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New Group Seeks To Empower Darien Commuters After Metro-North Problems

Jim Cameron, founder of The Commuter Action Group, reads The Commuter Manifesto  January 2014
Jim Cameron, founder of The Commuter Action Group, reads The Commuter Manifesto January 2014 Video Credit: cameron06820

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Some Fairfield County commuters are mad as hell at Metro-North and they're not going to take it anymore.

That's the tone the Commuter Action Group is taking after Darien's Jim Cameron, a former Chairman of the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council, released a manifesto Monday and launched a new website to give voice to commuters’ stories and complaints about Metro-North.

According to its website, the Commuter Action Group is dedicated to empowering Metro-North rail commuters to demand better service by giving them a voice before the railroad, the Connecticut Department of Transportation and state and federal lawmakers.

“The Commuter Action Group will be the strongest possible advocate for commuters on Metro- North in Connecticut. We won’t have dues, and everyone can join. But we’ll make our voices heard every day,” Cameron said in a statement.

“The culture of incompetence and unaccountability at Metro-North has got to be reversed. Human error by railroad employees has resulted in deaths, yet nothing seems to change. The ConEd power problem, the recent stranding of trains without heat on the coldest night of the year and last week’s complete shutdown because somebody ‘pulled a plug’ are all the result of mismanagement, not bad luck.”

In the manifesto, Cameron calls on Metro-North for improved safety measures; fast, accurate and honest communications; responsive customer service; open and transparent operations; and "leadership that listens."

A commuter on Metro-North for 24 years, Cameron served 19 years on the Connecticut Metro-North Rail Commuter Council by legislative appointment, the last four as its chairman until he resigned in November.

He served on the Coastal Corridor Transportation Investment Area, the Southwest Connecticut Task Force and various SWRPA study groups. He has been a member of the Darien RTM for eight years and program director of Darien TV79, the town’s government television station, for seven years.

Click the link below to see the full Commuter Action Group manifesto.

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