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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Blumenthal’s Metro-North Crusade: Proper (& Political?)

By Ann Radalet

Washington—Reports of the resignation of Metro -North President Howard Permut may indicate that Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal has drawn blood in his battle against the commuter railway. Image
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has made safety on Metro-North a priority. He spoke to reporters last May following a MNRR train derailment in Bridgeport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Cablevision News-12 photo

“I think (Permut’s) resignation reflects the pressure that has been brought to bear for a more reliable safety system,” Blumenthal said today. “But a change in management has to be accompanied by a change in culture.”

It’s hard to tell whether the pressures Blumenthal has exerted on Metro-North helped Permut decide to leave the railroad. Metro-North spokeswoman Judie Glave would not comment, or even confirm Permut’s plans to leave.

But no one could argue that Blumenthal’s campaign hasn’t helped keep Metro-North in the hot seat since two of its commuter trains collided near Bridgeport in May, the first of a string of accidents that included the deaths of four in a derailment in New York.

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