Metro North Railroad President Steps Down, Boucher Responds

Sen. Boucher: Permut resigning is the culmination of complete negligence and no accountability on this rail line.

State Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) ranking member of the Transportation Committee of the General Assembly released the following statement Tuesday regarding Metro North Railroad President Howard Permut stepping down.

"Mr. Permut made the right decision. It has become increasingly clear Metro North no longer has the credibility or safety standards required to run the most heavily traveled rail line in the country. 

"During the last six months passengers have witnessed and lived through some troubling incidents. Four commuters, a train employee and a pedestrian have been killed. More than 100 passengers have been injured. In addition, egregious cases of fraud, abuse, and neglect have been uncovered.  Nonexistent oversight and bad management practices have led to hazardous and risky conditions on this rail line and have put our commuters at great risk for their personal safety. This is unacceptable!"

"I have asked the state department of transportation and Governor Malloy to request an oversight board in charge of monitoring Metro North until the rail line operator can prove it is functioning safely and reliably.

"It is my hope the new Metro North President will welcome an oversight board and give this turnaround his full focus and ability.

"The Federal Railroad Administration has issued an emergency order requiring Metro North to make several changes aimed at improving safety. These included a directive to have two people in place to operate trains until the railroad updated its signal system.

"The federal agency has also begun a first ever sweeping investigation of a passenger railroad focused on Metro-North’s operations and “safety culture." 

"The new leadership should also immediately meet with its number one customer- the CTDOT, the Connecticut General Assembly’s Transportation Committee and the Connecticut Commuter Council to learn about their issues, concerns and priorities as our taxpayers pay 65% of the costs."

Lorna January 07, 2014 at 02:24 PM
There's no way Mr. Permut should be given a lavish severance and retirement package, especially as commuters have just been hit with increases in their ticket fares. Such financial perks would amount to a slap in the face to all riders of Metro North, particularly those who have been injured, and especially the families of the victims who died because of MN's negligence. I hope our elected officials will pursue the outcome of Mr. Permut's "resignation" (he more likely would have been fired if he had worked for a private sector business) and publicize the dollar amount of his package.


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