Letter: Poor Metro-North service hurts homeowners

To the Editors:

In Hayden Turek’s article, Diane Milas of William Raveis is quoted: Citing the commute “as a big factor,” potential buyers “want to make sure they can get to the train station quickly and easily, down the connector, to either South Norwalk, or to Westport, if they’re on the Weston side of town.”

We have two Metro-North stations in Wilton, yet the consideration for potential home buyers is how to get to main-line stations outside of town as quickly as possible. The fault lies completely within the province of the political class from top to bottom. Our property values have declined by 29.7%, a statistic provided in a letter from Thomas Curtin last week due to high taxes. In my estimation, due to both too long commuting times and high taxes.

The political class cites the long tenor contract with Metro-North that they say prohibits improvements to the current utterly abysmal and inexorably declining service. Nonsense! Bunk! Since when does any contract codify chronic deteriorating service? That assertion is nothing less than a complete abdication of their collective responsibility to us. Again, we call on Wilton’s selectmen, state representatives, our senators and congressmen and the governor to sit down with Metro-North’s officials and demand an achievable plan for much better Danbury Line service. And publish it, with dated milestones, so we can monitor it. It can be done, as anyone who works in the private sector knows: operational failures can be rectified.

Even our Metro-North conductor complained about the service this week because we had a bum engine (bum = broke and known about for days) that kept us on the tracks for 2-1/2 hours one morning this past week. Our political class needs to demand better service for us, their constituents.  Forget the contract. Publicly, consistently, doggedly, tenaciously and relentlessly call on Metro-North’s executives to fix it. The 49 track miles we travel each morning on an express takes one hour and 25 minutes (on a worse day, longer).  At a modest average speed of 45 mph (we only make stops at South Norwalk and Stamford), we would arrive at Grand Central in one hour and five minutes.

Heretofore, the political class has ignored this problem and our pleas for their help. As a result, we have suffered for decades and our property values have suffered. It hits us all where we hurt a lot: our wallets. When, at long last, will all of you, who purport to govern, do something about it!
Nick Battista
Hickory Hill Road, March 28