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MNRCC Statement – March 20, 2017 – Snowstorm Response

Statement by Orrin Getz, MNRCC, Regarding Issues Related to
The March 14th Snowstorm
At the MNR Committee Meeting, Board Room, MTA Headquarters,
2 Broadway, New York

March 20, 2017

Good Morning, My name is Orrin Getz and I am Vice Chair of the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council.

On the morning of March 14th, it was announced by the news media that Metro-North Railroad was shutting down service by noon. Actually, the last train to Poughkeepsie left Grand Central Terminal at 9:43 am. The last train to Southeast left Grand Central Terminal at 9:52 am, and the last train to New Haven left GCT at 10:02 am.

Commuters who arrived at Grand Central shortly before noon looking for a train to get home were left stranded.

Metro-North has an obligation: if it provides service to bring commuters into Manhattan, it must provide service to bring them home. At the very least, Metro-North should provide hourly service with diesel powered train on all lines during a snow emergency.

New Jersey Transit’s decision to operate a President’s Day schedule on Wednesday, March 15th was a bad one.

In the morning of March 15th on the Pascack Valley line, there were not enough trains scheduled to handle the passengers.

In the afternoon, a Metro-North express train ran at 3:29 pm out of Hoboken terminal. This train should have been scheduled as a local train with New Jersey Transit sharing in the cost of its operation.

In the evening of March 15th, NJ Transit did add one outbound Port Jervis train and three outbound Pascack Valley Line trains to handle the volume of passengers.

In the morning of March 15th, train #2104, on the Pascack Valley Line, developed brake problems at spring Valley, Nanuet and Montvale, and eventually ran non-stop from Woodcliff Lake to Secaucus. Since the equipment assigned to train #2104 was Metro-North’s seven Comet V coaches and a Metro-North diesel locomotive, I have serious concerns that New Jersey Transit is not properly maintaining Metro-North’s equipment West-of-Hudson. Metro-North should require New Jersey Transit to track Mean Distance between Failures in the same way that Metro-North does for the East side of the Hudson.

The snow was never removed from the steps and platform at the Nanuet station all day on March 15th. When I finally got an answer from Metro-North as to why the snow the snow was not removed, it was explained that the contractor failed to do the job. It is recommended that Metro-North hire a contractor to just clean the Rockland County train stations.

Download here: 032017 MNRCC Response to Ssnowsorm