Metro-North Apologizes For Friday Delays, Adds Extra Trains

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Metro-North officials apologized for overcrowded trains, and will continue to operate on a Saturday schedule Friday afternoon.
Metro-North officials apologized for overcrowded trains, and will continue to operate on a Saturday schedule Friday afternoon. Photo Credit: File Photo

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Metro-North has apologized for overcrowded trains Friday morning and is running a Saturday schedule with extra trains for the peak afternoon rush Friday.

As a result of the winter storm, Metro-North operated on a Saturday schedule Friday morning, which represents 40 percent of normal weekday service. There were also 14 extra trains in the morning -- nine on the New Haven Line, four on the Harlem Line and one on the Hudson Line -- bringing total service up to about 55 percent of a normal weekday. According to Metro-North, ridership Friday morning was about 68 percent of a normal weekday, resulting in overcrowded trains.

“Based on forecasts of up to a foot of snow falling overnight, we were conservative in planning schedules to help reduce the chances that trains could become stranded or would have to be canceled,” said Joseph Giulietti, president of Metro-North. “When the sun shone through this morning, we had more customers than anticipated, particularly on the New Haven Line. We apologize for this morning’s crowding and expect to do better this afternoon.”

Metro-North will continue to operate a Saturday schedule Friday evening, with extra trains on stand-by in Grand Central Terminal. Capacity is expected to be 77 percent that of a normal day. The Long Island Railroad and New York City subways and buses will operate on a normal schedule.

Four patrol trains operated Thursday night to clear snow from the third rail, which provides power to the electric fleet. Crews continue to dig out switches, and mechanics are stationed at Pelham in case trains encounter difficulty, Metro-North said. Additional employees will on hand at Grand Central Terminal to assist riders and answer questions.

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It's time for state authorities to step in. There's something very, very wrong with this organization that can't be fixed from the inside. Without reliable commuter service into the city, Westchester becomes a dead zone.

I am normally critical of MNR and for good reason but even I was awestruck at the calamity that I witnessed Friday. I got to my platform at 7am and waited an hour and a half. There were hundreds of people already there, who had been there at least an hour before me according to them. During my wait a total of 5 trains came that were so full, it was literally physically impossible for anyone to board. A train conductor popped his head out of a window on one of them to explain that more trains were on the way. He also said himself that he had no idea why management put the trains on a Saturday schedule. Their own employees are mystified as to the decision. When I finally got on a train I was pressed in the front car such that I could look through the conductor's window. Every station had hundreds of people waiting in the same situation I had just come from. This is pathetic. “When the sun shone through this morning, we had more customers than anticipated..."...What the hell are they talking about? How many customers did they anticipate on a Friday during rush hour? Who is going to lose their job over this?Anyone rresponsible for or even involved Friday's calamity should by any organization's standards, lose their job. Metro North is a monopoly that is totally out of control and treats its customers like cattle that have no choice but to pay their ridiculous fare increases. Something has to be done. Their negligence has literally derailed trains and killed people this past year. Its never Metro North's fault. I wish just once the automated voice that I hear every day on the platform PA system would say that the train will be such and such minutes late due to management failure.

The extra trains did not materialize. Per my earlier comments, I think Metro North IS becoming SEPTA (the worst railroad in the country IMHO) with an almost zero % on time ratio. I guess it's time for the Board of Director's to increase the fare and vote themselves another big fat pay raise.

All these delays and longer commute times all started with (and are obviously directly due to) that the track work going on in the Bronx. Annoying for most of us, but pity those poor upper Harlem/Wassaic folks who already had a long commute.

The Harlem Line has been running 20 minutes late every day without exception for about the past half year. What used to be a 55 minute train ride from Mt Kisco is now 75 minutes without snow or any other excuses. I used to say good things about MNR when they had the occasional problem but 95% of the time the service was very good. Whatever happened in the past year? I don't know. But the service took a nosedive. There was no way I was getting on the train today knowing that they can't even run them on a day with no extenuating circumstances. Unless one of our elected officials wants to step up to the plate and start demanding answers (never gonna happen) MNR is going to continue to rape the ridership because we have no choice. I can't wait until I can leave this craphole NY state and go retire somewhere else.