Refunds for NHL Riders & an Unfortunate Precedent Now Set

Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

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lirr42
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Refunds for NHL Riders & an Unfortunate Precedent Now Set

Post by lirr42 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:22 pm

The declaration was handed down from the MTA Board this afternoon, the MTA will be giving 'some sort of credit' towards future purchases for New Haven Line riders due to this incident. I sorta started this in the other thread, but it didn't get that much of a response. But now that it's ballooning into a bigger issue, perhaps it deserves its own thread now.

The MTA hasn't set forth any exact details on to how people would be 'reimbursed' for their troubles, but they do expect it to cost them $2 million in revenue for every week the disruption is ongoing.

Like I said in the other thread, I don't think the MTA is taking the right stand here. Giving people their monthlies or weeklies' value as per the normal refund policy would be a better course (I would even say waving the $10 fee would be okay).

But now the precedent is set. Is this now fair to all the MetroCard users who lost time and got lip service from the MTA after Hurricane Sandy? My November 2012 monthly wasn't discounted. There were more than 15 decent-sized disruptions on the LIRR in August and no refunds were given. It doesn't seem fair. How come this event is special?

THIRD AVENUE EL
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Re: Refunds for NHL Riders & an Unfortunate Precedent Now Se

Post by THIRD AVENUE EL » Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:35 pm

i agree, what's next, OTP less than 90% your next monthly's free?

Travelsonic
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Re: Refunds for NHL Riders & an Unfortunate Precedent Now Se

Post by Travelsonic » Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:44 pm

lirr42 wrote: Like I said in the other thread, I don't think the MTA is taking the right stand here. Giving people their monthlies or weeklies' value as per the normal refund policy would be a better course (I would even say waving the $10 fee would be okay).
I personally held the view that the monthlies, weeklies, are all that should be refunded if it is warranted, but w/o the refund fee... but now that I think about it more, how would it even be possible to go further than that barring refunding weeklies if the need is demonstrated [or people demand it enough]? Just seems like that would be the furthest you could reasonably go so far as refunds go unless I missed something - which I could very well have.

Lincoln78
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Re: Refunds for NHL Riders & an Unfortunate Precedent Now Se

Post by Lincoln78 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:31 am

Hurricanes are an act of God. Not much MN could have done to prevent the destruction.

Although there doesn't seem to be any MN negligence in this shutdown the fact that they are not provided the promised service is more directly related to their system and how they manage it.

I agree it is a bad precedent. Also, since MN is government subsidized users are already getting a break.

RearOfSignal
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Re: Refunds for NHL Riders & an Unfortunate Precedent Now Se

Post by RearOfSignal » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:38 am

Part of the MNR customer pledge is to provide substitute bus service when train service in unavailable. MNR has done that.
Hurry up and wait at the signal!

runningwithscalpels
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Re: Refunds for NHL Riders & an Unfortunate Precedent Now Se

Post by runningwithscalpels » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:45 am

If people just throw their hands up and say "nope, I'm not trying their alternative", then why should they be entitled to a refund? About the only thing that should be refunded is last Wednesday morning because of the full suspension. Beyond that? There was alternative service in place. Sure, it's not a one seat ride (or 96% on time - or whatever the OTP is these days - been a while since I got my paws on a copy of Mileposts...) but there was alternative service available AND they cross-honored on other lines to boot. It seems like the people who rely on Metro North to get to around and when something goes awry and are the ones who have put zero thought into "Um, what am I going to do if Metro North isn't running?" are the ones that complain the loudest. One would think putting some thought into your own alternatives would be the smart and responsible thing to do.

That's just my opinion though.
Change at Bridgeport for service to Derby-Shelton, Ansonia, Seymour, Beacon Falls, Naugatuck and Waterbury

Trainer
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Re: Refunds for NHL Riders & an Unfortunate Precedent Now Se

Post by Trainer » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:51 pm

From the tone of some of these posts, many of us don't think that MN has any competition. As a long-time healthcare worker, my experience was that hospitals used to think the same thing. Now that a handful in the region have closed, hospital employees don't think that way any more.

Metro North has to keep its customers happy. Sure, they could follow the letter of the conveyance agreement, but don't we want the millions of folks in this area - not just the ones who ride the trains - to support those politicians who support the railroads? What happens when a fiscal conservative gets on the stump and says "Why should we support all these millions to Metro North projects when they can't be trusted to do right by the consumer? Why care about them - after all, they obviously don't care about you!"

MNRR is more than choo-choo's - since it takes public money, it's a political animal. It can't ever let naysayers get leverage that suggests that it's a bad bargain for the state. Otherwise they'll spend your subsidies on highways and new bus lanes. The suits MUST think big picture.

lirr42
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Re: Refunds for NHL Riders & an Unfortunate Precedent Now Se

Post by lirr42 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:18 pm

The MTA uploaded a video of yesterday's special board meeting onto its YouTube channel. You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQZMPaOcVw4" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

runningwithscalpels
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Re: Refunds for NHL Riders & an Unfortunate Precedent Now Se

Post by runningwithscalpels » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:28 pm

Trainer, I understand what you're saying, and it's pretty obvious that they're doing refunds to keep passengers happy, which IS a good thing for exactly the reasons you stated.

