DANBURY, Conn. - Passengers who take the 5:36 a.m. train out of Danbury will now have to change trains at South Norwalk instead of going straight to Grand Central Terminal, and state Rep. Gail Lavielle, R-Wilton, is trying to change that.
Lavielle has started a petition online to get Metro-North to restore the through service on the earliest train, which affects all southbound commuters on the Danbury Branch.
“I have received numerous calls, emails, and tweets from frustrated and angry commuters who tell me that their commutes are disrupted or delayed at least once a day,” said Lavielle. “They tell me that their trip can sometimes last three hours. The most distressing emails that I receive come from constituents whose employers have told them that their repeated late arrivals at work may cost them their jobs. None of this is acceptable, and it has to stop."
Lavielle has sent a letter to state Transportation Commissioner James Redeker and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Tom Prendergast highlighting her concerns and calling for action.
“In the last few months, everyone’s commute on every Metro-North train has become difficult. Fares have increased by 5 percent for three consecutive years, and commuters are now paying much more for much worse service," she said.
"I’ve continued to push for system-wide improvements and solutions which Metro-North’s ongoing disarray seem to make impossible. Meanwhile, however, restoring through service to the 5:36 a.m. train from Danbury seems very straightforward. I want to do everything possible to make it happen,” she added.
Lavielle will be collecting signatures on the early train on the Danbury Branch this week, along with the online petition.
She plans to deliver the signatures to Redeker at next week’s “Metro-North Commuter Speakout.” The event, hosted by the Citizens Transportation Lobby, will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at the Pequot Library on 720 Pequot Ave. in Southport.