Even the man behind the plan said it was short on specifics.
And while Connecticut leaders were also quick to point out the lack of specificity in a 100-Day Action Plan that Metro-North President Joseph Giulletti unveiled Monday night, they say they're hopeful it's a start to bring the problem-plagued railroad back up to par.
"This plan requires returning to the basics of good railroading," Giulletti writes in a letter to ConnDOT Commissioner James Redeker. "First and foremost, however, we must rebuild a culture of safety at Mero-North to serve as the railroad's unshakeable foundation."
It was a brutal 2013 for Metro-North, which saw eroded commuter confidence in the face of derailments, excessive and relentless delays, and a sharply criticized communication structure.
Before diving in to the details of the plan Giulletti notes that Metro-North is awaiting the findings of two key external reviews that are underway — one by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Safety, established by MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast; and the other a "Deep Dive" review by the Federal Railroad Administration. Those findings will inform some of the specific measures that will be incorporated into the plan, according to Giulletti.
Metro-North’s letter which contains its 100-Day Action Plan has been embedded with this article. It can also be found online here.
Connecticut Leaders React to Metro-North's Plan
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy
“I appreciate the candid assessment of the challenges facing Metro-North and Mr. Giulietti's professionalism and commitment, but I am disappointed that the letter did not provide more specifics. I understand the constraints that Metro-North faces because of the FRA investigation, and while the letter is certainly a roadmap to better and safer service, riders need to know that there is a plan with benchmarks and deadlines in place.
“I am holding Metro-North and the MTA to their commitment to implement their 100-day plan by June 11, the promised target date for improvement initiatives, and I fully expect many actions to be completed in advance of that date.”
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
“As it stands, this document is a plan in name only, more a set of aspirations than an actionable roadmap for concrete improvements. Still, I am hopeful that this plan marks the start of long-overdue renewed focus on safety and reliability at Metro-North—both for passengers and workers."
"The signal system modifications, cameras, safety alert mechanisms, comprehensive track maintenance and improved communication systems mentioned in the plan are long overdue and should be implemented immediately. Catastrophic accidents and frequent, extended service disruptions have rightfully exacted untold damage to the public’s trust in the railroad—one of our region’s most valuable and vital transportation and economic development resources."
U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-5)
“While I appreciate the work of Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti, I join Governor Malloy and Commissioner Redeker in urging more specific benchmarks and deadlines in Metro-North’s 100 day action plan."
“I’m working on the federal level to clear roadblocks. Last Wednesday, in a House Rail Subcommittee hearing, I spoke directly with top Federal Railroad Administration officials to secure their commitment to release findings from the Operation Deep Dive investigation as soon as possible. Connecticut commuters deserve swift action on new standards to ensure that Metro-North provides safe, reliable train service. On-time, safe rail service is critical to Connecticut’s economy.”
What Do You Think of the Plan?