The BlogJam

Southwestern Connecticut traffic updates from the staff at Hearst Connecticut Media Group

Trouble on the train? Tell us your story

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Metro-North's Waterbury, Conn. train line rolls into Derby, Conn. Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011 despite icy weather conditions. Photo: Autumn Driscoll / Connecticut Post

January wasn’t just the snowiest month on record in Connecticut. It was also one of the most hectic in several years for commuters on Metro-North, who have been forced to deal with countless delays,  service changes and overcrowded trains.

As the MTA makes efforts to deal with train shortages, equipment failures and snow-and-ice-covered tracks, we want to hear from you.

How has the weather impacted your commuting experience? Have you been late for work,  stuck waiting for an hour or longer for a train? Unable to sit down on your ride to Stamford or Grand Central?

If so, leave a comment. Tell us what your experiences have been like.

Have a particular horror story? Or a story about Metro-North crews stepping up and improving service despite adverse conditions?

Have a memorable experience involving a trip to or from work?

Leave a comment and let us know. We’ll take the best stories and feature them on our websites.

You can also reach us on Twitter @ConnPost, @StamAdvocate, @NewsTimes or @GreenwichTime to send stories, photos or live updates during your commute.

Categories: General, Metro-North
Ben Doody

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99 Responses

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  3. kasia says:

    I was just stuck on the n train underground for 1 hour and 10mins with only emergency power on swatt team nypd and a k9 dog all round US………. The transit workers were very informing supposedly a suspect jumped on the tracks barely missig the d train which was running on the n line via Manhattan today Dec 10th 2011 and he got away we were rite behind the d train in the N train the mta turned off the power for one hour and ten mins while the nypd swatt team and k9 dog looked for the suspect…. The funniest thing was that the mta informed us that the suspect climbed into the d train through the doors between the cart and got apprehended my the police on the train and this is the interesting part…… The D doors between carts are always locked so it would have been impossible for the suspect to get in that. way……. And i haven’t found any news on this event!

  4. Tony Dale says:

    Last week, I took a train from Norwalk to Grand Central for the first time in four years. I can’t remember rush hour ever being such a bad experience. The train was late and jammed with many people standing. The car was cold, had a strong funky smell and the seats were dirty. The ride reminded me of a documentary on train travel in rural India except there were no people or small farm animals riding on the roof. I don’t know how regular commuters can do this ride and still have good energy and attitude at work.

  5. Ira says:

    One way to lessen foreign dependence on oil…ride the train. When is that Blackrock station going to open already? Pleasantly surprised to see the cops riding trains again.

  6. Ira says:

    One way to lessen foreign dependence on oil…ride the train. When is that Blackrock station going to open already? Pleasantly surprised to see the cops riding trains again. Not sure why they ever stopped.

  7. len more says:

    absolutely and utterly ridiculous how m.t.a. is decides to cut back on the schedule when people rely on public transportation to get to and from work!!

  8. Maureen says:

    Just about a month ago, I was commuting home from Greenwich to the Redding station. I have to switch trains in Stamford to connect with the Danbury train. On this particular night, we were told to stay on our train (which originated in NYC)and switch in South Norwalk for the Danbury connection. Almost all of the Danbury commuters in Stamford paid attention to the announcement and got on the train I was on, in order to meet the Danbury train in South Norwalk.

    Once we got in South Norwalk, there is an announcement that we will be waiting in South Norwalk until a ‘special train’ comes, which is carrying additional Danbury commuters. Our full train of people had to wait about 25 minutes for this ‘special train’ to show up. Once it did, we were astounded to see 3 people get off the ‘special train’ and get on our train.

    I would like to ask Metro North – “Is that an effective use of resources to send a ‘special train’ for three people while making an entire trainload of people wait 25 minutes and hold up other trains in the process??” I think not!

  9. Big John Stud says:

    New feature on the 6:17am out of BPT this week, constant loud buzzing noise coming from the broken intercom system. Its really soothing when you want to get some shut eye. Those 6″ cracked subwoofers in the ceiling from 1972 are muzak to my ears!

    Lastly I have a question for my fellow commuters…

    Why does everyone feel the need to get out of their seats 10-15 minutes prior to their stop and stand in the aisles? My biggest problem with this is that i usually have one of your @sses, sachels or coats in my face. I also find it disturbing that when the train is coming to a stop and I stand up to get my bag and jacket from the overhead you give me a dirty look that I am invading your space in the aisle. Then there are some of you that stand in the aisle and when women try to get out of their seats to exit the train you just keep walking towards the door instead of letting them go in front of you. Really? Where are your manners?

    The most mind numbing part of the whole scenario is when I eventually get out of the train I walk past 90% of you. You’re in a hurry to go nowhere fast!

    Its kind of like when you fly in a plane. The minute the plane stops, everyone is smashing each other grabbing their luggage from the overheads and then you stand and wait in line for the door to open.

    HELLO????????

  10. Ted says:

    Has anyone ever taken a train anywhere else
    in the World? Anywhere? The cars smell, no seats
    and there are conductors walking around in hats
    and seat checks like it’s 1958. Cash only. Duct tape
    on the floor. Ripped seats. 20 years of this 5 days a week.
    Same bs.

  11. Carrie says:

    I take Metro-North train service from NYC to Milford to visit my parents on a monthly basis, my dog travels along with me. I have been noticing that MANY of these cars are completely infested with cockroaches! This is absolutely disgusting. I mentioned something to the conductor, but of course she played like she had no idea what I was speaking of. Watch for roaches when on this line, they are everywhere.

  12. nikki says:

    Althought the trains timeliness most days is uncertain, you can bet any amount of money our increased tax dollars will once again be wasted and squandered by the yahoos in Hartford whose only motto is “tax and spend”. And as the price of gas here continues to skyrocket, the overcrowding on the trains will only get worse. Meanwhile, the equipment is well beyond its useful lifespan and the new trains won’t be in operation until who knows when — if ever. I often joke about being retired from my job before I have the opportunity to ride in one of them. And at this point in time, it’s looking as if it will be a fact!

  13. Big John Stud says:

    I also go out of BPT and have to agree with coffeedrinker. The walkway to track 4 underneath the tracks is ridiculous, especially when you are running late. There is always someone walking at a snails pace and when you say “excuse me” they stop and look at you. Most of the time i just hop over that dump wooden 2ft fence and run around them. In the evening its just flat out stupid getting off, you sit in human traffic. Did i mention whoever shovels that one lane path needs to few lessons on how to remove snow. Maybe I should slip and crack my anus bone and file a lawsuit. Thats what it takes in the pathetic state of CT to get things moving. WASTE WASTE WASTE OUR TAX DOLLARS IS ALL THEY KNOW HOW TO DO!!!!!!!

  14. coffeedrinker says:

    I commute frpm Bridgeport to NYC and have experienced very few problems this winter. Frankly,the thing that causes most of the delay in Bridgeport is the narrow one-lane passage underneath the railroad bridge. Can they open up that driveway next to the sidewalk so pedestrian traffic can flow more smoothly?

  15. dvd says:

    dirty and rundown trains
    lack of affordable parking
    embarassment to the state and our country

  16. Diane says:

    WHY IS THEIR NO ACCOUNTABILITY!

    Story about Metro North on CBS last week had Metro North stating next winter would be even worse. How is that possible is new cars are to be rolling out this month? Who over sees Metro North? Is it governors? senators? who do we talk to. Seems Metro North has free reign to simply say sorry not ready yet, sorry things are broke, sorry cars are full ,sorry we need to buy cars from halfway around the world, sorry. Give me a break. In the real world this company would boe out of business and a competitor would be taking over.

    NO MORE EXCUSES JUST FIX IT!!!

  17. vincent says:

    The commute between Greenwich and Grand Central this week has been terrific. (referring to the 738am to GCT and the return at 531pm).

    One interesting note about the 738am train from Greenwich to GCT…the train has been arriving early 730am and waits until 738am. There are PLENTY of seats. Unbelievable. The train now stops in Portchester and Rye, but what a difference. Heated, roomy diesel trains with tons of seats.

    What is the adage, ‘let’s take one day at a time!’. Cold weather returns tomorrow. Time will tell.

  18. Feb 17th morning commute , 722am Bridgeport to GCT -
    Brooklyn Decker & Angelina Jolie give up their seats for me and choose to stand. They get on in Westport with all the beautiful people.
    I must say there were seats available today and the train didn’t seem as crowded. The MTA has provided passengers with a masseuse for de-stressing. The Car was heated clean and bright. I enjoy the soft classical music playing in between stops.

    Feb 17th, Thursday Eve commute – 532pm Express GCT to Bridgeport PLENTY of room, there were many happy passengers,shared homemade baked goods. Not sure what they will do with all those extra goodies. Some passengers are singing & the air smells like roses. Again I count my blessings because the MTA is going my way! The Bar Car is serving complimentary Heinekens!Sweet.

    -Gotta take my meds now & my nurse say’s it’s nite-nite time…

  19. Joey says:

    The trains are overcrowded, filthy and infested with cockroaches. How is it that we live in the wealthiest part of the nation and we can’t get what we pay for?

  20. ST Commuter says:

    I commute from Stamford to Grand Central every day. I couldnt be any happier with the service that Metro North has provided during this crazy winter. There have been a couple delays on days of serious snow events, but otherwise, the service has been short of outstanding.

    I’m sure there are many people that have had plenty of trying commutes, but I wouldnt blame Metro North, I’d blame mother nature. It could be worse, we could be forced to travel inferior rails like LIRR and NJ transit.

  21. danielle says:

    I’m lucky i still have a job with how many times I’ve been late this winter due to metro North!!!

  22. Fed up in Stamford says:

    The train service between Stamford and GCT has become a bit more reliable in the past few days. I do beleive that when you buy a ticket you should be gyaranteed a seat. The rush hour evening trains that express to stamford with this new reduced winter schedule are standing room only. What i find hard to believe is that we were able to purchase used cars from Virgina a few years back(they are being used on shore line east) i repeat used cars from a rail road that was upgrading to be used by one of the largest commuter rails in the country. How can that be? Those used cars were in better shape than most of our fleet. Why has it taken so long for Metro North to upgrade the New Haven Line. They collect an enormaous amount of money from the riders. Watch our fares increase exponentially as our new governor taxes Ct to death. Time to move.

  23. vincent says:

    Friday, February 11th, GCT – Greenwich , 531pm Train

    Arrived at train on 108 at 515pm early enough to get a seat. Yeah, I thought to myself. Cozied into the seat and noticed that the train was filling up with people. 525pm came and the normal announcement came on stating that this was an express to Rye, Rye is the first stop. Then both conducter and engineer made an anncouncement that this was the express to Rye making stops in Port Chester and also Greenwich. Then a group of passengers got up and left the train.
    Confused, I yelled out, “Why are you all leaving?” they shouted there has been a track change.

    None of my fellow passengers heard this announcement. But I stepped out of the train and went into another rail car and asked, ‘Is this train going to Greenwich’ the pasengers said YES.

    But then, everyone got up and started to run…I asked a Metro North guy riding by in a scooter, he said track change to 107! Off we all stampeded.

    Apparently, the track change was announced on the PA system in the terminal, but the conductors were unaware.

    So that nice cozy seat I claimed earlier was gone, and standing room all the way back to Greenwich.

    Talk about communication!

    This morning’s commute was on-time, heated car, standing room only, but only in the vestibule (not in the aises) this was the 723am Greenwich – GCT train.

  24. dogwalker says:

    I hate to tell you guys that in spite of all the troubles that we have had these last few weeks – we still have massively better rail service than other areas of the country. SEPTA – the public rail system in Philadelphia – does not even bother to include times of arrival at many suburban stations in its schedules – taking the attitude it gets there when it gets there.

    New Jersey Transit has achieved a state of occupancy levels on many of its trains where conductors are forced to eject riders every day from certain trains because of severe over crowding.

    I’ll take a bad couple of weeks over a bad system

  25. West coaster says:

    I just moved back east from the west coast. Metro North makes me feel as if I live in a Third World country. It is unbelievable. I thought it was bad when I came and there was no wifi and no one seemed to care. Then it was no air conditioning in 90 degree weather. This is unbelievable.

    At the Stamford station, I use the overhead schedule, the elevator and the escalator each day. A good day is if at least 2 of them work. Never mind electronic schedules outside, signs telling you which way to go, etc.

    Unbelievable!

  26. Peter says:

    Metro North was running trains with less cars than normal long before the snow started falling. I have been commuting SoNo to GCT for years and now feel like I am in a third world country. Very very sad with the economy in the dumpster we cannot make trains here in the USA, instead farm them out half way around the world for their arrival years behind schedule. Pathetic America. pathetic. Inteview on CBS said 2010-2011 Winter would be bad but nex year would be even worse. How and Why!!!??? Why would next winter be worse if the new trains are to start rolling out in February. I am writing this on Feb 12, 2011 with no sign of the Mythical-8′s that were supposed to arrive in 2009. How could it be worse next year. Should I quit my job in NYC because standing 50% of the time has tested my sciatic nerve to no end? What is going on with these darn trains. Why does everything take so long and still be so late. Who is running the show?

  27. anothercanceledtrain says:

    My experience this morning, Friday, Feb 11th Greenwich to New York GCT

    723am Greenwich to GCT – CANCELLED

    Oh well, too bad, so sad I thought. Grin n bear it.

  28. Concerned Commuter says:

    It’s Friday. I actually got a seat on the way into GCT today. 1 day this week sitting. Good times.

  29. Jeff says:

    Does anyone believe the statements by CT DOT? “Any issues encountered thus far during testing have been rectified,” DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick said. Stamford Advocate February 11, 2011. If so, then why did the DOT and Metro-North say that they could not test the cars during the recent past weeks due to weather related issues. Why did the DOT and Metro-North allocate another $12 million for 7 months of testing for software glitches? To the firm that has an alliance with the past Metro-North President who let the contract to Kawasaki? This is becoming criminal not engineering.

  30. Frustrated Commuter says:

    I take the MTA New Haven Line daily, and the new changes because of “winter weather” have provided me with many horror stories. The following being the worst:

    I took the 6:37pm local train from Stamford to New Haven. Since this is peak hour, I knew it would be crowded, but what I experienced was beyond the norm. We all pushed into the train cars like sardines. Since I was one of the last individuals on, I was standing, in the train vestibile area (where the doors are) with 13 others, crammed like cattle. There were people standing in the aisles, and we couldn’t even move. The cherry on top you ask? Oh yeah, the last 2 cars lost power as soon as we pulled out of Stamford. That meant, no heat or ventillation circulating (needless to say it was 14 degrees that evening). Also, no lights were on – just the head lamps by the doors. It got very uncomfortable and the conductors made no announcements about the power shutting off. The most frustrating thing, was the fact we couldn’t even move to another car since people were in the aisles. This is just completely inexcuseable. MTA is treating us like human cattle. We have been through worse winters. It’s the equipment that keeps failing time and time again. Those new M8 cars should have been on the tracks years ago.

