FOR RELEASE: Upon Receipt
TELEPHONE: (860) 594-3062
Fax: (860) 594-3066

Connecticut Department of Transportation Gets Higher Marks from Rail Customers

New Haven Line Customer Satisfaction Rises Three Percent Over Last Year’s Survey

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) and the Metro-North Railroad (MNR) today released results from the annual customer survey on the New Haven rail line.  At the Metro-North Committee Meeting in New York City, the results were presented along with results from the Harlem and Hudson rail lines.

The New Haven Line overall customer satisfaction rose 3 percentage points in 2006, improving significantly from 82% to 85%.  On the inner New Haven, defined as trains that make stops between Stamford and New York, 90% of customers say they are satisfied.  On the outer New Haven, which is defined as trains that make stops between Stamford and New Haven, 81% are satisfied.  

            “I appreciate the survey responses of our New Haven Line customers and the increased rating in overall satisfaction reflected in this survey.  The new initiatives put forth by the Department and Metro-North Railroad are in fact paying dividends.  New service and rail equipment refurbishment programs are making a real difference for Connecticut rail commuters,” said Ralph J. Carpenter, Connecticut Transportation Commissioner.

Weekend customers gave the New Haven Line the best ratings with 94% satisfied, followed closely by off-peak customers at 91% and then peak customers with 81% satisfied, an increase of 5 points from the 2005 survey.

The New Haven Line experienced a rating slip of 8 points to 68% on overall condition on trains.  The New Haven Line will begin receiving its new rail cars in late 2009 although the railroad is continuing to refurbish the oldest cars in the New Haven line fleet to achieve better performance. The decrease is attributed to the age of the rail fleet and seating availability.

“We recognize that the age of our existing rail fleet does impact customer satisfaction, but with the State’s commitment to purchase a new rail fleet, we anticipate continued improvement on the survey in the coming years,” said Commissioner Carpenter.

            Metro-North has hired additional coach cleaners to provide more frequent cleaning. Among other factors are the completion of numerous station improvement projects, improved schedules with additional early morning and late night service and more improved on-time performance at stations other than Grand Central Terminal.

            In the reverse peak market on all three lines (Harlem, Hudson & New Haven), which is defined as customers who board northbound trains between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m., 94% said they were satisfied, up 4 points from last year.

            The survey measures seven major categories:  train scheduling, communications, courtesy of employees, on-time performance, Grand Central Terminal, conditions on trains, and at boarding stations.

            The survey was conducted between September 27 and October 1, 2006 on board trains and for the first time via the mail to WebTicket and Mail&Ride customers.