However it irritates me when people get interviewed by media outlets and whine that they want a refund because they rely on the train and they were left with no other option than to stay home.

And I also agree with LIRR42 - if the MTA is going to refund/extend monthlies, they need to be more consistent about it, not refund for one event, and then refuse to refund for another which arguably was more disruptive.
Change at Bridgeport for service to Derby-Shelton, Ansonia, Seymour, Beacon Falls, Naugatuck and Waterbury

NH2060
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Re: Refunds for NHL Riders & an Unfortunate Precedent Now Se

Post by NH2060 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:32 pm

Trainer wrote:Otherwise they'll spend your subsidies on highways and new bus lanes. The suits MUST think big picture.
Not exactly. Maybe in the outer exurbs where there IS room for expanded highways and bus lanes, etc., but in southern Westchester, Fairfield counties? No way would that ever happen. Look at what this latest service disruption has done to the highways.

Yes TECHNICALLY there are alternatives to MNR particularly in southern Westchester/Fairfield, etc. But are they better? Absolutely not. If those who ride MNR on a daily basis wanted to take cars, buses, etc. they would have done so by now. There's a reason ridership has grown and grown over the past 20-30 years. Taking a train from say Riverside to Rye then a bus to White Plains on a almost-predictably packed I-287 and then another 30-40 minute train ride? It may get the job done, but only barely and is very unsustainable and frankly I don't blame commuters opting to not use it.

So to suggest that a significant number of those currently using MNR would opt for other modes of transport is just not true. Commuters will raise heck when something goes wrong (and sometimes with good reason), but they'll ride it one way or another.

RearOfSignal
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Re: Refunds for NHL Riders & an Unfortunate Precedent Now Se

Post by RearOfSignal » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:51 pm

At the discount that monthly tickets offer, 50% of travel on a 5 day work week over a month is free anyway. MNR is refunding or crediting, something that it's giving for free.
Hurry up and wait at the signal!

Darien Red Sox
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Re: Refunds for NHL Riders & an Unfortunate Precedent Now Se

Post by Darien Red Sox » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:31 pm

I think Metro North is doing the right thing. Yes it will cost them some money but it will help them show that they are sorry for the inconvenience that this caused most riders.
RearOfSignal wrote:Part of the MNR customer pledge is to provide substitute bus service when train service in unavailable. MNR has done that.
Yes they did do this but people were encouraged to stay at home. They also fell short on the communication part of the pledge at some stations last Wednesday. Train crews were as always helpful to passengers, and I am sure that most of them have had there days messed up even more than the passengers by this disaster.
Some people complain about the traffic on I95, If you have a problem with traffic and the rails go where you are going, TAKE THE TRAIN!!!

Backshophoss
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Re: Refunds for NHL Riders & an Unfortunate Precedent Now Se

Post by Backshophoss » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:11 am

Be Grateful the MTA/MN are refunding/crediting the ridership without the "prodding" from Albany and Hartford.
It may hurt the pocketbook a bit in the short term,the possible good will return will help over the long term.
Con Ed will credit MN for their foulup on the feeder damage,due to "prodding" from Albany and Hartford.
It should be noted that both Gov Malloy and MN recomended "tele-commuting" along with the Harlem line,and
Bus shuttle options
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

Trainer
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Re: Refunds for NHL Riders & an Unfortunate Precedent Now Se

Post by Trainer » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:56 pm

NH2060 wrote:
Trainer wrote:Otherwise they'll spend your subsidies on highways and new bus lanes. The suits MUST think big picture.
To suggest that a significant number of those currently using MNR would opt for other modes of transport is just not true. Commuters will raise heck when something goes wrong (and sometimes with good reason), but they'll ride it one way or another.
Customers are not hostages. Every railroad, every mode of transportation who ever thought so is now defunct. Perhaps they'll ride it today, but not always tomorrow. Lots of people have discovered that Peter Pan and other carriers can get them into the city in about the same time as the train, and they're very comfortable. Some people are car pooling. Do we want to screw those people just because we can? Today, that's just bad business.

MN is doing the right thing, and that is a GOOD precedent moving forward.

Gilbert B Norman
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Re: Refunds for NHL Riders & an Unfortunate Precedent Now Se

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:29 pm

This past Thursday, The New York Times reported on this development and further noted how Metro North remains 'best of the bunch' amongst New York area commuter railroads, they have 'come off their game' of late:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/04/nyreg ... -year.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Brief passage:

  • Among the largely unloved ranks of public transit systems, the Metro-North Railroad has long been the golden child.

    Its ridership has doubled in the 30 years since its inception, and would have set a record last year if not for Hurricane Sandy. Its on-time performance statistics are the envy of railroads around the country. And as its sister service, the Long Island Rail Road, labors beneath the low ceilings of Pennsylvania Station, Metro-North trains shuttle in and out of Grand Central Terminal, esteemed as the stateliest rail hub of them all.

    This year, though, has not been kind to Metro-North.
Interesting to note how the report noted the contrast between relatively underused and architectural masterpiece Grand Central and (drop your own adjectives in) Penn Station .

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