Kevin Kelly, (R) Stratford, took his message right to the commuters by handing out fliers on Stratford’s Metro North platform. From tragic derailments to minor delays, the complaints about the railroad are piling up.

“Sometimes late, changing tracks, and then sometimes we get stuck on the tracks,” said Vincent Strickland of Stratford.

“Trains are never on time. They’re at least 10 minutes late,” said Shannon Robinson of Stratford.

Senator Kelly is urging commuters to stop complaining to each other and start complaining to their elected officials.

“We need people to get on the phone, to send letters, to communicate with their elected leaders so that we can really get some traction on this issue,” said Senator Kevin Kelly.

Let me play Metro North advocate for a second here, because the New Haven line is the busiest rail line in the United States. It averages 106,000 rides every day, most of which are on time and a lot of riders appreciate that.

“They’ve done a pretty good job; 90% of the time they seem to be on time,” said Dennis Merlow of Shelton.

“I’d give them at least a B+. Fortunately, I haven’t been on any of the ones that stalled or got in accidents…” said Dan Trapp of Milford.

The Senator says the state should invest more money in transportation.

“What I’m talking about is the special transportation fund, that we pay taxes with on our gas, to go specifically to transportation,” said Senator Kelly.

Millions of which he says has been used for non-transportation expenses in recent years. This is just one of the things he is urging commuters to call Hartford about.

“He was just telling me that and as I was saying I’m going to look at this and I think I will make a call,” said Vincent Strickland of Stratford.

If Senator Kelly’s call to bring your complaints to your elected officials sounds familiar, that may be because the head of the Commuter Action Group said the same thing a week ago. On its website, you can plug in your address and the CAG gives you all the contact info you need.