NEW YORK – New Jersey Transit operates Metro-North’s commuter train service on the Port Jervis and Pascack Valley lines and the increased number of cancelled trains has raised a red flag to Metro-North leadership.
Under the 2006 agreement between Metro-North and NJT, an average cancellation of five trains per month per route would be normal, but that number doubled this past April, May and June.
In a letter to NJT Executive Director Kevin Corbett, Metro-North President
Catherine Rinaldi wrote her railroad “understands that a key component
underlying the frequency of NJT’s cancelled and late trains is the
lack of sufficient qualified locomotive engineers.”
Rinaldi proposed in months where eight or more scheduled trains are cancelled, Metro-North would take a credit against NJT billings for each additional cancelled train in excess of seven. She also said Metro-North would make a performance incentive payment for each month that NJT cancels four or fewer scheduled trains.
Rockland County Executive Edwin Day, who has been vocal with his dissatisfaction with the cancelled train service, said he is “cautiously optimistic that the proposed changes to their operating agreement will lead to improved service for our commuters.”
Day said he expects Metro-North to hold NJ Transit “accountable and ensure our commuters get the level of service they pay so dearly for.” He proposed that any money withheld by Metro-North from NJ Transit fo0r cancelled trains be refunded to commuters “and all west of Hudson lines should be exempt from fare increases for at least the next three years.”