Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said he was “outraged” by the latest inconvenience during the coldest period of the year.
In a statement, he said: “The power outage on the New Haven Line last evening was totally avoidable and frankly, unfathomable given that it occurred due to inappropriate actions on the part of Metro-North,” Malloy said.
“On behalf of the thousands of Connecticut citizens who rely on this crucial rail service every day, I am outraged that any maintenance procedure would be performed on the signal control system during the peak evening commuter period.
“I expressed my anger and frustration in a call this morning with MTA CEO Tom Prendergast, asked him for a full explanation and an action plan to prevent any recurrence, and also requested that the MTA hire a third-party, independent authority who can serve as an adviser when crucial maintenance decisions like these are made.
“I have also asked for a face-to-face meeting with Mr. Prendergast and the incoming President of Metro-North, Joe Giullietti, as soon as Mr. Giullietti starts in his new position.”
Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, said the Thursday power outage was just the latest assault on the credibility of the rail line.
“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,” McKinney said. “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 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.”