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Monday, October 28, 2013

Con Ed, Metro-North Duck Blame

By Mark Pazniokas

Bridgeport —The presidents of Consolidated Edison and Metro-North took turns today at a congressional field hearing expressing regret and dodging blame for the power outage that disrupted the nation’s busiest rail corridor for 12 days, inconveniencing more than 100,000 commuters and costing the Connecticut economy an estimated $62 million. Image
Howard Permut, (l) of Metro-North, watches Craig Ivey of Con Edison say the utility will not reimburse the railroad for the 12-day outage that disrupted Amtrak and Metro-North service on the New Haven line. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Craig Ivey, the president of the power company, refused to accept financial responsibility for the outage, saying Con Ed had no plans to reimburse Metro-North for refunds the regional public rail company paid to commuters during the outage. He called the outage a result of joint actions by his company and the railroad.

The outage cost Metro-North between $8 million and $12 million in lost ticket sales, refunds and emergency busing and other costs, said Howard Permut, the president of MTA Metro-North.

Both chief executives acknowledged having no contingency plan for such an outage, forcing the utility and railroad to quickly invent ways to partially restore power and provide alternative diesel train and bus service.

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