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January 28, 2014

The Commuter Manifesto

Today we start a new venture on behalf of my fellow Metro-North commuters:  The Commuter Action Group

To capture the mood of the moment and explain our expectations as riders of Metro-North, I have written this Commuter Manifesto:

We, the riders of commuter railroads in Connecticut, are tired of deteriorating service, rising fares and indifference and ineptitude from Metro-North.  As customers and taxpayers we deserve better and expect change.  Our expectations are few, and simple:

SAFETY FIRST
              We expect a clean, safe, on-time, seated ride on trains with heat / AC and lights.  Don’t treat us like cattle making us ride on railcars you wouldn’t ride on yourself.

We want to know that you make our safety your top priority.  Make every employee understand that responsibility.  If they do anything that jeopardizes safety, discipline them or fire them.  There is no excuse for stupid mistakes.

FAST, ACCURATE AND HONEST COMMUNICATIONS
              When things go wrong, immediately tell us what’s happened, why and when it will be fixed.  When you make a mistake, admit it.  Stop making apologies; get things fixed and don’t repeat the same errors over and over again

RESPONSIVE CUSTOMER SERVICE
              When we see a problem, give us an easy way to report it to you.  Then get it fixed and follow up with us to tell us it’s been resolved. Our complaints shouldn’t fall into a black hole.

              Train your employees to be courteous and efficient, treating us like valued customers.  When they don’t meet those standards, train them again.  There should be zero tolerance for rude behavior by employees … or commuters.

OPEN & TRANSPARENT OPERATIONS
              Let us know how you make decisions that affect us by opening all of your meetings to the public and media.  Share your goals and self-evaluations and ask our opinions as well.  The way you run the railroad affects our lives and we should have input.

LEADERSHIP THAT LISTENS
              Meet with commuters on a regular basis at times and locations convenient to us.  Hear our complaints and suggestions and answer our questions.  We will listen to you if you will listen to us:  we’re in this together.



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