Letter: Train change will cause a hardship

To the Editors:

We want to alert the people of Wilton that effective Monday, Nov. 18, Metro-North is implementing a significant schedule change that will make the morning commute to points south, including Grand Central Terminal, longer, more difficult, and ultimately less reliable than ever, which in turn may have a deleterious effect on the attractiveness of living in Wilton and Wilton home values.

There are currently only two direct early morning trains on the Danbury line that deliver commuters to Grand Central Terminal in time to get to their places of employment before 9 a.m. These two direct trains have essentially been unchanged for the past 25+ years, and daily commuters rely on these two early direct trains. Later trains arrive at Grand Central Terminal too late to allow commuters to arrive at their desks by 9, and so are not useful for those of us who need to be at work on time every day.

Metro-North plans to cancel half of the viable early morning direct options. The first direct train (leaving Cannondale and Wilton around 6 a.m.), formerly the only option to make an 8 a.m. meeting in the city without having to drive to South Norwalk, will now become a shuttle service, dumping commuters at South Norwalk, who will then have to wait 10 minutes for a crowded connection and scramble for another seat to NYC. The commuters with the longest commutes will face additional morning disruption and even more delays. For those of us who currently spend between three to four hours daily on the trains, direct trains are really the only way to survive the grueling ordeal — i.e., get a seat and hunker down with work or reading for the duration. Forcing an extra transfer is adding insult to the daily injury of delays due to wet leaves, incessant track work in the Bronx, melting transformers and failed equipment.

Many of us have supported the Danbury line for decades. Without our continued support and revenues, there would be no Danbury line to benefit our neighbors to the north and south. Making the Wilton commute more difficult and longer will make Wilton a less desirable place to live, and could depress home values. This is an issue that will affect the whole town. We wanted to bring it to your attention while also sending a plea to our elected officials to help us rectify the situation by restoring this much used, badly needed, highly valued direct early morning service.

On behalf of the hundreds of exhausted and frustrated commuters of Cannondale and Wilton, thank you for your support.

AP Duffy - Saunders Drive

Dan Bonini -Mather Street

Bruce Kostic - Black Alder