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Sen. McKinney: ‘Confidence in Metro-North at All-Time Low’

State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-Fairfield) released the following statement Friday in response to the latest problem, which caused a two-hour delay in service Thursday night:

“Confidence in the Metro-North railroad is at an all-time low and we need to take serious steps to fix all of its problems and restore peace of mind to the riders who depend on it every day. There are both immediate and long-term problems that need to be addressed and, while nobody really wants to talk about it, everyone knows it’s going to cost money to implement the changes that need to be made. 

That’s one of the reasons why I cringe every year when Governor Malloy sweeps money out of our special transportation fund that we could otherwise use to help this rail system. He’s about to present a budget for 2014 and we cannot let him get away with it again this year. This rail system is vital to our state economy and, more importantly, to the family economies of all the commuters who rely on it.  We need to start treating it that way. A delay in addressing these problems now, will only cost us more in the long-run.”

Jim Eastwood January 26, 2014 at 06:13 AM
CONFIDENCE IN POLITIC "HACKS" Is at an ALL TIME LOW !!!! You all knew there were issues BEFORE----Stop Grandstanding and DO SOMETHING !!!!!!!!
Ajack January 26, 2014 at 07:37 AM
Your are absolutely correct Jim. What is happening now is that government at all levels is in survival mode,especially in Fairfield. Malloy hasn't spent our tax dollars wisely. He never did in Stamford either. Talk to people from Stamford and they will tell you what a creep he still is, and how he's cut some very shady deals there. At the local level there is an ever increasing attempt to short change the vulnerable, less connected, in order to spend money on 'grandstanding' issue such as the additional $1,600,000.00 being requested by Fairfield Special Education for 'victims' of storm Sandy and victims of Newtown.) Don't think that the people in charge of educating our kids don't size up their 'victims' , figure out who they can bully and give lousy services to and who , if they give services to them, will make them look good. Yet parents with kids with needs go waiting for services, waiting for years sometimes, delay after delay and are told to 'hire a lawyer', At the state level , Malloy is doing what he wants much the same as Obama. Two peas in a pod. Malloy does not feel your pain, never has. He's a hack of the highest sort. Notice how he hasn't announced if he's running? He's waiting to see if he can actually score points maybe do something good for us and then try and capitalize on it.
kosborn January 26, 2014 at 08:38 AM
The state of Metro North is pathetic, and it gets worse all the time. The money has been reallocated for decades. It's a shame. Sooner or later folks are going to move out of CT as commuting to the city just isn't a feasible option. The folks that commute pay for parking, pay for services and pay taxes. All of these revenues go where? Well, if these folks move out the revenues won't be there. I told my wife, who commutes, that we have to move out or make a change. Metro North has become a joke. I think the trains in the 1800s were more reliable.
John Smith January 26, 2014 at 09:03 AM
Surprised? When you pay ticket punchers close to six figures with fat pensions you aren't going to have a heck of a lot left to pay for infrastructure.
Jim Eastwood January 26, 2014 at 06:45 PM
John What's with the "Label' Ticket Punchers????? I Doubt very much that they make 6 figures but I will bet many of the "Rail " riders do!!!!! and as far as Pensions--well they work for many uf getting up at 3 am and putting in 12 to 14 hours putting up with people of all types. I am sure that you are no "Prince" but perhaps a bit jealous. Don't ;look at the workers, but better look at Management who are worried about "Profit" so as Stock Holders(Perhaps you)----get their "returns" So if you want to see some of the cause of the problems----Well just Look in the mirror !!!
John Smith January 27, 2014 at 08:10 AM
Jim, Obviously you don't know any of the employees at Metro North. I do. And what they say publically and what they say privately are two very different things. FYI, everybody works hard. EVERYBODY works long hours and have to get up early endure a nasty commute. What you fail to understand sir is that the TAXPAYERS are paying for this. There are no"shareholders" here. It's coming out of MY pocket along with all the other ridiculous pensions and benefits that CT public workers get. Why do you think CT ranks as one of the top ten most heavily taxed states in the country? Well, just look in the mirror!!! It's people like you who don't fully understand where your tax money is going.
Chuck E. Arla January 27, 2014 at 10:52 AM
Six figures? With OT....absolutely. Long hours? I work long hours, too Ulike MNR conductors I don't work a split-shift where I am free to sleep, play cards, etc during the middle of the day (i.e., between the AM and PM rush). Further, the MTA doesn't have stockholders in the sense that you are using the term. It runs on tax dollars and rider fees.
Chuck E. Arla January 27, 2014 at 10:53 AM
BTW -- that's an AMTRAK train illustrating this story about MNR.
steve sheppard January 27, 2014 at 11:57 AM
Jim is correct that conductors make over $100M a year with a very nice pension at the end. McKinney and our other local officials were all in favor of building the Ffd. Metro center at the expense of Metro North upgrades that the system has needed for years...I spoke to McKinney a few years ago and tried to explain why it was a waste of $ to build the Metro Center.
Igor January 27, 2014 at 01:16 PM
Did it help?
Matt Hutzelmann January 27, 2014 at 01:32 PM
It sure doesn't help that almost all of MTA's capital is being thrown into East Side Access. LIRR gets the shinny new toy, Metro North riders get nothing. One of the selling points of ESA was it would free up space at Penn Station for New Haven line trains to come into Penn. But sure doesn't look like there will be money for that. These continuing problems are a serious issue. As noted above, having direct train access to midtown Manhattan is a key feature of Fairfield County. If that access is unreliable, then our economy and the appeal of this area is going to be diminished.
Jim Eastwood January 27, 2014 at 02:26 PM
Good Afternoon ALL You are All Correct !!!!!The Politics of Transportation. Don't Blame the Labor, Look at the Administration AND Politicians Remember that State and FEDERAL laws govern Interstate Travel !!!!!!!! Hold the Politicians accountable !!!! As for Metro Center-----Parking lots still look a bit empty and Hey Where are the Bathrooms????? Have a Great Day(And Just Pay and Pay !!!!! your taxes!!!!!)
Matt Hutzelmann January 27, 2014 at 02:43 PM
Jim, I agree that CT politicians need to force the issue to MTA of getting the fair share of money to Metro North, considering how much we are paying for ESA. The problem is not Fairfield Metro Center. More stations like that and West Haven are positives that will benefit the regional economy. Multi-modal transport is the future, but we need a reliable system.

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