(New York, NY -Jim O'Grady, WNYC) Riders on Metro North Railroad's New Haven Line will get their regular service back sooner than expected on Monday.
The NYC MTA abruptly cut the line's schedule by 10 percent in early February after winter storms disabled its old cars faster than repairs could be made. Most of those cuts were made to rush hour trains on the already crowded commuter line from Manhattan to Connecticut. For years, the line has routinely run trains with fewer cars than platforms can handle, leading to standing-room-only crushes during peak times.
The MTA has said the service problems can be traced to a funding gap caused by Connecticut's refusal to pay for new trains for years, beginning in 2000. (A fuller explanation of the funding problem is here.)
A return to full service wasn't expected until spring, with the arrival of new train cars.
But this morning, Metro-North President Howard Permut said the MTA activated eight new cars that--along with more repairs--will allow the railroad to run more trains.
"Next week, the trains will be crowded," he said. "But they will not be nearly as crowded as they were during January, when they were jammed."
Permut talked to reporters at Grand Central Station this morning, having ridden on the maiden trip of the new train cars from Stamford, Connecticut.