  31. Jeff says:

    As of July 2010 when mr. Marie resigned as CT DOT Commissioner, Gov. Rell said everything was right on track.

    Must be true as we can all trust the government and Metronorth.

    http://www.theday.com/article/20100708/NWS12/307089377

    This situation has now turned into “MetroGate”. What did the officials know and when did they know it.

  32. Concerned Commuter says:

    THIS IS GETTING INSANE. THE FACT THAT PEOPLE CANNOT EVEN GET ON THE TRAIN AND ARE FORCED TO WAIT FOR A LATER TRAIN DUE TO OVERCROWDING IS THE MOST UNACCEPTABLE SITUATION. SOME OF THE CONDUCTORS GET IT AND KNOW WE ARE BEING INCONVENIENCED IN A MAJOR WAY AND FOR THAT WE SHOULD BE THANKFUL. THIS ISSUE RESTS MUCH HIGHER THEN THE CONDUCTORS.

  33. Rob says:

    $308 a month for the privilege of no heat, standing room only, late trains, non existent trains sometimes and theoretical new trains “on their way”? Good times.

  34. Big John Stud says:

    They dont care, you’d get a more educated, caring response from the CP30 protocol droid from Star Wars. R2D2 would give you more soothing sounds than Jesse Vallely can express in an email. Our state is being run by a joke of an administration.

    I’m sure most of them ride to and from Hartford in town cars that are being paid for by our tax dollars.

    Here is an article from WTNH yesterday for anyone who missed it. Those M8 cars wont be happening for years…..FORGETTABOUTITTT!!!!!!!

    http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/news/new_haven_cty/metro-north-car-repairs-update

  35. Mr. X says:

    HHere is an intersting email exchange by a “concerned” commuter Mr. X(read second email first) and the response by the MTA (first email)…Somebody’s not listening!!

    Dear Mr. X:

    Thank you for your e-mail regarding your experience traveling to Grand Central
    Terminal on February 2, 2011. Please accept our apologies for any
    unpleasantness.

    Our ?courtesy ride? policy allows customers to use the previous month?s monthly
    ticket for one ride on any train arriving in or departing from Grand Central
    Terminal before 10:00 AM on the first business day of the new month. While we
    regret any misunderstanding, horrible conditions notwithstanding, the conductor
    was not able to accept your January monthly ticket on February 2. However, if
    you were assessed a one-way fare, you may contact me at 914-461-0583 to discuss
    this matter further.

    Again, please accept our apologies for any unpleasantness.

    Sincerely,

    Jesse Vallely
    Senior Customer Service Specialist

    Customer (X) – 02/08/2011 04:40 PM
    As we are all going through a difficult and trying period, it would help ease
    the tension between us harried commuters and the railroad if you specifically
    gave your conductors and train employees some discretion to use more common
    sense in dealing with and enforcing the railroad’s normal policies during
    abnormal times. For example, last week during the snowstorm, I did not commute
    to the city on February 1, but did go in the next day, the 2nd. I always
    purchase my monthly ticket each month at Grand Central and normally give the
    prior month’s ticket to the conductor on the first morning commute as
    consideration for that ride – a courtesy policy I understand is accepted by Metro north
    since there is no revenue loss to the railroad. However, on this particular
    day – it being the 2nd and not the 1st of the month – despite the horrific train
    conditions -a delay and a “no heat” car, the snow and ice the prior day, and the
    otherwise overall terrible train performance that wwe have had to bear – and notwithstanding that it was obvious
    that I was a regular monthly commuter (the same conductor knows me from my daily
    commute!!) he proceeded to refuse to accept the ticket saying it was “normal”
    railroad policy to refuse the courtesy except on the morning of the 1st…Now I do not know whether you can use the word “normal” this
    winter when dealing with New Haven line commuting, but clearly this particular
    conductor had to use some common sense and be flexible – especially since here
    is a situation with no net loss of revenue to the railroad. For example, this morning when on an extremely late and extremely crowded (SRO in the aisles!!) train, he still insisted on walking through to check tickets!! Understand that if
    service continues to be less than expected – by a significant amount, then your overall policies had better start to
    reflect this fact as well. I can tell you that consumers are getting angry (imagine the time I took to write this email) and there will be a point where the situation becomes contentious – surely to be avoided at all costs- so I suggest you do all within your power to alleviate some of the tension perhaps as simply as
    Thomas Paine eloquently said a long time ago – you need to introduce common sense into the equation!!

  36. Concerned Commuter says:

    Much like a room in a building has a maximum occupancy per fire marshall orders; should the train cars also? I am concerned for the day when there is an issue and everyone is unable to get out of the train car safely timely because of overcrowding. Maybe the fire marshalls should shut down service and deem this unsafe and a life safety hazard.

  37. MyTrainHadHeatThisAMYea says:

    “And even when the first cars start running, it will be three years before all 300 are on the tracks,” Cameron told his fellow commuters. “We have more winters like this to come.”

    Cameron’s council is inviting commuters to attend its Feb. 16 meeting at 7 p.m. at Stamford City Hall to question senior Metro-North and DOT staff.

  38. Jeff says:

    Peter A. Cannito Forms Strategic Relationship with LTK
    Peter A. Cannito has formed a strategic relationship with LTK Engineering Services to support the firm’s activities in rail transportation engineering and operations. Mr. Cannito has extensive executive level management experience, particularly in large, diverse organizations and operating divisions. His management experience includes responsibilities in operations, finance, strategic planning, legal, human resources, capital projects, marketing, customer service, safety and security and engineering.
    Mr. Cannito has had overall responsibility for the planning and procurement of several large fleets of passenger rail equipment, both for Metro North and Amtrak. Peter exemplifies strong leadership, organizational, problem solving, and crisis management skills.
    In his association with LTK, Mr. Cannito will provide specialized consultation and advice to operators and owners of rail passenger systems.

  39. Jeff says:

    Here is the smoke – the testing agency seems to have a strategic alliance with Peter Cannito who was the president of MetroNorth at the time of the contract award. This is from LTK Engineering web site.

    Peter A. Cannito Forms Strategic Relationship with LTK
    Peter A. Cannito has formed a strategic relationship with LTK Engineering Services to support the firm’s activities in rail transportation engineering and operations. Mr. Cannito has extensive executive level management experience, particularly in large, diverse organizations and operating divisions. His management experience includes responsibilities in operations, finance, strategic planning, legal, human resources, capital projects, marketing, customer service, safety and security and engineering.
    Mr. Cannito has had overall responsibility for the planning and procurement of several large fleets of passenger rail equipment, both for Metro North and Amtrak. Peter exemplifies strong leadership, organizational, problem solving, and crisis management skills.
    In his association with LTK, Mr. Cannito will provide specialized consultation and advice to operators and owners of rail passenger systems.

  40. Jeff says:

    A full independent investigation needs to be done on this bid and contract. Per Still Shivering, you don’t know the extent of this one bid nor what other bids have gone the same way. As I blogged, when the VP of Procurement becomes the President and continues to give misleading or false answers; manipulates the media per the Chairman of The CT Commuter Council, Jim Cameron http://talkingtransportation.blogspot.com/ – there is something wrong here.

