Metro-North Commuters Want More From Passenger ‘Bill of Rights’

CBS New York has reported that the recently proposed commuter ‘bill of rights’ does not adequately protect passengers.

The passenger’s bill of rights was first proposes as a result of lengthy delays that occurred on a Metro-North train in October that left passengers without information or means to exit the train for more than an hour.  In response, Metro-North has devised an eight-point proposal, which gives priority to safe travel, maintaining clean stations and rail cars and providing better information during prolonged service disruptions.

A 15-member Connecticut Commuter Council feels that Metro-North’s eight-point proposal is not enough and more needs to be done.  The council’s chairman, Jim Cameron feels that Metro-North should have more “follow-through.”  According to Cameron, “customers should be given a refund or provided with alternative transportation,” when a major delay occurs.  Additionally, refunds should be less difficult to receive and more seating should be available on trains.  The Council also feels that the passenger bill of rights should be posted on all trains and stations, which would effectively inform passengers of their rights. The goal of the Connecticut Commuter Council is to come together with Metro-North to “cover those areas that customers are most concerned about.”

Connecticut’s push for greater passenger rights is very important for the future of passenger rail.  Passenger outrage over October’s events have already created some results, as Metro-North has outlined a plan to improve service and communication, but the commuter council has shown that passengers will not accept anything below what they believe is fair.  Commuter rail passengers spend a great deal of money to ride on Metro-North and LIRR trains and should be promptly taken care of when service issues occur.  On a larger scale, the efforts in Connecticut could set the tone for passenger rail rights for the Northeast and throughout the country.  It would be very interesting to see if the events that take place in the following months on Metro-North could spark more calls for passenger bill of rights on other services, such as NJ Transit, SEPTA or MTA.


Previous post:

Next post: