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Metro-North/LIRR Pledge Safe and Reliable Ride

PELHAM, N.Y. – Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), at the behest of Senator Chuck Schumer, issued a “Pledge to Customers” on Monday, which promises a safe and reliable ride, along with alternate transportation and comfort in case of service disruption.

“Our customers deserve to know what to expect from us when they ride the LIRR,” said Helena Williams, the LIRR's president said. “This pledge lays out our goals to provide safe, reliable and customer friendly service every time as well as what to anticipate when there is a disruption.”

The pledge was created with consultation from multiple partners of the Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road systems.

“Metro-North worked closely with its partners on the commuter councils in New York and Connecticut and the Connecticut Department of Transportation to codify what has been our long-standing commitment to safety, reliability and excellent customer service,” stated Metro-North President, Howard Permut.

David Buchwald, chairman of the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council, was glad to see the pledge presented at the Metro Transit Authority (MTA) Railroad Committee meeting today.

“The pledge provides the first thorough and compact set of standards so that riders know what service they have a right to expect,” said Buchwald. “We commend Metro-North for committing to post the pledge throughout its system and working with our council to develop and clarify these principles."

Schumer urged Metro-North to provide its passengers with a bill of rights after the October snowstorm stranded dozens of passengers for a total of 11 hours and without food or water for the first eight. The individuals were stuck because friends and families were unable to pick them up due to the dangerous road conditions brought on by the storm.

During the same storm, passengers were also stuck on a train in Bedford Hills. Over 200 passengers had to take shelter at the Bedford Hills Community House.

“Metro-North passengers deserve these protections, and should never be stuck on stranded cars for hours on end with no place to go,” said Schumer. “This bill of rights will ensure that Metro-North goes to every length to provide passengers with the ride and service that they deserve, and that passengers are kept abreast of all service disruptions so that they can plan accordingly. I thank MTA for developing this plan, and look forward to working with Metro-North to ensure that they live up to the pledge, and that riders continue to be Metro-North’s top priority.”

The pledge will be posted at various train stations and leaflets with the information will be provided in train cars.

Each railroad’s pledge guarantees accurate and timely information, courteous employees, and a clean transit environment. It also ensures that communications with customers will remain a top priority and pledges to waive the $10 refund processing fee when a service suspension is posted on the MTA website.

According to one consistent Metro-North customer, she approves of the pledge, but has always thought the train provided great service.

“Very good,” Michelle Pactol stated when told about the pledge. “The train is very clean now. It used to be that water was leaking. No more and it’s always on time. The people and conductor are very nice. That’s why I like it. Everybody has a seat or two. I never have to stand up.”

She definitely plans on continuing her use of the train.

“The reason I use the train is first of all, parking is expensive here [in Pelham],” said the owner of Richard’s Passport. “When I’m taking the train, I could read a book, and not have to worry about traffic. That’s great.”

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