  41. StillShivering says:

    Did someone get a hot tub installed at their house?

  42. StillShivering says:

    Absolutely no heat on the 6:59 train from Stratford to GC this morning.
    And these are the best trains they have?
    Time for an investigation into the Kawasaki bid…from soup to nuts…
    Peel back that onion!

  43. David Forster says:

    MetroNorth should do what the NFL did after the seating fiasco and the pr disaster at Dallas Stadium this past Super Bowl Sunday. For passengers who have to stand, MetroNorth should reimburse them triple the amount they paid for that ride or comp us all on the commute until they get their rolling stock into shape and can deliver what we paid for.

  44. Jeff says:

    In response to Big John Stud, I refused to show my monthly pass to the conductor (someone I did not know – most are friends and I have commuted for 20 plus years)until we got to Springdale from GCT. The conductor said you will get off in Stamford. He called ahead and had 6 MetroNorth cops come onto the train and escort me off, even though i showed them at that time that i had my monthly pass. And people think Egypt is bad? I am dressed in suit and tie with briefcase and been experiencing Standing Room Only for the past week. I just got totally frustrated. But to consider my actions which required a police state reaction of 6 cops, MetroNorth needs to have the federal government intercede. Did you know that the Metro North President Permut was the VP of Procurement when the Kawasaki contract was let. Now, he has his own police department to quell unrest among commuters. I recommend that an independent special prosecutor be inserted into this situation because where there is smoke, there is fire.

  45. Vincent says:

    Feb 7th, Monday Eve commute – 531pm GCT to Greenwich
    Standing room only, there were unhappy passengers threatening not to purchase a March monthly pass,but to show up last minute and buy weekly tickets. Not sure what that will do. Some passengers have their checking accounts debited each month for the rail pass and some have discontinued this and will pay at the last minute so not to give MTA easy access to funds. Again not sure what that will do.

    Feb 8th morning commute , 721am Greenwich to GCT -
    I have given up on fighting for a seat and choose to stand.
    I must say there were seats available today and the train didn’t seem as crowded a last week. I still stood. (my choice). Car was heated and I was in a car without a bathroom, so no stench to contend with.

    Feb 8th Afternoon, will need to take an off-peak train 131 from GCT to Greenwich, will report on that tomorrow.

    Happy Rails!

  46. Big John Stud says:

    Seriously, why are we paying full price for 60% service? Why should we stand, sit on the floor, ride in filthy cars, ride with no heat (again this morning) for full price?

    Why doesnt everyone come together and stop showing our monthly passes to conductors? What are they going to do? Throw us from the train? WHINE, WHINE, WHINE! No one does anything!!!!! I know its not the conductors fault but we have to start somewhere. If we make their lives miserable, they will make their supervisors lives miserable and it will work its way up the ladder.

    There is no excuse for what is going on, we pay some of the highest taxes in the country and we are running 35 yr old trains to and from some of the wealthiest areas in the country, Manhattan and Fairfield County.

    I’ll gladly continue to ride under these conditions but my monthly pass from BPT should be $150, NOT $336!!!!!!!!!!!

    People in Hartford should be subjected to ride this filth fest for a few months. Maybe that will speed up the process? Molasses moves faster! When you owe the state of CT money they sure know how to hold out their hand dont they???? If you dont have your tax money, they’ll be the first to charge you interest.

    Did anyone else here know that 10%-15% of the passengers on the train ride for free? Metro North family members get a free ride. Thats right folks, while you pay those high prices and stand you can bet your rear, there are people in those seats that arent paying a penny!

  47. OK says:

    Bathroom fumes on the trains seem to be affecting the ventilation systems- I guess that happens when cars are in operation for 30+ years. After the 111 minute ride from GCT to New Haven, I vomited from the terrible smell. Although less strong in some cars, the bathroom odor sometimes makes me ill after a long ride. On a separate but related matter, I am curious as to how often the trains are cleaned, as I have only ever seen them filthy and with accumulated garbage.

  48. Beth says:

    Trains are way overpriced for the service we are getting these days. Where are the new cars??? Trains are late most mornings and they are SRO since trains are short by several cars. Tracks are announced at the last minute leaving GCT– which creates free for all. This seems to happen mostly on Fri. Trains are mostly very hot — I guess that’s better than cold. The only way to cope is to try to adjust your hours to avoid peak times. Thanks also to several very nice men who have given me their seats in the past few weeks.

  49. Ruth says:

    I’ve been commuting from South Norwalk to GCT for 2 years. Obviously, it’s not the conductor’s fault what happens with the trains. They don’t make the schedules, so it’s unfair to blame them. Sometimes they have attitudes, but it’s probably from dealing with our complaints day in and day out. The trains are definitely crowded. I get on in South Norwalk and always get a seat, but by the time we get to Stamford, many people are left standing. Returning from GCT to SoNo is a crap shoot. If you want a seat, you have to get to the train at least 15 minutes ahead of departure time, which isn’t always easy. And since December, there are always people standing in the aisle the entire way. All in all tho, I still have to say, I think the conductors and station agents try to keep us in the loop, given the frustrating conditions. I’m sure they would like nothing more than new, less crowded train cars as well!

  50. Alex says:

    The state of Metro-North has made it very simple: I drive into Manhattan now. The car’s more comfortable, and I control the schedule 100%

    Metro-North is a total disgrace. There’s no other way to characterize it. First-world dollars for a third-world commuting experience? No thanks. I’ll sit in the traffic, which looks good by comparison.

  51. Mark says:

    I used to take the train from Naugatuck to Bridgeport and then trasfer to the New Haven line to go to Norwalk once or twice a week, I have since stopped because it was too inconsistent. I now just drive and sit in traffic and it has made my commute much more expensive as it is stressful too. But hey what can you do it’s not like they want to not make money and have frustrated travelers.

  52. Fred says:

    “It’s a scandal that the M-8 cars are so overdue. I’m not sure why the state government has not called for hearings on the failure of MetroNorth to work out the software glitches and get these trains rolling.

    There doesn’t appear to be any accountability and no one has any solution.”

    The software problem is Kawasaki’s failure, Metro North has nothing to do with it. Kawasaki still has possession of the cars and is working on the problem. When take the low bid you get what you pay for.

  53. Fred says:

    “I’ve been riding Metro North out of Stratford to GCT since 1995. Every single year they cry the same story and blame faulty equipment and weather for delays”

    The cars were 20 years old when you started riding and the same cars are still being used. This has nothing to do with Metro North or the MTA its all the fault of the State of CT. The State has failed to fund the purchase of new cars until last year. Well it takes years for 300 rail cars to be built and put into service. You don’t see 40 year old cars on the NY controlled Harlem and Hudson line.

    And by the way there is competition because there is no money to be made. Every privately passenger railroad went bankrupt years ago. The state of CT operates your railroad if you don’t like the service contact your rep for your area and get them to fund public transportation.

  54. Matt says:

    I’ve been riding Metro North out of Stratford to GCT since 1995. Every single year they cry the same story and blame faulty equipment and weather for delays… short trains… cancellations….no heat…no a/c… repulsive toilets. But they can get away with it and raise fares because…no competition…the only game in town ! Over 100 years of service on this line should have left someone with enough knowledge to keep these garbage trains in shape and not field equipment that can’t handle the weather. Snow is no surprise… it happens every year. And leaves that bring a train to a grinding halt ??!!.. are you kidding me…. It must be rocket science. think

  55. MNRR says:

    Nothing new here. Trains have long been old, smelly, crowded, and slow. We’ve just raised the bar a little bit. And other than the occasional announcement I’ve never seen train staff do more than punch tickets.

