Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Metro North Satisfaction Survey Released

According to Metro North's annual satisfaction survey, Connecticut customers are somewhat more satisfied this year, but not nearly as satisfied as those on the Harlem and Hudson lines.

From the CT Post:


Satisfaction among New Haven Line riders has been slipping over the last couple of years, but the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council noted that the railroad won better marks for on-time performance and communications with riders this year.

But New Haven Line riders are still far less pleased with the condition of the trains and availability of seats than their New York counterparts who use the Hudson and Harlem lines.

Only 68 percent of Connecticut customers said they were satisfied with the condition of the trains compared to 95 percent of Hudson and Harlem line riders.


I'm surprised that satisfaction is that high. There's no denying that when it comes to commuter rails out of NYC Connecticut gets the least bang for our buck. Half the time I don't even have to figure out which side of the platform my train is on. 99.9% of the time the older of the two trains is the one heading to New Haven.

I've always wondered what would happen if we could pull out of the MTA and put all commuter rails in CT under one authority. The New Haven line could connect with the Shoreline East, and the new commuter rail to Springfield, MA. Whatever our DOT came up with would almost have to be better than the system currently in place.

Source
Varnon, Rob. "Metro-North riders more satisfied". Connecticut Post. 12/12/06

18 comments:

wtfdnucsubsailor said...

I think it would be great for CT economy and the highways if we could get commuter rail all the way to New London or even Westerly RI so that affordable rail would be the preferred mode of transport to NY City and points in between. It would enhance the possibilities of 'smart growth' around the rail stations and reduce air pollution. So, lets fix up Metro North and extend to SE CT with frequent, speedy, and affordable transport between Mystic, New London, Old Saybrook, Guilford, Branford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford,New York City, etc.

Gabe said...

I wonder what satisfaction would be like compared to LIRR riders - the few times I've taken those lines, I was impressed by the trains, the schedule, the locations... Plus, soon (or did it happen already?) they will connect to Grand Central. MetroNorth will connect to Penn Statoin shortly after hell freezes over.

Anonymous said...

So 99.9% of the time, the older train heads for CT... but half the time, you don't need to guess what side your specific train is on.

What criteria do you use the other 49.9% of the time?

cgg said...

Yikes! You're right Anon, I could have worded that one better.

Gabe, I don't think the LIRR will connect to Grand Central for a long time. You're right about their service though.

Anonymous said...

the age of the trains going to CT has to do with ConnDOT not the MTA.

Anonymous said...

CGG, are you related to Lawrence Berra?

Anonymous said...

the MTA operates the LIRR too!!!

Anonymous said...

the sailor is another one who wants to turn CT into a city.

GMR said...

Here's a thought on improving Metro North service. Add more parking! Like big garages.

If I need to go into the city for a few hours during the day, I drive simply because of the parking situation at Metro North stations. If I go into the city for the evening, taking the train is not difficult because commuter lots are emptying.

The trouble is, no town really wants more parking. Darien was going to have a bigger garage built, but local residents nixed that plan because it would add more traffic. But all towns seem to have a massive shortage of parking. The metered spaces at New Canaan fill up by 6:30, and that's on a spur line. Parking at most stations is simply impossible. This means you need to take a bus or get some other transportation to the station, and at some point, it simply isn't worth it anymore, so people just drive.

Another thing that works against Connecticut is that the cars for the New Haven line have to be specially made for that line. This is because south of Mount Vernon east, the trains are powered by a 750 V (DC) third rail, while north of Mt. Vernon east the cars are powered by overhead wires (12.5 kilovolts, AC). (There's a quarter mile with both systems in place to allow the trains to changeover). This means that New Haven line trains can be used on the other lines, but trains from the other lines cannot be used on the New Haven line since they don't have overhead pantographs.

The Danbury branch has Diesel locomotives, since there is no electrification (any more) on that line. The trouble with the Danbury line is that it seems to be an interminable trip to Manhattan. They should be able to do it faster.

Anonymous said...

Totally unrelated I know, but I have nowhere to turn for this information and my marriage hinges on it, sort of. Do men have to wear tuxes to the inaugural ball or can they wear a nice dark suit?

Genghis Conn said...

Far be it for me to offer fashion advice of any kind, but the email invite says "formal" and nothing else. Tux is probably a safe bet.

Fuzzy Turtle said...

Do men have to wear tuxes to the inaugural ball or can they wear a nice dark suit?

to Rells inaguration? Wear the rainbow wig and a clown outfit.
it's appropriate.

cgg said...

Anon, you're turning to us for fashion advise? Well, since you asked I'd say wear a tux. You'll probably see both suits and tuxes at the ball, but that's my preference.

Matt said...

2nd vote for a rainbow wig...

Gabe said...

If it says formal, you have to wear a tux. On the other hand, no one says you can't wear a tux and a rainbow wig...

bluecoat said...

a commuter's take on the survey cut and pasted from today's Norwalk Advocate:
I have to laugh every time I read about Metro-North's grand survey results (Advocate news story, Dec. 12). I would love to know who they are surveying. It certainly isn't me or any other rider I know who takes the New Haven Line to Grand Central.

"A lack of enough seats" is the understatement of the century. Every year when the cold weather kicks in, cars start breaking down and Metro-North then cuts the number of cars. Trains were cut last week on the New Canaan spur, so that by the time the train reaches Springdale, it is already almost standing-room-only. By the time it reaches Stamford, you may as well forget it.

The "bathroom cars" have reeked, do reek and will continue to reek. I can't bear to sit in them, even at the far end. This includes the bar car, which Metro-North for some bizarre reason keeps throwing into the chain - even in the morning rush-hour. I say bizarre because there is rarely any bar service offered, and the bar car has little seating compared to the regular cars.

We have gotten used to the constant apologies of the conductors for no air-conditioning in the summer, no heat in the winter, not enough seats throughout the year, no lights in some cars, etc. It's not their fault, of course. They generally also assure us that the problem will be taken care of. When you experienced the same problem several days in a row, you know that it wasn't.

The latest bright idea is to stop rehabilitating current cars altogether to increase funding for cars years away.

It isn't right that a lack of foresight and planning - and ultimately, misplaced priorities - should result in Connecticut's commuters being forced to tolerate third-class conditions for the next three-plus years.

Anonymous said...

The service on the Waterbury Line is horrendous as well.

Half of the time, you don't even get a train...you have to take a motor coach, which extends the trip a little bit, and therefore delays your arrival in Bridgeport, which means you may or may not catch the train into NYC that you were hoping to get.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but Rell and the legislature passed a spending bill. Help is on the way - just hold your nose!!!!