Just yesterday, we wrote that Metro North’s New Haven line is a disaster right now. Today, the MTA is ready to admit its problems.
But! Not fix them, because they can’t, they say.
Instead, there will be a new schedule, with about half the trains, that will be in effect from Monday until “indefinitely.”
UPDATE: Click here to see the new schedules.
From the NYTimes:
In an unusual move, the railroad will create an alternative timetable that greatly reduces the number of trains running on weekdays.
The schedule, to take effect on Monday, better reflects the railroad’s current capacity on the New Haven line.
The revised schedule — offering more frequent service than on weekends but less than a typical weekday — is expected to stay in effect indefinitely, at least until engineers can muddle through a steep backlog of repairs on the railroad’s ageing, exhausted fleet.
Unbelievably, this is an improvement.
Flashback to yesterday, when we wrote this:
Metro North is giving this reason for the hell commuters have gone through recently: “extreme weather-related equipment shortages,” which explains why every train is at least 2 cars short. But it doesn’t explain the other nightmares people are experiencing on the commute.
They include, but are not limited to:
- Extreme delays. Morning trains on the New Haven have been delayed at least 10 minutes each. Evening trains have been a mess. And there’s no warning! They just keep you waiting.
- Not learning on which track your train will leave from until one minute after your train was supposed to leave. Hence the crowds of people around the arrival and departure boards/screens at Grand Central last night. The screen prints the track number and everyone in the pack that’s been waiting for it rushes to get on the train. Only there’s no where to go! You can’t move. At least it’s not dangerous.
- No seats. Not even a middle, or a broken one.
- Standing cheek to cheek with people in the aisles. It was so bad yesterday that we got off in Stamford, CT and waited for the next one. Today, we asked a friend to take a picture. He said, “No, I don’t want to make it anymore awkward.”
- Trains stopping randomly on the tracks.
- Trains moving inexplicably slowly and getting in an hour later than you expected, without explanation. Anyone else on the 9:06 out of NYC yesterday?
- Derailed trains.
- The infuriating fact that New Haven lines are the only ones affected. The ones that everything else feeds in to AKA the most important ones.
Share your horror story here.
Here’s a tip, which I’m probably going to regret giving out. There are trains that don’t start on the New Haven line, but they wind up travelling the same line before hitting Manhattan. Take one of those. It was fine this morning.
At least now we know what’s going on. Kind of. On second thought, let’s wait until we see the schedule before calling this an improvement.