  56. Marshall says:

    I rode the 8:07 out of GCT the last two Fridays, and in both cases there were deadhead cars. In the first case, on Jan 28th, the 8:04 and 8:07 express trains to New Haven were combined into a single 10-car train. However the conductors decided en route to clear the head car and run a 9-car train, forcing passengers to move back. The same thing happened on Feb 4th though the two trains weren’t combined. But the head cars were deadheaded again, leading me to wonder what rush hour train was shortchanged its usual complement of cars to not be used on the train I rode.

    On the weekends I noticed ample use of the diesel push-pull trainsets covering the GCT-New Haven runs. Couldn’t Metro North pull one of these off the Hudson Line to cover another New Haven line run during the week? It seems to be the overcrowding is on the New Haven line, not the Hudson.

    I also wonder whether the M7s in use on the Hudson and Harlem lines couldn’t at least get as far as Mount Vernon East? I know the third rail ends between there and Pelham but at least they could make that one station stop maybe on a rush hour train until the current crisis is resolved.

  57. Leslie says:

    Last week was the icing on the cake as our train broke down in New Rochelle around 9:30pm. After waiting for 45 minutes I gave up and had to pay $100 to take a cab to Bridgeport CT. I understand what the state is working with but it is disgusting that you pay $28 round trip to NYC and get this type of service day in and day out on 1970′s trains.

  58. Derek W. Brown says:

    I’ve taken Metro north into Manhattan several times over the past six weeks, always off-peak. The trains are still crowded at that hour and the waste disposal system is ineffective. I for one am tired of riding in a care that reeks of chlorinated human waste. Not the most aromatic of smells for a 71-minute trip.

    Here we are, living in the wealthiest county in the United States of America and our legislators think it is more important to fund soccer fields for the lavender bedroom communities surrounding Hartford than upgrade the rail system. It is typical of Connecticut’s dysfunctional legislature to not fix something until it is badly broken.

  59. Emme Rivers says:

    The terrible thing is my teenager depends on the Metro North to get to school. With all the delays, last minute train cancellations and lack of announcements…it causes so much stress on him and on us. We are terrified he’ll end up in NYC at some point. Bottom line..they should do a much better job with announcements especially in the A.M. when they know kids are trying to get to school and adults to work.

  60. WTF says:

    I think that there should be an investigation into the entire Kawasaki selection process. Stick to Motorcycles and Jet Skis?
    Are we paying interest on the bonding for these virtual cars?

  61. George R says:

    “Our tax dollars disappear to Hartford while we in Fairfield County are left with Soviet-style transport. The trains are a mess and the Merritt is a diabolical drive in bad weather as the drainage is hopelessly screwed up and needs fixing now.”

    If you live in CT and work in NY, then you pay your taxes to Albany, not Hartford. NY state does not reciprocate taxes with CT. So maybe NY State should pay a bigger chunk of the Metro North shortfall (i.e., the difference between operating the system versus the collected fares), since it’s mostly a system to move CT residents to NY state.

  62. Pat says:

    I have been hearing about new train cars since I was in high school – I am 30…Meanwhile, the kicker is that the Harlem and Hudson riders pull in on-time in shiny new trains every morning, looking happy as clams….while the NH Line accounts for almost 50% of total riders, and we sit in the same cars my grandfather commuted in. And dont give me the overheard wire, AC/DC current BS – that shouldnt take ten years to figure out.

    I have a few times given the old “you want to charge me a peak fare for an off-peak schedule?” comment to the conductors this month…with mixed responses. The most disappointing feeling every morning is when you realize that when the door lines up with where you are standing on the platform, and its a bathroom car, and you got there early for no reason at all, because you have to find somewhere else to sit (or stand) unless you want to breathe that concoction for an hour.

    So we chug on, late trains, short on cars and patience, but someone has to pay those bloated pensions and the overtime timesheet roulette that the MTA plays every day…may as well be us.

  63. Chip says:

    I have to agree with the comments Joey and Jeff left. What is all this posting our complaints going to do? Nothing. We can rant all we want but until action is made, the MTA will continue to raise fares and expect you all to pay for them and ride the system. Joey said it best, take a break from your iPads and Wall Street Journals and stand up for your rights.

  64. Tony says:

    Anne, they’re being well compensated. The MTA has one of the friendliest overtime pay systems on the planet — to put it kindly. I’m sure there are employees begging for the overtime.

  65. Joey says:

    Everyone needs to reads Jeff comment and we need come together to put his plan into action. We need to revolt. Nothing is going to change if everyone continues to let this happen. Take a break from your Ipads and Wall Street Journals and stand up for your rights!!! Everyone just sits like cattle on these trains and takes the abuse. No one speaks up and everyone continues to pay the ridiculous monthly fees despite the horrific conditions we have to bear.

    This past September there were about 7 cockroaches roaming around on the floor of our car. A few of the passengers stepped on them, leaving the remains on the floor. We all sent email complaints to MTA. They gave us all the usual “we apologize” reply and the trains are cleaned and disinfected every evening, blah blah blah. Well since I take the same train and sit in the same seat almost every day first thing I did was check the floor the next day. All the dead cockroaches were still on the floor. Nice eh?

    These trains are beyond filthy, they stink, they leak, there is barely any foam padding underneath the worn out vinyl seats, in the summer there is no a/c 50% of the time and in the winter you have to travel between cars to find one with adequate heat.

    Now honestly I’m a trooper, I can bear these conditions, what I cant stand is that I have to pay full price for a monthly pass. Really? $336 from Bpt to GC? How about, we apologize and due to the lack services you will only have to pay 60% of the monthly fare until we convince the fakes in Hartford to upgrade equipment?

    Remember folks, you can blog till your blue in the face, until you start forming a set between your legs nothing will change. I’ll be the first to form a line with a knap sack full of pennies to pay for my daily ticket.

  66. Anne Carvalho says:

    These hard working railroad employees should be thanked – then given two weeks vacation with pay after this winter is over. They are all working long hours without any days off, with lack of sleep and good meals, not seeing their loved ones, all the while working the majority of the time outside in freezing weather listening to the public complain because they can’t “adapt” to the temporary problems. They are doing the best they can with the equipment they are provided. Hats off to all of you. You deserve a long overdue break.

