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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Talking Transportation: No Blue Ribbons for Metro-North

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

The long awaited MTA “Blue Ribbon Panel” of experts has issued its report on Metro-North and its sister railroads, and it isn’t pretty.

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Their 50-page report confirms much of what we already knew:  that the railroad placed too much emphasis on “on time performance” instead of safety, that there were serious repair issues unattended to for months, and that there has been an enormous “brain drain” of experienced railroad employees who have opted for retirement after 30 years.

All of those problems could have been prevented if MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast had been doing his job, which he wasn’t. That is surprising, given his almost 40 years in the industry. 

Remember, he was selected as chairman by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (just a month before the Bridgeport crash) after successfully turning around the New York City subway system. And he had also spent years at the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR).

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