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MNR Holds President’s Forum

President Permut, along with Kim Procelain, Robert E. Lieblong and Seth J. Cummins, listen to riders voice their concerns

The Metro-North Commuter Council held its 2010 President’s Forum on April 7, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The meeting took place in the MTA Board 5th Floor Board Room at 347 Madison Avenue in New York City.

President Howard Permut, joined by a number of his staff, gave opening remarks and then answered questions and comments from riders.

President Permut began by summarizing the performance of the Railroad in 2009.  He observed that in 2009, ridership at 85 million, declined 4% from the previous year; however, off-peak and reverse commute did not decline as much.  Part of the ridership level was helped by the opening of the Yankee Stadium Station.  According to Permut, 500,000 people took advantage of this new service.  He said that for the last game of the World Series, 15% of the attendees took the train.   He also mentioned that the Meadowlands game day service, a collaboration between Metro-North Railroad, NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak, has been a success.

Permut was particularly pleased to report that Metro-North’s customers enjoyed on-time arrivals 97% of the time. This marks the fifth consecutive year on-time performance has been at that level or greater.

President Permut concluded his remarks by discussing the budget challenges Metro-North Railroad would face in 2010.   Some actions will include:

• Service reductions (saving $5 million)
• Increase loading factor from 85% to 95%
• Reduce payroll (saving $8 million)
• Defer projects
• Provide better business practices
• Reduce ticket selling hours

A full Summary of Proceedings will be available on the MNRCC website shortly.