  67. vincent says:

    3 FEB 2010 – 723am from Greenwich to GCT late again, 20 mins and standing room only. We all were greeted by an announcement made by the head engineer or conductor (not sure what you call him) that a new WINTER schedule is due out soon which will be effective this Monday. The reason for this revised schedule (which will bring even ‘worse’ conditions for the immediate future) is due to equipment shortage. The head guy continued to say, don’t ask us what the new schedule is because we don’t know it and we don’t know where to find it…then he went onto say and if you are going to stand please make sure you place your belongings on the overhead racks to prevent accidents and don’t lean on the doors. How is that for communication.
    Yesterday, at 5pm I checked the MTA website for schedule updates since I hadn’t received any text alerts (by the way these text alerts are almost always texted and emailed about 25 mins after the event)…there were no posted sked changes. So I left Upper East Side at 505, arrived at GCT at 515 and then found out that the 531pm train has now been combined with the 538 train and instead of running express to Rye (as the first stop) the train will make ALL LOCAL STOPS. Ok, so I say, ‘what can I do?’, this is all beyond me and I will go with the flow. Then we came upon a disabled train and remained at a standstill for about 10 minutes and then switched tracks. Made some stops from New Rochelle to Mamaroneck and then switched sides again up to Greenwich. So, the train pulled into Greenwich at about 650pm, that is 1 hour and 10 mins from GCT to Greenwich, wondering how long it takes all the other poor passengers who liver further north?! Unbelievable. Something needs to be done. I realize winter has dealt a serious blow, but as mentioned earlier even in summer you will find serious lapse in service (due to shortage of equipment which I believe is also a result of lack of maintenance). The trains are crowded, late, filthy. And now with a new schedule and fewer trains, the service is expected to be worse. What next? NO TRAINS? Traffic runs both directions, not only are CT Breadwinners brought to NYC, there are many from NYC area that rely on transportation to come to Fairfield County to earn their living.

  68. Jeff McGovern says:

    What other business could tell you that they are going to run at 60% service levels and expect full payment. In conversation this morning, my friend is returning his automatic monthly invoice and is stopping purchasing a monthly ticket. There should be a TEA Party Revolt whereby nobody purchases a monthly pass but pay via coin for a one way on the train to the conductor. I hate to do it to the conductors who seem to be the only ones who care from Metro-North and they feel our pain. But we have to start somewhere and hitting MN in the wallet should bring this to a head. We just cannot take this anymore.

    Comment by Jeff

  69. MJ says:

    Gov. Malloy! Do Something!

  70. Kathy says:

    As a daily commuter from Southport to GCT I can agree with just about everything said by all – constant delays, short cars, no heat. But the worst is really the inaccurate or non existent communication to commuters and the press.
    2 days of very specific examples really froze my hackles. On Jan 14 we left Southport at 6:46 am on time and we arrived at GCT at…..9:29am. 2 hours and 44 minutes on the train alone. During that whole, entire time there was not ONE announcement as to what the problem was, AND the train personnel who had previously checked tickets – were no where to be found anymore. For all we knew , 800 of us were being hijacked ! At least say something ! And the MTA website was finally admitting 20 minute delays on their website later in day……….Can’t they tell time ? The communication is either constantly wrong or non existent.
    This morning the 7:48am never showed up in Southport – no announcement, no explanation. Then the next train was cancelled ( after waiting until 5 minutes before it was due to announce that). Ultimately people waiting for the 7:48 to GCT this morning got to GCT at 10:13 am, instead of 9:02 scheduled time. And what did the web site say – “scattered 20 minute delays”. More like 1 hr and 11 minutes according to hundreds of people’s watches…
    Yes there was ice and all kind of weather issues – but don’t wait till people get to the station before they find out there are such big problems. What good is the website then.
    The small stations get passed up when there are problems or overcrowding – therefore we should get discounts as the second class citizens that they think we are – kind of like the “steerage” fare.

  71. vincent says:

    Communication is key.
    One wish I have and it is just a wish.
    In Greenwich there is an older guy in the ticket office and he is terrific with telling us where exactly the train is before it reaches Greenwich. This allows us all time to position ourselves on the platform. The one piece of information that is missing:
    THE NUMBER OF CARS
    Sometimes we have 7 or 8, but of course lately we have 6-7, but every now and then we have just 5. This leaves the train short and those at the far ends of the platform have to run.
    Just an idea.

  72. Mike says:

    The guy racing up the Fairfield platform this morning, pounding on the train door, yelling to open the *#%& door? Me. The guy standing there like an idiot watching the train pull away, not knowing when the next train was coming? Me.
    I have been tolerant of Metro-North’s struggles during these epic storms – until this morning. The track assignments were switched – NY bound on the south side, NH bound on the north. Plenty of announcements, no problem. Until the track assignments were switched back with no notice, leaving me on the north side watching my train arrive on the other side.
    So I started running, up the steep icy stairs and down the other side. And there I stood on the platform, frozen rain falling and watching the train pull away.
    Metro-North, please communicate better. You eliminated station jobs and spent tens of thousands of dollars on electronic signs that most of the time tell the date – the most useless information for a commuter. We understand there will be delays, but a lack of basic communication when we need it the most leads us to believe that Metro-North is running off the rails.

  73. Steve says:

    Our tax dollars disappear to Hartford while we in Fairfield County are left with Soviet-style transport. The trains are a mess and the Merritt is a diabolical drive in bad weather as the drainage is hopelessly screwed up and needs fixing now.

    We need to wake up and demand a solution. This is a serious issue for the economic health of the state.

  74. vincent says:

    2FEB – Ground hog predicts early spring. Wonder if there will be new M8 Cars in the future as well. I agree, the MTA employees are doing a good job with what they have to work for, but the issues involve the exec and MTA board and CT Govt. The software glitches for the new M8 cars are costing everyone – time to get this resolved. Train service isn’t just poor during the wintertime, it is also lacking during the heat of the summer. So, let’s stop using the winter weather as an excuse. We need action and solutions. We all are paying quite a bit each month to commute needless to say the number of hours we expend.

    My experience today, Feb 2 (Massive Ice Storm).
    The 7:54 Semi Express from Greenwich arrived 15 mins late (not too bad considering the weather). We arrived GCT at 9:30am. 1 hour and 15 minutes. I sat next to the conductor’s room on the train. First we stopped because of the door. The door had to be checked, conductor suspected ice in the door tract kept the door opened. He was able to fix that after 10 mins. Then as we approached the Bronx and we had to switch over (to DC current I believe) there were issues, and the train came to halt. There was no signals either so we couldn’t tell where the other trains were…any way, we started up the train again and finally made it to GCT. Good news, I had a seat, very few were standing ( I guess many didn’t go in early today) and we had heat in our car. We were late, but that is to be expected with the Ice Storm.
    Thanks to the MTA workers, but we need action from the ‘higher uppers’.

  75. Jim Cameron says:

    So where are the new M8 cars? See http://bit.ly/hFu7W3 for the full story.

    For updates, join the Commuter Council’s e-mail alert list at:
    http://www.trainweb.org/ct

  76. Jennifer says:

    What I don’t understand is how we are using equipment that breaks down in winter weather. We live in the northeast! Winter happens every year.. The MTA should be prepared for it. Snow is not new to this region.

    I think I would be more understanding if I was not spending $400/month & at least 3 hours a day commuting. It would be easier if they would communicate true status updates. All trains running 20 – 30 minutes late is not good service. Just be honest so we can plan accordingly.

    I boarded the 11:22pm train out of GCT on 12/26. We were told it would leave and run on time. Then they combined it with the 11:40pm that did not make it past Pelham. We were transferred to the last train out of NYC and got to Stamford after 4am. I would have stayed in NYC if they told us the trains were having issues. There was a disabled train at Pelham which blocked all trains leaving NYC. They knew about it but still punched our tickets and lied to our faces.

  77. lolMTA says:

    Monday after xmas. got on the 4:00 train into NYC from Stamford. it was standing room when everyone boarded the train in stamford then they proceeded to stop at every local station and try and let people on. took 2.5 hours to make it to the city STANDING.

    atleast it was too packed for them to punch tickets so i got a free ride.

  78. MJ says:

    Delayed Trains, canceled Trains. LIES by the MNCRR staff about delays.
    We have had bad train service for over a decade!

