Wilton's Lavielle: FRA Report Must Be Wake-Up Call For Metro-North

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Wilton State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) is calling the Federal Railroad Administration's latest report on Metro-North "alarming."
Wilton State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) is calling the Federal Railroad Administration's latest report on Metro-North "alarming." Photo Credit: Contributed

WILTON, Conn. -- State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143rd District) is calling the Federal Railroad Administration's latest report on Metro-North "alarming." 

The FRA launched "Operating Deep Dive" in December to assess Metro-North’s operations and safety compliance, representatives said. The FRA recently published its report, which includes a set of recommendations.

Lavielle, ranking member of the Transportation Subcommittee of the General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee, released a statement on the findings. Lavielle represents Wilton, Norwalk, and Westport.

The following is Lavielle's statement on the FRA report: 

“The FRA report is alarming. The findings show safety deficiencies in every area of Metro-North’s operations. This means that the lives of rail passengers have been at risk every day, and this is simply unacceptable. This report must be an immediate wake-up call for Metro-North. No delay in following the report’s recommendations must be tolerated, either by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, Connecticut’s executive branch, the General Assembly, or the federal transportation authorities. People’s lives are at stake.

“On May 17, Metro-North must submit a report to the FRA detailing progress and future action plans for its Safety and Training Departments, as well as senior leadership’s plans for prioritizing safety at every level of the organization. FRA has committed to monthly meetings with Metro-North to review progress.

"FRA’s continued involvement is crucial. Metro-North’s alarming record on safety speaks for itself and warrants constant oversight by an external organization with the authority to enforce changes. Because Connecticut’s contract with Metro-North does not include provisions that allow the state to impose and enforce standards for safety and service, the DOT, the General Assembly, and the executive branch must do everything possible to ensure that the FRA remains heavily involved and stays close to Metro-North until all safety issues are completely resolved.”

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