Jan 6, 2014
08:44 PM
Connecticut Politics

Blumenthal Says New Leadership at Metro-North Should Lead to 'Better Results'

Blumenthal Says New Leadership at Metro-North Should Lead to 'Better Results'

Arnold Gold/New Haven Register

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal chairs a Senate committee hearing concerning the recent power outage to Metro-North trains at Bridgeport City Hall on 10/28/2013.

After a year plagued with accidents and service disruptions on Metro-North Railroad, The New York Times reports the agency's President, Howard Permut, is stepping down.

Permut has been president of the interstate commuter rail since 2008. 

In recent months, most notably after a fatal accident occurred in the Bronx, Conneciticut legislators and riders have expressed frustration with the agency amid mounting concerns about safety and reliability.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has been vocal in calling for investigations into the incidents that continued to plague the rail and the agencies that operate and oversee it.

"New leadership should mean stronger attention to safety and reliability, and better results," Blumenthal said in an emailed statement Monday night. "As they replace Mr. Permut, Metro North must focus on revamping its safety culture and systems."

In December, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy sent a letter to Permut and other officials, requesting they send an action plan addressing safety issues, as well as the report from previous incidents, and monthly reports on other aspects of the rail including inspections and maintenance.

“…[G]iven many recent events there is understandably a negative public perception of the railroad infrastructure and state of good repair, coupled with deep concerns for our safety,” Malloy wrote in the letter.

Malloy could not immediately be reached for comment Monday. 

Permut responded with the requested reports, and assured Malloy the agency is “committed to working collaboratively to ensure the safety of our customers and restore the public’s confidence.”


In unrelated news....Blumenthal also held a press conference at Union Station in New Haven Monday calling for Congress to restore a tax break for rail commuters. 



Blumenthal Says New Leadership at Metro-North Should Lead to 'Better Results'

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