    STAMFORD to GCT Express took 1:30 minutes! No excuses as the train crept along and other trains whizzed by.

  79. RT says:

    My husband and I both commute by train from Milford to Stamford. Our trains have been a bit delayed and seating is very limited (mainly standing room). However, I think that Metro North employees have done an OUTSTANDING job considering the infrastructure and aging cars they have to work with. We have had unusually hard storms this year and they have had only limited interruptions.

    Most passengers have been very patient and understanding. Newer / irregular passengers are doing most of the complaining.

    Keep up the great work MTA employees and I look forward to seeing the new train cars soon (and hopefully more financial investment in the future).

  80. Peter says:

    It’s a scandal that the M-8 cars are so overdue. I’m not sure why the state government has not called for hearings on the failure of MetroNorth to work out the software glitches and get these trains rolling.

    There doesn’t appear to be any accountability and no one has any solution.

    What a joke.

  81. Dan J says:

    A joke. Just one big joke. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  82. Jack says:

    Want a good laff..

    Kawasaki wins M-8 order

    By: 01 September 2006
    NEW YORK Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Connecticut State Bond Commission have selected Kawasaki Rail Car Inc to build a new fleet of dual-voltage EMUs for Metro North’s New Haven Line.

    Under the $522m base contract, Kawasaki will design and manufacture 210 M-8 cars, with an option for another 170 vehicles at a price to be negotiated. The total of 380 units would represent an expansion from the line’s current fleet of 342 M-2 cars dating from the early 1970s, which are becoming increasingly unreliable.

    Kawasaki’s bid was $125m cheaper than rival Bombardier Transportation, which is supplying nearly 1200 M-7 electric cars to Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North. Connecticut DoT hopes to have the first M-8 cars delivered in late 2008 or early 2009. Connecticut is providing 65% of the capital cost while the MTA Metro North will contribute 35%, based on track length within each state.

    In early August Metro North announced the award of contracts totalling $292m for the rehabilitation of its 100-year old Croton-Harmon workshops, including the installation of a new wheel lathe facility.

  83. Jack says:

    Metro North train bid went out in 2005. Only 6 years later….

    12/5/2005 DOT and Metro-North Announce Distribution of New Haven Line Rail Car Bid Specifications
    Governor Rell Hails as “Significant Step Forward” The Connecticut Department of Transportation and MTA Metro-North Railroad today announced that detailed technical specifications have been released to three companies qualified to bid on the manufacture of new rail cars for the New Haven Line.

  84. CTisNOTbusinessFriendly says:

    I see the Fairfield Metro Center station progress is running as smoothly as the trains

  85. Joel Harinstein says:

    My hats off to the Metro North employees. They are going way and beyond the call of duty. No thanks to the drones in the gold dome.
    Kawasaki should stick with motorcycles and jet skis.

  86. Christine says:

    Honestly, the only thing more unreliable than the trains these days is home delivery of the CT Post.

  87. Vincent says:

    I thought I posted this already, but here it is again.

    Monday, Jan 31st- Greenwich to Grand Central , AM Train
    Arrived at Greenwich Station a bit earlier than normal at 7:10am, and heard that the 7:11am local train was delayed as was the 7:23am express. So when the local came in, I took it–guess what? I had a seat and heat and the car didn’t smell. Yes, yes, the train made every stop in between, but I arrived probably 10 mins after the express. Worth risking since I was able to sit down.

    Mon, Jan 31st Grand Central to Greenwich, PM Train
    Took subway #6 from Upper E.Side to GCT, arrived at GCT 5:20pm and found that the monitor actually had the 5:31pm train to Greenwich posted and it clearly stated Track 19. I rand to the track to find that no train has arrived yet, but hundreds of commuters all on the platform, hardly anywhere to stand. I thought, boy this is going to be interesting. The train arrived at 5:30pm and of course the hundreds of commuters fought with elbows and briefcases to board the train. We all squeezed on, standing room in vestibule, but I managed to get a seat, the car was heated and also no smell. The only thing was that the train was crowded and the P.A. system didn’t work in the car that I was in, but I can commute with my eyes practically closed, so no problem. Thank you MTA for getting me back to Greenwich close to schedule.

    Tuesday, Feb 1 – Greenwich to Grand Central A.M. Train
    Newly purchased monthly pass ($237) in hand and prepared for the worse scenario due to sleet/snow/freezing rain- the 723am train shows up ON TIME! Thank you. Short by two cars, but arrived on time. The number of commuters were lighter than normal. I managed to get on, but walked through 3 rear cars and each had a STENCH you wouldn’t believe and NO HEAT! Finally found a seat, but gagged and shivered all the way to GCT. But, I was so grateful for a train to show up and on time! Thanks again MTA….we can always work on the smell and heat later, can’t we???

  88. Vincent says:

    Jan 31st – Ok, so last night the returning train from GCT to Greenwich, the 531pm departure the monitor in GCT showed that the track was posted as track 19. This was at 515pm, I went to track 19 to find NO TRAIN and hundreds of people waiting on the platform. The train finally showed up at about 530pm and of course these 100s of people elbowed each other as they ran for seats. Well, at least the train showed up and at least we didn’t have a track change and the train got to Greenwich on time. And I got a seat. There was heat, but the PA system wasn’t working – you heard murmuring as you used to hear on the subways back in the 70s.
    FEB 1st, I had my newly purchased monthly rail pass ($237.00) in hand ready for a new month. Of course with the freezing precipitation I was expecting the worse. The Cablevision (Channel 61 said the New Haven Line was on/close to schedule, the MetroNorth website said no delays, but my text messages did say to expect crowded trains and delay). The 723am express train arrived on time, again short of cars, but it arrived! I entered the train and walked through 3 cars in search of a seat – each car SMELLED from the bathrooms! And all 3 cars were UNHEATED. I did manage to find a seat, but gagged with the smell and shivered with no heat (I kept my parka and scarf and hat/gloves on). But I am truly grateful for a train showing up and getting us to GCT on time. The other ‘bells/whistles’ can come with the new equipment, but let’s see what the return commute has in store for us with another storm bearing down on us. I just can’t believe that we are allowing these winter storms to continually paralyze our RAIL SYSTEM. There has to be a solution. We are in the Northeast, not in Florida. Do we not anticipate WINTER CONDITIONS? Will report on return commute. Happy Riding!

  89. Cos Cob to GCT says:

    Every day is an adventure. On Friday, it was the 7:08 train that left closer to 7:20 from Grand Central only to break down at 125th street. After 20 minutes, we boarded a “rescue” train across the platform that was combined and I was lucky enough to get a seat while others stood in every available space. Last night’s (Monday evening) commute was interesting. The 6:17 and 6:20 trains were combined and short a couple of cars. Standing room only and packed like sardines, the train ended up making all local stops. I’ve resorted to taking the 6:24 local because it seems to be the most reliable AM train. Are we having fun yet?

  90. early morning rider says:

    I guess the excuse for poor service is the weather, kind of makes me laugh because on some of the worst days this month the trains ran their smoothest. This morning isnt any different than any other morning I have been having all winter long! MTA has a mobile site which does nothing but give inaccurate information, always says good service only to arrive at the station to be delayed for 20 minutes or more with barely any announcements. This morning already two late trains with no late arrival announcements. Thank you for the fair increase and the changes in valid tickets without an increase in quality of service, we truly appreciate it! Smh

  91. Michelle says:

    This morning I took the 5:55 AM train from GCT to Greenwich. Somewhere in between Fordham and New Rochelle, it stopped, and the announcement said that they were inspecting the overhead wires. We were on the train for about a half hour as I watched three other trains go by. Finally, we were able to get moving again and we had to switch trains in New Rochelle. It was jam packed. I arrived to Greenwich about 45 minutes later than usual.

