MTA Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi announced that Metro-North’s Way Ahead plan has been a boon with regards to safety, service, infrastructure and customer communication, and has even helped the company’s on-time performance exceed expectations.
Metro-North’s 2019 on-time performance through April 30 has been 95.7%, 2.1 percentage points higher than last year. There’s a 74% reduction in canceled and terminated trains, and a 50% reduction in trains delayed by more than 15 minutes.
Way Ahead—which was started six months ago—aims to serve as a roadmap that details actions to enhance safety, service, infrastructure, communications and transform customers’ day-to-day commuting experience.
Some of Way Ahead’s accomplishments include: the expansion of TRACKS, Metro-North’s free community outreach program designed to educate and promote rail safety, to more than 100,000 reached in 2018, with the goal to reach 105,000 in 2019; the enhancement of 78 grade crossings with LED lights; the expansion of communications skills training for employees, with another 1,100 operations employees trained thus far; station ambassadors are now in place at the six busiest Metro-North stations: Stamford, White Plains, Harlem-125th Street, Fordham, New Rochelle and Croton-Harmon; trackside cleanup in the Bronx, with the removal of 47 tons of waste; and track work resulted in a 46% decrease in maintenance defects since 2014, and an 86% decrease in safety defects since 2014.
The railroad said its vision through Way Ahead “is to set the standard for safety, reliability and innovation in the delivery of excellent customer service. Metro-North has realized key aspects of its vision, and that means customers can expect safety upgrades, improved communications, reinvigorated stations, renewed infrastructure, which all translates to an overall more positive commuting experience.”
“The transformation of Metro-North Railroad is no longer a plan, it’s happening,” said Rinaldi. “Operating from our core principles of safety, integrity and innovation, and all the while listening to commuters, we’re changing the railroad so that riding Metro-North is a more positive experience for our customers. We won’t rest on our laurels, and there’s still much work to be done, but we are all well on our way to developing an even stronger Metro-North for the future.”