Metro-North Improves On-Time Performance But Still Short Of Goal

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Frustrated passengers wait for a Grand Central-bound train at Fairfield Train Station in May after a bridge problem in Norwalk wreaked havoc on Metro-North trains during the morning commute.
Frustrated passengers wait for a Grand Central-bound train at Fairfield Train Station in May after a bridge problem in Norwalk wreaked havoc on Metro-North trains during the morning commute. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith, file photo

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Metro-North was able to improve its on-time performance for trains on the New Haven Line in June, but ultimately fell just short of its goal, according to a recent report.

Train commuters in Fairfield County experienced two very disrupted travel days in June along the New Haven Line: once when a swing bridge failed to close properly in Norwalk and again during a suspicious package scare in Fairfield.  

All three lines of Metro-North combined to be on-time 92.5 percent of the time. Metro-North considers all trains that arrive within 5 minutes and 59 seconds of the schedule to be on time.

This helped to improve the overall annual on-time percentage to 91.0 percent. Metro-North's overall goal is to be on-time 93 percent of the time over the year. 

Of the three lines, the Hudson Line fared the worst in June, arriving on time 90.1 percent of the time. The goal for the Hudson Line is to have 94 percent of trains arrive on time. 

The New Haven Line fell just short of the goal with 91.5 percent of trains running on time with a goal of 92 percent. But regular commuters may not be surprised to learn that only 85.7 percent of peak trains are on time. 

The Harlem Line was the only one of the three line to exceed expectations for June with nearly 96 percent of all trains running on time against a goal of 94 percent. 

On the year, the Harlem Line has been on time 93,7 percent of the time, with the Hudson Line at 91.3 percent and the New Haven Line at 88.7 percent on time.

More detailed statistics for the New Haven Line, which runs throughout Connecticut, include:

  • For AM Peak trains in June, 85.7 percent were on time, vs. 86.7 percent for June 2013
  • For AM Peak trains so far the year, only 83 percent have been on time, vs 93.5 percent for January through June 2013
  • The PM Peak trains fared better, with 94.2 percent on time for June, compared with 94.5 percent for June 2013
  • The PM Peak trains so far this year, 89.6 percent have been on time, vs. 96.3 percent for January through June 2013

One difficult travel day for New Haven Line commuters came on Friday, June 6, when the Walk Bridge in Norwalk failed to close properly. That afternoon, a total of 20 trains were late and seven were canceled. Another 12 were terminated before reaching their final scheduled destination. 

Another problem travel day came on Friday, June 20, when the Fairfield train station was closed due to a suspicious package. On that morning, 23 trains were late, five were canceled and six were terminated before reaching their final scheduled destination. 

To read the full report, follow this link to the Joint MetroNorth/Long Island Railroad Committee Meeting. The Monthly Operating Report begins on Page 58 of the pdf. 

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The trains were almost to the minute for maybe 20 years, showing they know how to do it. The old adage "you could set your watch by it" was true. They are so far off now it would appear they don't care at all. When you get to the platform and the sign reads "good service", you wait 5 minutes past the scheduled time, then there's an announcment the train will be "5 to 10 minutes late". It's ALREADY 5 minutes late, and you KNEW that before the announcement was made, and it's not "good service", so why not just cop to it and help people out?

Lies, damn lies and statistics. Show up 6 minutes late for a meeting with your boss and tell him you're actually "on time." Almost every single train I take home in the evening M-F arrives LATE in Fairfield. That's with varying departures from GCT between 5-7PM.

When they keep blowing their 6 minute scam they eventually rig the next schedule to add minutes to the trip and then...presto-change-o....they're back "on time" again.