    This afternoon, I went to catch the 3:30 express to grand central and it was canceled. I waited for the 3:40 local, and at 3:50, there was still no train. Finally an announcement was made that the train was running 5-10 minutes late….ya think? 3:55 comes along…no train. Another train passed it somewhere along the way, and I was able to catch one around 4:00 pm. I’m frustrated that the website always says that the New Haven Line has “good service.” If a train is canceled (and the 3:30 express would have been canceled an hour earlier in New Haven), why isn’t this posted on the website?

  92. bill says:

    I have been taking the train from Stratford to Stamford for 7 years now. I started taking the train to avoid the ridiculous I-95 traffic, but now the traffic is becoming a more attractive alternative. I can’t even remember the last time the 7:32 local or 7:46 express got into Stamford on time. This winter they are constantly short cars, and at the times, it seems that I can get out and walk faster than the train is traveling. The cars are dirty, the bathrooms smell, and having to be in the standing-room only trains any longer than necessary makes for a bad start to any one’s day. And it’s the same drill on the commute home.

    Parking at the stations is also a hassle. I applied for a parking space in the both the Milford and Stratford stations the same day. It took 4 years to get a spot in Milford, and I am still on the waiting list for a spot in Stratford. The Milford lot is bigger, but they don’t enforce the permits and I see cars parked there everyday without permits.

  93. Vincent says:

    Many are upset of not being able to find a seat. I just want the train to show up. I commute from Greenwich and I have found that the 723am train in the morning is almost always late (snow or no snow). I understand that last week was exceptional due to storms, but one morning the 723am train was a deisel with only 5 cars (normally there are 7 or 8 cars). We all crammed onto the train and I found space between rail cars with about 10 other passengers…all that protected from the outside us was RUBBER , snow blew in and my feet were absolutley frozen. The 723 normally goes directly to 125th street, but this time we were forced to stop up until Mamaroneck when the conducter deemed the train ‘overcrowded’? Just waiting for a catastrophe before officials see that the New Haven Line is desperate for updated equipment and better communication.
    In fact Friday, Jan 28th we were all standing waiting for the 723am departure, this train was then announced as cancelled but that the 711am local was 30 mins late. The 738 am express would be 20 mins late. Well the 711am train showed at about 745 ( I decided to wait for the 738 express, stupid decision as both trains were combined but never announced). So I waited for the 754am which came at 824am. Of course I was late to the office after standing at the station since 7am. Poor communication. Why is it that for GCT to Greenwich returning trains at night, I take the 531 express …the trains are usually not posted until 10 minutes before the departure, but Harlem and Hudson trains are posted for trains leaving much later???? Then when the train is announced we all rush to get on, then everyone is seated and then they announce track change??? Come on.

  94. Holly P says:

    I commute from Fairfield to GCT everyday. This past month has been delays and cancelled trains guaranteed. I have to say – last monday (when it was 1 degree outside at 7am) was the worst. When i arrived to Fairfield train station at my normal time the platform was packed. No one knew what was going on. I overheard someone say they have made zero announcements and no trains had come since the 630am something train. I actually left and came back to the train later on because it was that chaotic. Even when i came back for an 8:16 train – there was still delays.

    on Friday I was trying to get on the 705 out of GCT and no tracks were being assigned. NONE. They finally put a track up and they combined two trains the 655 and 705. It was scary situation when everyone bolted to track 23. I got pretty far down the track and saw there train had not arrived yet and fought the crowd to get back out. I took the next train out that people thought was cancelled because they took the train off the board. All and all i was roughly 40 mins late into Fairfield.

    My work is very understanding. I just forward them the MTA alert emails from my phone. I don’t like being late to work!

  95. Michelle R says:

    On Fri (1/28) Metro North was combining trains out of GCT on the New Haven line. I was on a 5 car 5:36 pm rush hour train (that’s a much shorter than usual train for that time of day) which was PACKED and I stood to Stamford (1st stop) along with many others then had to scramble for a seat. This morning’s train (7:12 am out of Stratford) kept having “smoke conditions” – a weird electrical fire stench) and the train kept stopping for inspections by Metro North mechanical staff. We stopped for several mins at the maintenance yard between Stratford and Bridgeport. We stopped for inspection at Bridgeport. We stopped for inspection at Fairfield. We ran really slowly the whole route and arrived at GCT 45 mins late. I have been on time to work only once or twice in the past few weeks with these unpredictable commutes. My boss is I’m sure getting tired of my daily train update emails on why I’m not there!

  96. Peter V says:

    We have had issues with the Danbury Branch, several times they have shut down out trains (original excuse because of weather related issues). In reality, it seems they shut down the Danbury and Waterbury branches to use our diesel engines on the main NH line. I wouldn’t mind so much if they had provided bus service in place. The two times I have been affected I had to miss work once and stay in Stamford the night before in anticipation of the shutdown. I understand they have more passengers on the main line, but it is not too much to ask to keep one train running or provide buses DURING the storm rather than giving us no options at all except driving. I thought the purpose of mass transportation was an alternative to driving!

  97. Peter says:

    Last Friday I check the MTA website which promised that service had returned to normal on the New Canaan Branch. When I arrived at the Glenbrook train station to catch the 8:16, the platforms were packed with three times the regular amount of people. Speaking to a few commuters I learned that they had been waiting for over an hour. Three trains had failed to arrive. The only communication they received were automated messages over the loudspeakers that said the trains were only five to ten minutes late. People were angry, frustrated, cold. Many started to give up and walk home. Rather than wait for a train that might never come, I just jumped back into my car and drove to the city. With gas, parking, and tolls, my trip cost me about $30. But it was better than missing another day of work and not getting paid.

  98. StationStops says:

    My inbound train it at 7-20 minutes late every day for the last week.

    Friday night New Haven Line trains did not even have track assignments out of Grand Central at rush hour. They combined two trains into one and when they announced the track a half hour later it was just a free for all to get a seat, and of course, packed.

    This morning my inbound train was 15 minutes late, and already SRO when it got to my station. We continued to pack people in for 4 more stops until at New Rochelle it was obvious no more bodies could fit.

    The ride was hairy, at times it seemed the old cars were going to topple or derail due to the weight and a lot of the passengers seemed genuinely concerned.

    I predict this will be the worst week in Metro-North commuting ever, with back to back storms and so many cars being out of service already.

  99. My husband commutes on Metro North from Stratford to Stamford every weekday. 1. Parking has been eliminated or reduced because of snow piles. Parking is already a major issue around Stratford train station. 2. Traffic is increased at the station because more people are dropping off. And the snow piles have reduced visibility. 3. No police presence. There was Stratford police monitoring parking 90 percent of the time in the evening hours at the station prior to the snows. Now the police are AWOL when there is desperate need for someone at the station to direct traffic. The southbound side is down to one lane.

    People have for the most part been very patient and helpful to each other. And overall, in this last storm, I felt the town did a pretty fair job getting snow cleared, considering the amount of snow. We are all going to have to keep our patience and our sense of humor as the snows continue.